Five Central Albertans named to Ringette Canada Senior National Team

Central Alberta will be well represented this winter at the 2019 World Ringette Championships.

Monday, Ringette Canada named the 22-player roster for the best-on-best international event in Burnaby, B.C. from Nov. 25 to Dec. 1.

The 22 players were picked following a selection camp in Edmonton from July 25-28.

Among the group are five players from Central Alberta, including Red Deer’s Brea Beck, Lacombe’s Dailyn and Jamie Bell, as well as Melissa Misutka and Gillian Dreger.

Not lost on Beck or her teammates is the fact that nearly one-quarter of the roster hails from Central Alberta.

“I think it’s exciting when you think per capita, how many people Central Alberta has and we have five people on the national team, it’s awesome. We don’t even have an international airport,” she said.

“It’s impressive. I think part of our success is we really have to work… when you surpass the level that is readily available to you and all of a sudden you have to do a two hour round trip to practice, that dedication and work ethic– takes you to the next level because all of us have to travel to play on club teams and make that happen. It doesn’t come easy for us.”

Three of the five, including Beck, Dailyn and Jamie Bell all represented Canada at the 2017 World Championships.

“When you make it the first time, you don’t have anything to gauge beforehand. There’s a little bit more stress going into a tryout, to keep that spot,” said Beck, who is one of Canada’s four goalies.

“That time I was trying to earn my spot and this time I was trying to keep it. It was a little bit different. Still incredibly competitive. They don’t just handout spots on Team Canada.”

With that pressure lingering, Beck, who won a national championship in the spring with her club team in Calgary, said she was really happy with her performance.

“I felt really good about my camp when I left. I strung together the most consistent tryout I’ve ever had. Was really happy with the games that I played and my performance. I truly felt I left it all on the ice,” she added.

Canada earned silver at the 2017, 2016 and 2013 World Championships. At the under-21 level, Canada has had success on the world stage and Beck believes that a mix of motivation from current senior players and up-and-coming talent is a great recipe in 2019.

“The more we go away from 2002, I think the hungrier we get for that gold. It’s been way too long,” she said.

“With this group, a lot of these athletes, this will be their fourth cycle. When you have more cycles under your belt and still haven’t got that gold, that hunger intensifies that much more. We have a whole bunch of these young athletes that have won junior national gold. They want to prove they can make that jump and carry that success to the senior program.”

Team Canada will have a training camp on the September long weekend, before hosting a dry run of Worlds in Burnaby on Thanksgiving.

Email sports tips to Byron Hackett

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