Annalisa Trieber took an unique road to join the RDP Queens hockey team.
Instead of playing all three high school years with the U18AAA Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs, she spent her Grade 12 year playing with the Sylvan Lake Lakers U18A boys team.
“I had some friends with the Lakers plus I wanted to play full-contact hockey,” she explained. “I felt it was a good preparation for the next level. The college women are stronger and faster than what I was used to.”
Although she took the normal bumps and bruises it was fine with her.
“I had stitches twice, had my cage broken with a punch, sprained a ligament in my shoulder and chipped a tooth, but other than that I was fine,” she said with a laugh.
Not bad considering she’s always played defence.
“I like defence as you’re there to protect your goalie and to set up your forwards.”
Annalisa, who was born and raised in Sylvan Lake, got into hockey when she was six while skating on the lake.
She came up through the Sylvan Lake boys program before joining the Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs U15AAA squad in Grade 8.
She has the skating ability, hockey IQ and shot to play college hockey. In fact, she had all those ingredients needed to make the Queens, even before her year with the Lakers.
Queens head coach Kelly Coulter invited her to join the RDP program when she was still in Grade 11.
“A year ago June they held a spring camp and he invited me,” said the 18-year-old, “After he asked if I’d be interested in committing to the Queens and I said I would.”
The year with the Lakers allowed her to return home and to take her Grade 12 at David Thompson, where her father is principal.
“I attended David Thompson in Grade 9 then went to Notre Dame (in Red Deer) in Grade 10 and 11, but I wanted to graduate with my friends at David Thompson,” she explained. “Also I wanted to play basketball for my final year in high school.”
Annalisa could have played college basketball as well. She led the David Thompson Voyageurs to the 2A zone championship and birth in the provincials where she scored over 20 points per game.
The five-foot-eight Trieber was invited to the SAIT ID camp, but was unable to make it. Plus she was going to play hockey, her first love.
“I enjoyed basketball. I started playing in Grade 6, just shooting around. I played shooting or point guard or even post, wherever the coach wanted me to play.”
To show her skills on the basketball court, all you had to do is realize she didn’t play in Grade 10 or 11 while at Notre Dame.
“I was with the U18AAA Chiefs so I decided to attend Notre Dame and participate in their academy. As well a number of the girls on the Chiefs went there, so that was good.”
She also competed in cross-country running and track and field, reaching the provincials in both.
In track and field, she competed in the Alberta Schools Athletic Association championships in June in the shot put, discus, javelin and on the David Thompson 4x400m relay team.
She tied for third in javelin was in the top 10 in both discus and shot put.
Annalisa had 12 offers to attend college in the States, but was more than pleased to stay close to home.
She not only is impressed with the Queens program and the facility, but wanted to get into Nursing.
“I was accepted into the RN program and I’m really excited about that,” she said. “They have a really good program here plus I’m looking forward to playing with the team. They’re a two-time defending champion and have a lot of girls who know how to win and have high expectations.
“I’ve attended several of their practices and the players treated me just like everyone else.
“I wanted to be a nurse or even a doctor. If I don’t enjoy nursing it’s the first step toward being a doctor. I’ll be here for at least four years and several of the girls on the team are also in nursing which helps. Also Kelly stresses academics first, then hockey, which suits me.”
Annalisa comes from a hockey family. Her dad played hockey and her mom played with the University of Lethbridge. Her brother, Austin, is a goalie with the U16AA team in Sylvan Lake.
“It works out perfectly as I get to shoot on him every day.”
Annalisa will spend the summer training and attend several hockey camps prior to joining the Queens at the end of August.
The Queens open their exhibition schedule Sept. 8 at home against Olds. They open their league schedule Oct. 6 at Olds and host Lakeland Oct. 7.
Danny Rode is a retired Advocate reporter and member of the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame who can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org