One couldn’t blame Camille Trautman if she’s getting a bit wore out.
After all the 16-year-old is the only netminder with the Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs major midget hockey team and played all but one period for Team Alberta at the Canadian U18 championships.
“I thought when she first got back (from the Canadians) that she’d be a bit tired, having played all five games plus all the hoopla and travel, but she handled it well,” said Chiefs head coach Doug Young. “This is the second year in a row where she’s our only goalie and it doesn’t bother her.”
In fact Trautman enjoys the work.
“I like playing every game as I know when I come I’m starting and I’m ready for it,” she said.
The Chiefs did use the two netminders off the Red Deer bantam AAA Chiefs while Trautman was with Team Alberta.
“They also come to practice, which is good. It makes me work that much harder,” Trautman added.
Trautman was originally going to share the goaltending duties with Team Alberta with Courtney Vinet of Camrose, before Vinet was injured.
The extra playing time was something Trautman relished.
“It was amazing facing players of that level . . . the best in Canada,” she said. “It’s a huge step up when it comes to the pace of the game, the shots and the girls are bigger and faster. You have to be even more mentally prepared.
“But I also enjoy playing here. We have a great team and play a good calibre of hockey.”
Trautman’s experience with Team Alberta was a definite benefit for the Chiefs.
“I my opinion Camille is the best goaltender at her age class in the province and we were 100 per cent behind her getting the opportunity to play for Alberta,” said Young. “It’s too bad Courtney got hurt, but it was good for Camille in that she got a lot of game experience which she was able to bring back here. It’s nice to know as a team and a coaching staff to have someone like here on our back end.”
Trautman attended three Team Alberta camps before being told she made the team in late September.
It’s her first time representing Alberta and she hopes it won’t be her last. In fact she has an excellent opportunity to compete for Alberta in the Canada Winter Games next season.
“I hope so,” she said. “I’ll have to compete against the other goalie (Vinet), but that’s fine.”
Trautman, who is in Grade 11 in Rimbey, also has one year remaining with the Chiefs before she can worry about attending a post-secondary institution.
“I’ve had a couple of schools contact me, but nothing definite yet,” she said. “I’m hoping to get a full scholarship to a Div 1 school in the States.”
Trautman, who is in her third season with the Chiefs, is one of the premier netminders in the Alberta Major Midget Female Hockey League, with an 8-4-2 record, a 1.64 goals-against-average and a .930 save percentage.
Her strong play is one of the reasons for the Chiefs good start to the season, as they’re second in the south with a 10-5-3 record, and a reason they’re invited to the prestigious Calgary Mac’s Christmas tournament.
“The team’s played well, even better than we expected at the beginning of the season,” said Young. “We knew we wouldn’t be at the bottom, but we thought we’d be in the middle of the pack early in the year. But it’s been nice to see the first-year players step up and to see some of the girls who were on the third line last year step right in and be leaders.
“The big thing is the kids have grasped our concepts and systems right away.”
Making the Mac’s tournament is a nice bonus, added Young.
“It’s big for the nine graduating girls,” he said. “I’ve scouted and been around the tournament before and the whole week is a real delight . . . a great experience.”
The Chiefs earned three of a possible six points during the weekend, tying the Chaos 4-4 in Calgary Friday, losing 2-0 to the division-leading Calgary Flyers at the Arena Saturday and beating the Bruins 2-1 in Calgary Sunday.
Alex Gustafson and Chelsea Peterson scored second-period goals against the Bruins while Trautman finished with 29 saves.
Trautman kept the game close Saturday, finishing with 30 saves while her teammates managed only 18 on the Flyers Kiera Olson.
On Friday Hayley Helland’s second goal of the game at 8:44 of the third period gave the Chiefs the tie. Rachael Hoppins and Jade Petrie added the other Red Deer goals while Trautman made 21 saves.