Sarah Wozniewicz is returning from the Canada Winter Games with many fond memories and a golden keepsake around her neck.
Team Alberta's women's hockey rose from a 1-2 record in the preliminary round to become unbeatable in the playoff rounds. On Saturday they put the icing on the cake with a 2-1 win over Quebec in the gold medal game.
Alberta took a 1-0 lead in the first and Jaden Bogden netted the eventual winner at the 12-minute mark of the second from Danielle Serdachny. Quebec pushed for one on a powerplay two minutes later but the rest of the end-to-end game remained scoreless.
Cochrane's Wozniewicz was Alberta's top scorer in the tournament with four goals and an assist including a vital overtime goal to upset British Columbia and advance to the final.
"It was awesome. Our whole team came out and there were a lot of fans there. My parents were going crazy, so it was fun."
Nice as it was to net this winner, she was most impressed with how they came together as a team to make it a golden experience.
"Every game we learned from it and used it to take a step forward and looked at the bright side of things," says Wozniewicz. "We knew from the start we all had to play as 20 and not as individuals to get to where we wanted to be."
"Its all about the team and everybody doing what they can to get the team on top."
She says this is the highest calibre hockey she has experienced so far and was impressed with all of the teams.
"It was just a great experience and I'm honoured to have had a chance to do it because I know many kids don't get this opportunity."
Wozniewicz, 15, is in her first year of midgets and plays for the Edge School. She started playing hockey at age 6 in the Timbits program here in Cochrane. Her most recent accomplishments include being part of the gold medal team in the 2018 Alberta Winter Games and the second place team in the 2017 Alberta Challenge.