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RVC players crack Canada Winter Games hockey roster

Two hockey players from Rocky View County (RVC) will have the chance to represent their province at the 2019 Canada Winter Games, held Feb. 15 to March 3 in Red Deer, Alta.
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Bree Kennedy, 16, is one of two players from Rocky View County on the Team Alberta U18 female hockey team roster for the 2019 Canada Winter Games. The Games take place in Red Deer, Feb. 14 to March 3.

Two hockey players from Rocky View County (RVC) will have the chance to represent their province at the 2019 Canada Winter Games, held Feb. 15 to March 3 in Red Deer, Alta.  Fifteen-year-old Sarah Wozniewicz from Cochrane and 16-year-old Bree Kennedy of Chestermere will don the women’s U18 Team Alberta jersey.  “I’m not really nervous – just excited for it,” said Kennedy, who grew up in Grande Prairie but has called Chestermere home for three years. “It's a cool experience that not everybody gets to have.” The tryout process for Team Alberta began with a spring camp in May 2018, followed by further selection camps in July and September. According to both Kennedy and Wozniewicz, their competitiveness helped them crack the roster. “[My work ethic] has always been my number-one attribute,” Kennedy said.  As Team Alberta’s youngest player, Wozniewicz said she is gearing up to test her skills against older players and other provincial teams.  “I’m the only [2003-born player] on the team,” she said. “I’m just really excited I have the chance to play for Team Alberta.” For most of the year, the two forwards play for the Edge Mountaineers prep team, which competes in the Canadian Sport School Hockey League. Team Alberta will also include two other players from the Edge – goaltender Caroline Gosling and defenseman Brooklyn Tews.  “It’s a strong team,” Kennedy said. “We’re growing every day, which is good. You always have your struggles, but we’re getting a lot better and the girls are great – I love them all.” Team Alberta’s coaching staff will also feature some familiar faces for the Edge players. Head coach Carla MacLeod is also the head coach for the Mountaineers, while athletic therapist Farah Mukadam and goalie coach Amanda Tapp are members of the Mountaineers’ coaching department. Wozniewicz said it will be nice to have a few Edge teammates and coaches join her on the trip to Red Deer. “It makes you feel better because you know more people,” she said. “It’s nice to compete with your close friends.” Thanks to Red Deer’s proximity to RVC, both Wozniewicz and Kennedy said they expect to see plenty of family members and friends in the stands to support them throughout the Canada Winter Games.  “My friend’s mom has already been like, ‘We booked a hotel room, so we’re going to come watch you play,’” Wozniewicz said. “That’s going to be nice.” Kennedy said she is most looking forward to the atmosphere of the competition. “I just think it’s cool how it’s like a mini-Olympics,” she said. “You have different sports there – not just hockey. You get to watch other sports and experience a lot of cool things.” Team Alberta is a two-time gold medalist at the Canada Winter Games. The squad’s most recent gold came in 2011 in Halifax, N.S., while its first championship came in 1991 in Charlottetown, P.E.I. The women’s hockey tournament at the Canada Winter Games will kick off Feb. 24. 

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