Canstar Community News - ONLINE EDITION

Heading to the big leagues

  • Print

These girls are destined for the big leagues, and in girls hockey, the big leagues is college and university.

After hours of training and ice time, nine tournaments across the continent, all nine graduating players of the Shaftesbury Titans Prep Hockey team were offered full scholarships to universities in the United States and Canada, and eight of them accepted.

"By going to specific tournaments across the United States that allowed us to do that," said Eugene Kaminsky, head coach of the Titans. "(Through) that exposure, they were able to do that and this is how, of the nine girls graduating this year, eight are definitely going to a college hockey program."

This success is particularly impressive, as this is the first year Shaftesbury has had a prep team, set up much like a private school’s prep team, without the high tuition costs. To play on the team costs approximately $12,000 per player, which includes ice time, tournaments, air fare, and food while away, said Kaminsky.

To be on the team the girls must be completely committed.

"We played roughly 60 games," said Kaminsky. "Plus practices and weekend tournaments."

Travelling to tournaments, practising every day, plus school work was both exhausting and fun.

"It’s a bit of both," said centre-forward Ricki Meilleur, captain of the team this year heading to Robert Morris University outside of Pittsburgh next season. "On the way home you’re exhausted, after playing four or five games on the weekend, but it was fun."

Being this committed to hockey was nothing new for the girls, who have been playing competitive hockey since they were young.

The girls all say that while they don’t get to see their friends and boyfriends very often outside of school, they all understand.

"Most of us have been this busy and committed to hockey since we were younger so it wasn’t a huge change," said defenseman Michela Esposito, heading to University of Regina. "Plus boyfriends are just as busy."

School work was always a priority throughout the year.

"On the road we were able to help out, (with me) being a teacher here, and we had another staff member that would travel with us, and we had a trainer that was very well versed in chemistry," said Kaminsky. "So there were no excuses for them."

The girls agreed doing school work was actually easier on the road because there was always someone to help them whether it was a teacher or a teammate.

"It was almost better," said defenseman Larissa Martyniuk, heading to Syracuse University in New York State.

"It was more one-on-one other rather than in classrooms," said goalie Rachel Dyck, who will stay local and play for the University of Manitoba.

Families had just as much a part of the commitment as the girls did, said Kaminsky.

"For a lot of these girls it’s not just a commitment on their part it, was a family commitment," said Kaminsky. "Not all parents could make certain tournaments as much as they would like to, and I know families had to make sacrifices for these girls to compete at this level."

"(They are) basically our number one fans," said Meilleur sentimentally, which was met with laughter her teammates and coach.

Facebook.com/TheSouwesterWPG
Twitter: @SouwesterWPG

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Fall Arts Guide

We preview what’s new and what’s coming up in Winnipeg’s new arts season

View our Fall Arts Guide

Readers' Choice Awards

Best Of Winnipeg Readers Survey

See the results of the 2014 Canstar Community News Best of Winnipeg Readers' Survey.

View Results

This Just In Twitter bird

Poll

Do you intend to visit the CMHR once it’s fully operational?

View Results