By Colin Gaumont
NAIT’s women’s hockey team is headed back to the playoffs. Ooks currently sit in third place with a 12-9-1 record. With 25 points on the season that puts them in a first round matchup with Red Deer College in the playoffs.
Captain Brittney Savard is very proud of what her team has accomplished so far.
“We are in a good position right now. We have clinched a playoff spot and these next few games are a toss up to see if we get home ice advantage right now,” said the 4th year Ook Savard.
“So far this season we have done pretty well. We have a pretty young team and it was a little bit of a struggle; obviously we didn’t get first place but we did really well as a team.”
The goal of winning a championship is always what any hockey player wants and Savard and her team are no different. After coming up short against MacEwan last year the team is hungry for more and ready to take that next step.
“We’ve had a couple bumps in the road and we didn’t finish first place but all that really matters is getting into playoffs,” said Savard.
“We have developed as a team throughout the season and I feel we are sitting pretty right now.”
There were many takeaways from the season that the team looks back on and can be proud of. However, there was one particular highlight that Captain Savard takes pride in.
“The biggest highlight as a team was sweeping MacEwan University,” said Savard.
“That was an awesome weekend for us. We came together as a team and found a way to win.”
Moving forward, Brittney Savard feels confident in her team and how the team has developed over the course of the year. She says staying focused will help them succeed in the playoffs.
“We have a very skilled and hardworking team and when we want to win, we can,” said Savard.
“It just comes down to focus for us and putting the puck in the net.”
With 8-3 record at home, having the support of the home crowd seems to be a factor in the teams success.
“It’s awesome when we have people come out and support us. We need more of it. When we had our Ooks Support Ooks game, when the athletes came and watched us, it was huge for us and we pulled out the win against Olds College. Having the home support is big for us”, said Savard.
An energy that Savard tries to reciprocate when the team is on the road.
“Again it comes down to focus, playing our game and it doesn’t matter where we are playing or against who. It matters [that we’re] focused on playing our own game,” said Savard.
Savard’s maturity and leadership shines through and she shows that no matter if you win or lose, there is always room for improvement.
“Focus is my main word for our team right now. Making sure we are dialed in,” said Savard.
“We’re taking every loss as a learning experience. See what we could do better in the game and practicing on those skills. When it comes to wins, just celebrate the little things and focus on what we did well and move forward from there.”
The women’s hockey team is getting ready for their first round playoff series against Red Deer. When asked if her team has what it takes to win it all, Captain Savard had only one word to say: “Absolutely.”