Local players shine on international stage
In early January, four members of the RINK Hockey Academy Female U18 Prep Team in Kelowna represented their respective countries in Zug, Switzerland, participating in the IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship.
Among them were Chloe Primerano, Gracie Graham, and Mikayla Watson, donning the Canadian colours, while Anezka Cabelova represented Czechia.
All four players returned home with medals, Canada secured the bronze and Czechia proudly took home the silver. It marked the highest finish the country has attained in the history of the tournament.
“It was definitely exciting. Something I’ve always wanted and dreamed of. [It was] the best experience of my life so far,” Czechia forward Anezka Cabelova told Sarah from 104.7 The LIZARD. “It's so special. Like it’s never happened to Czechia ever before, so it was really cool to get to experience this for the first time.”
On the journey to clinch the silver medal, Czechia had to go through Canada first, a matchup that saw Cabelova up against her three teammates back in Kelowna.
“I kind of knew what to expect from them. It was sad because you never want to play against your teammates, but it was an exciting experience and I'm happy for it,” she said.
“It was awesome to play against her. She’s an amazing player, great person, and when you play against your teammates it’s always fun,” Primerano said about playing against Cabelova.
Along with the bronze medal for Canada, the individual accolades piled on for Primerano, who was named tournament MVP, top defender, after leading the tournament in scoring with 16 points (8 goals, 8 assists), the highest scoring performance ever by a defender.
In addition to Canada securing the bronze medal, Chloe Primerano garnered a series of individual accolades, which includes tournament MVP, and top defender. She led the tournament in scoring with 16 points (8 goals, 8 assists), marking the highest-scoring performance ever recorded by a defender in the history of the competition.
“It was pretty exciting. I couldn't have done it with all my teammates. I think it could have been any one of us. But I’m happy that I was able to play with that group,” Primerano said. “Every time I put on that maple leaf, it's just such a great feeling and you can never get sick of it.”
And with the Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL), in full swing, it serves as motivation for all female hockey players.
“It's pretty amazing to see that league and how well it's doing,” she said. “It’s good for us to be able to look up to that league and watch them and see that as a goal for us one day.”
Check out the video to see Anezka and Chloe’s skill set on display.
Published 2024-02-01 by Sarah Nick & Connor Chan
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