The 16-year-old Liverpool Regional High School student, who’s been playing hockey for 10 years, has gotten some good news recently. She not only made the Atlantic Challenge Cup team for her fourth time, she also made the Metro Boston Pizza – a Nova Scotia female Midget Triple-A team.
Kristen tried out for the Atlantic Challenge Cup team in the spring by doing a five-day identification camp. This took place at St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, says Kristen.
Making that team means Kristen will head to Moncton, N.B. for a weekend-long tournament Oct. 5 to 8.
“So this would be the best players from under 17 from each respective province,” says Trent Gordon, Kristen’s father.
Trent says there were more than 100 young women at the spring identification camp. The number then went down to 46 and finally to 20 for the Moncton tournament.
During the camps, players stay in the university’s residence and only see their parents for 10 to 15 minutes a day.
Teams from New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland will also be participating in the tournament.
“It’s fast, really competitive. You’ve got to be ready to play,” says Kristen.
The team will play at least four games throughout the weekend.
In Moncton, things will be similar to how they were at training camp. Kristen’s parents will drop her off at the rink on Oct. 5. She’ll stay at the hotel with her team, and players will get bused to the rink for games.
Trent says part of the way players get noticed is by going to tournaments like these.
“Usually really happy to be there. Usually just can’t wait to get on the ice and play.”
That’s generally how Kristen feels before a game. She admits she sometimes feels nervous, too.
“Nervous until after the first shift, and then you just kind of get in the flow of things,” she says.
Last year, Kristen didn’t just play hockey. She played on other teams in high school including basketball and volleyball. This year, because she’ll be travelling between Liverpool and Bedford two nights a week to play with the Triple-A team, she’s taking a step back.
When the bell signals the end of the school day at 2:30 p.m., Kristen will head to Bedford Tuesdays and Thursdays and won’t be home until about 9:30 p.m.
Trent says he and his wife will split the practices and games they take Kristen to.
“There definitely has to be some commitment from everybody (in the family) for her to be able to do this,” he adds.
As for a short-term hockey goal, Kristen says she’d like to get stronger and says she would do this by working out more and staying in shape. Becoming stronger, she adds, will help her be faster on the ice.
Kristen has longer-term goals as well. She would like one day to play for Team Canada or at least be invited to try out.
Before that, though, Kristen would like to play university hockey. Where that might be, Kristen says she’s still uncertain. She has been thinking about St. Francis Xavier, and she’s also played with the idea of going to school in the United States.