There might not be any medal hanging around her neck but local hockey player Wynona Creyke will treasure her visit to the recent National Aboriginal Hockey Championships.
“They are always a great experience. You meet so many new people and create memories you’ll cherish forever with your new family,” she said.
The B.C. squad came up a bit short in the bronze medal game which they lost to Saskatchewan 4-3. On the men’s side, B.C. took the gold over Saskatchewan 6-5.
Creyke, a member of the Tahltan Nation from Smithers, scored three goals and had six assists in the six games she played.
In her third appearance at the tournament, Creyke was well aware of the importance of her role as a veteran on the squad. “This was my third time and being a vet is something special. You’re a role model for the younger girls and someone they look up to. Being that person to the newcomers and younger girls was cool and made me feel proud,” she said.
“My advice to the young athletes is to keep working hard and never lose sight of your goals,” she added.
The contests were held in Membertou, in Cape Breton, N.S., about a four hour drive from Halifax.
“The food was so good and a great way to experience the Nova Scotia culture. I can’t tell you how many times I had fish and chips,” she said.
The tournament was about a week long and many of the players are still in high school so there was a concern about schoolwork being done during that time, but that concern was addressed.
“Our coaching staff and the tournament organizers care a lot about the athletes’ studies and they gave us set times for study hall to do homework,” said Creyke.
There will be no slowing down in the future for Creyke a she plans to attend the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology next year.
“I’ll be taking academic upgrading and playing for their female hockey team the NAIT Ooks,” she said.