U.S. colleges scout girl's hockey tournament in Winnipeg
A major girl's hockey tournament kicks off in Winnipeg today but it's not so much about going after gold as about going after scholarships.
"[You need to] always be in your A-game, every shift, always trying, skating your fastest, just being very sharp," she said.
Winnipeg has three Hockey Canada-accredited prep programs at Balmoral Hall, St. Mary's Academy and Shaftesbury High. As a result, the city is now on the radar of many U.S. college scouts.
Sim's BalmoralBlazers face off against seven other schools from across the country at the weekend tournament, including:
- Banff Hockey Academy – Banff, AB
- Edge School for Athletes – Calgary, AB
- Pursuit of Excellence – Kelowna, BC
- RothesayNetherwoodRiverhawks – Rothesay, NB
- Shaftesbury Titans – Winnipeg, MB
- St. Francis Xavier Hockey Academy – Edmonton, AB
- St. Mary’s Academy Flames – Winnipeg, MB
The rapid growth of three prep programs in Winnipeg in less than a decade has forced the Blazers to look outside the province to recruit players. Assistant coach AnneHedley said the team has brought in girls from B.C., Newfoundland and Sweden.
“You know, if nothing else it gives more girls the opportunity to play prep hockey which in the end is never going to be a bad thing,” she said.
St. Mary's Academy Flames player Danielle Krzyszcyk has already scored a lucrative scholarship to Harvard for next year.
“Every time I think about it I just get goosebumps. I am so excited," she said.
Krzyszcyk gives all the credit for her success to the prep program, for opening those doors.
Being able to go to tournaments where all the NCAA and CIS scouts are there. It's amazing seeing them come to the games and watch you,” she said.
“If I wasn't at St. Mary's I don't know if I would have had the opportunities I'd had to visit schools and choose Harvard."