Earlier this week, Red Deer Minor Hockey product Carley Wlad received one of the Alberta Female Hockey League’s top honours.
Wlad, a Grade 12 student at Notre Dame High School, and a forward with the Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs Midget AAA team, was named an AFHL Scholarship award recipient.
“I’m honoured to be getting it because obviously there’s lots of other girls who are deserving of this scholarship and I can’t thank Hockey Alberta enough and Red Deer Minor Hockey enough for just supporting me and making my last year of minor hockey so memorable,” she said.
In her last season in minor hockey, Wlad and the Chiefs progressed all the way to the provincial finals and while they fell short of their ultimate goal, the 17-year-old said the season was full of lasting memories.
“Since it was my last year I really wanted to make it a year to remember,” she noted.
“Just having teammates that I’ve grown up with in Red Deer Minor hockey, I’ve known these girls for years, and it’s just awesome to be able to spend one last year with them. Just the good coaching we had this year and everything combined made it a really good season.”
Wlad’s next challenge will begin in the fall at the University of Calgary, and she hopes to contribute for the Dinos women’s hockey team next season.
“We haven’t talked too much, but I’m hoping to play centre next year. I’m pretty strong on my draws and pretty strong at skating. I’m a strong player overall, so I just hope to be one of the top centreman on the team,” she said.
She plans on studying Biological Sciences at U of C come September and eventually go into medicine.
On top of the great final year of Red Deer Minor Hockey, Wlad said she’ll always remember the team’s wild ride to the Esso Cup in 2015. The Chiefs lost in the final of the tournament to Sudbury at home that year, but it’s still one of her favourite hockey moments.
“Going to Esso Cup, when we hosted it in Red Deer. The passion that we had, how much our team bonded, it was amazing,”she said.
“Just how far we got, it was something I’ll never forget for the rest of my life.”