Golden will be well represented when Team BC takes to the ice at next week’s National Aboriginal Hockey Championships in Mississauga, Ont., with locals Annah Setter and Jake Gudjonson set to don their provincial colours.
This will be Setter’s third straight year competing with the B.C. girls. Her experience has allowed her to slip into a leadership role on a squad that will no doubt have raised expectations this year after steady improvement from 2014 to 2015.
“There’s a bunch of Grade 10 girls and this is their first year so for sure I’ll have to kind of lead the way and tell them what they need to expect and that kind of thing,” said Setter, a Grade 12 student who captained her Banff Academy team this past season.
While she’s primarily played defence, Setter is set to slot in as a centre next week, a role she says she is comfortable with.
The tournament in Mississauga will also be a good opportunity for Setter to show her stuff in front of university scouts, of which a few are already aware of her talents. She hopes to be able to play hockey at a university in Ontario next season, where women’s squads are a little more competitive than in British Columbia.
“I know I have a couple coaches that are interested and they are coming to watch in Mississauga,” she said.
Gudjonson, a standout rookie for the Rockets this past season, will be making his debut at the tournament.
Impressively, the 16 year-old was named to the B.C. squad despite not being able to attend the team’s tryouts due to his commitment to a Junior A camp.
Gudjonson was one of the Golden Rockets’ offensive leaders with nine goals and 14 assists in his debut season and hopes to bring some of that offensive flair to the table with Team BC.
He’ll be competing with a lot of players who are older and more experienced than him, making this an excellent opportunity in his eyes.
“This is pretty sweet for me too, to be able to go to it, because I’ve heard of so many players who are playing in higher leagues than me who are on this team,” he said, adding that he was also excited to represent his aboriginal heritage on the ice.
Both B.C. teams will drop the puck on their 2016 tournament on May. 2.
Live streams and full tournament schedules and results can be found online at nahc.aswco.ca.