Skip to content

Bound for Halifax

Hannah Mousek is ready to embark on the biggest challenge of her young hockey career ñ and couldn't be any more excited about it.
Hannah Mousek is off to the Canada Winter Games in Halifax.
Hannah Mousek is off to the Canada Winter Games in Halifax.

Hannah Mousek is ready to embark on the biggest challenge of her young hockey career ñ and couldn't be any more excited about it.

As a member of the Alberta women's hockey team that will take part in the Canada Winter Games in Halifax starting later this week, the 16-year-old defenceman is eager to see how she measures up against the best female hockey players in her age group that this country has to offer and reinforce why she was selected to wear the blue and white of Alberta.

ìOur team is mostly based around speed and I worked really hard in the top 46 camp and I think they noticed that,î Mousek explained. ìI think that I'm a decently fast skater and I usually make the right plays Ö I like to think so anyways.î

Now in her second year as a member of the Red Deer AAA Sutter Fund Chiefs, Mousek honed her skating and skills on the ice sheets of Sundre and Olds before moving on to the highest run of female hockey in the province. In addition she's been an avid participant in provincial age group camps that have helped her develop her overall game even further.

It's all led to the opportunity that begins later this week when the Alberta team hits the ice for their first of four round-robin games.

ìWe look like we're going to be really good so obviously we're hoping to medal,î Mousek said of expectations. ìObviously I'm there for a reason so I plan on just utilizing my skills there and doing my best to represent Alberta.î

Making the thrill of landing on the provincial team even greater is the fact she'll be able to play in front of her extended family despite having to wing all the way across country.

ìI'm looking forward to the plane ride and my family is actually from Halifax, so that'll be good,î Mousek smiled.

A self-described ëtomboy', Mousek uses her speed and hockey sense to her advantage. And while she's not the biggest player on the ice, she likes to jump into the play and always looks for an opportunity to go on the offensive.

It's a role she's excelled at with the Chiefs this season. In 30 games during the regular season she had 11 goals and six assists to go along with a solid performance at the Mac's Midget Tournament in Calgary.

So far in the playoffs, the Chiefs hold a 2-1 series advantage over the Calgary Flyers in their best of five series. The team sports three girls from Olds this year with Krista Wilson and Rikki Leonard joining Mousek on the top team in the south division of the Alberta Major Midget Female Hockey League.

Mousek also will have a teammate from Red Deer on the team Alberta defence corps. Innisfail's Taryn Baumgart will also be taking the trip to Halifax to represent the Wildrose country.

While missing her club team's playoff run for just over a week will be tough, Mousek expects she'll still have an opportunity to play upon returning.

ìOur team's great and I definitely think we could win it all if we want to,î she suggested. ìWe're really good at playing like a team because we don't have a lot of all-stars or anything like that.î

One person who won't be there but is never far from Mousek's mind is Alysha Aubin, a friend who died of an incurable disease and someone the young hockey player listed as her personal role model on her Canada Games bio.

ìI didn't talk to her a lot because she was one year older than me but she was definitely an amazing person and always having fun,î Mousek recalled. ìShe never got upset with the fact that her life would end soon. She was so positive and that's what I'm working on now.î

Another area that the Grade 11 student at Olds High School has to keep in mind is her schoolwork. Juggling club hockey, provincial tryouts, personal time, other interest and schoolwork is something she's adjusting to.

ìIt's hard and I just try to stay on top of it and I get extra help. I just try to do what I can do which is always my mindset,î Mousek explained.

The goal of landing a college scholarship, possibly to an NCAA school in the United States is something she's aiming for, thus the need to focus on her studies.

ìThat's what I hope to do.î

Alberta will open the tournament on Sunday against British Columbia and will also face Newfoundland and Labrador, Saskatchewan and Ontario in the round robin. The medal games are Feb. 26.