Appearing in the USports Women's Hockey Championship is the icing on the cake of the five-year university hockey career of Cochrane's Kara Kondrat.

Kondrat is making her second appearance in the national tournament as a member of the USaskatchewan Huskies. The eighth-seeded Huskies are facing the number one ranked Concordia Stingers in a quarterfinal game tonight at 7 p.m. in Saskatoon.

Two years ago, they beat the odds and brought home a bronze medal in the national championship after finishing second in Canada West. It was the first for the university's female hockey program. She has faith her team can once again rise above expectations.

"I forget what we were ranked going in, but we're definitely again ranked as an underdog and we've proven teams wrong," says Kondrat. "I think that's what we've got to focus on going into this game. I honestly thing we should use that to our advantage because there's nothing to lose really coming into the tournament, sort of a why can't it be us kind of mojo?"

The 23-year-old 5'10" forward has had a storied hockey career, first in Cochrane Minor Hockey, then with the U18 AAA Rocky Mountain Raiders before signing with the Huskies. She finished the current regular season as the number two scorer on the Huskies with six goals and 13 assists in 30 games.

READ MORE: Kara Kondrat Awarded Mike Bigland Scholarship

Last night, the Huskies held its team banquet, and the speakers left a strong impression upon Kondrat.

"A lot of the ladies were saying honestly, your university hockey career offers some of the best moments of your life. It's just like crazy that it's coming to an end and that's what makes this national championship so special," she says.

"It's really big for me and I think it's huge for all of us, especially the vets in their fifth year on the team. I know I'm personally trying to take in every moment and taking it day-by-day so I can enjoy every aspect of it."

Should they win tonight, they'll face the winner of the St. Francis Xavier and Waterloo game. If not, they slip to the consolation side on Mar. 16.