Five Cochrane female hockey players have been selected, including two goaltenders, to play on three different south teams competing in the Alberta Challenge in Leduc, May 1-5.

Goaltender Kaylee McKay will be playing for the South White team while Sarah Kerr will be between the pipes for the South Black team. Defender Anjali Simms and forwards Mikayla Blomquist and Alyssa McCasey will be playing for South Green, which also includes Cochrane's Darcy Wasylik as director of operations.

Cochrane hosted one of the two three-day regional camps, Apr. 5 to 7, attracting many top bantam female players here for a shot at cracking the roster of the three southern Alberta teams participating in the Alberta Challenge. Other Cochrane participants included Alyssa McCasey, Rowan Bremner and Bella Fauth.

Goalie Sarah Kerr, 14, is one of the Cochrane players thrilled to make a team.

"It's been what I've been working for this whole year and I'm really excited to have made the team."

"It was a great experience. There was a lot of hockey talent and it was great to be challenged like that."

Kerr has been playing hockey since Timbits and nets is a position she has always enjoyed.

"I don't imagine how I'd feel about hockey without being goalie."

In the 2018-19 season, she played for the Rockyview Lightning in the Rocky Mountain Female Hockey League. In 20 regular season games, she posted a 2.95 GAA. In her four playoff games, it was even lower; 2.75.

The Cochrane High student will now continue to prepare for the tournament and is part of the P3 hockey program. 

"I do a lot of sports with school and I'm in P3 so that will help me stay in shape until then and be mentally and physically prepared."

The Alberta Challenge is the top Bantam female hockey tournament in Alberta, featuring 120 players on six teams who might continue to play for various elite teams for years to come. The tournament also serves as a major step in Hockey Alberta’s Alberta Built Program of Excellence for players, coaches, officials and support staff.

There was also a regional camp hosted by Fort Saskatchewan the same weekend.

"It was very exciting to see the talent level displayed at each of the regional camps over the weekend," says Taryn Baumgardt, Hockey Alberta’s female hockey coordinator. "And now with the rosters in place, we are looking forward to watching these athletes show their skills at the competition in Leduc."

The Alberta Challenge is a four-day, tournament-format competition. Round-robin action begins on Thursday, May 2 with three games. There are six games on Friday and three on Saturday, with finals set for Sunday.

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