Meghan Agosta is a veteran in one career with Canada’s national women’s hockey team and has just completed her rookie season in another with the Vancouver Police Department.

Firepower and ice

A Surrey woman takes on Olympic hockey and Vancouver’s mean streets in a pair of equally demanding vocations: cop and elite athlete

After playing in three Winter Olympic Games with Canada’s national women’s hockey team, Meghan Agosta has found a new team to be a member of.

A nine-year veteran of international hockey, the 29-year-old put hockey on hold for one season to follow her other passion. This month, she is celebrating her first year as a member of the Vancouver Police Department (VPD).

“I call it a hobby, because I love it,” said Agosta of police work. “I knew policing was something I wanted to do since high school.”

Now that she has achieved her the goal of becoming a police officer, Agosta has to balance two careers – her full-time job with the VPD and her commitment to the Canadian national team. And although spare time is at a minimum, she is enjoying the challenge.

“It’s a tough go. My (hockey) teammates say they don’t know how I do it,” said Agosta, a Windsor native now living in Surrey. “But I know I can continue playing hockey at a high level. And the goal is another Olympics.”

Agosta is a perfect three-for-three in previous Olympic Games, as Canada won gold in 2006 in Turin, Italy, 2010 in Vancouver, and 2014 in Sochi, Russia. She also has two gold medals at the World Championships, to go with five silver medals.

She is best remembered for her performance in Vancouver, where she tallied nine goals and added six assists, earning the tournament MVP award.

“When I was here in 2010, I fell in love with the city and the people. My uncle has lived here for most of his life and my brother has been here for three years,” said Agosta, who moved to the Lower Mainland in 2014 and has been in Surrey for a year.

“It’s an amazing change, but I absolutely love it.”

It was hockey that brought Agosta west from Ontario and helped her get into policing. She played NCAA (National Colleges Athletic Association) hockey at Mercyhurt University in Erie, Pennsylvania, where she studied criminal justice. The 5’7” forward finished her four-year college career as the NCAA career leader in points (303) and goals (157).

After the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, a series of promotional events brought her to the Lower Mainland – and the VPD.

“After Sochi, everything fell into place,” she said. “It seemed all my events after Sochi were in Vancouver. I was here for the Heritage Classic (March, 2014), met a bunch of police officers, and I did a ride-along.

“And I played with the Centurions, the VPD hockey team.”

She then made the bold decision to put down roots in Metro Vancouver, which made pursuing a policing career much easier while making hockey much more difficult.

“The closest CWHL (Canadian Women’s Hockey League) team is Calgary,” Agosta said, explaining why the Calgary Inferno was not an option. “Then the Valley West Hawks (boys’ major midget team) welcomed me with open arms, helped me be my best. So I skated and practised with them.”

She also received the backing of both Hockey Canada and the Vancouver Police Department to combine hockey with policing.

“I went to Hockey Canada and said ‘this is my plan, this is my career.’ I asked if there was any way I could take a year off and I can’t thank them enough for the support they gave me,” Agosta said. “Then I went to the VPD and said I want to do one more Olympics, and they were so supportive.”

For the first time in two years, she played with Team Canada at the World Championships last month in nearby  Kamloops, capturing the silver medal after a 1-0 loss to the U.S.A. in the championship game. Agosta scored once and added an assist in five games, but had little time to be disappointed falling short of a gold medal.

“I had one day off then I was back to work with the VPD, back to real life,” she said. “I absolutely love the job, because every day is different. We deal with domestic disputes, assaults, frauds, suicides, and all of life’s problems.

“It’s crazy, it’s unbelievable, but I love it.”

 

▶ Agosta will host a pair of week-long hockey camps this summer. Her High Performance Hockey Academy will run July 4-8 and Aug. 29 – Sept. 2 at Burnaby’s 8-Rinks.

For more information, go to www.meghanagosta.com/hockey-school/

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