Surrey’s Kiana Heska in net for Team B.C. during the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alberta.

RINGETTE: Surrey goaltender Kiana Heska the lone B.C. player on Canada’s junior national team

This fall, Guildford resident to play at 2019 World Ringette Championships in Burnaby

When the globe’s top ringette players converge in Burnaby for the 2019 World Ringette Championships this fall, Surrey’s Kiana Heska will be on “home” ice as the lone B.C.-based athlete on Canada’s junior national team.

Heska, a 19-year-old goaltender and lifelong Guildford-area resident, was named to the 22-woman squad late last month, following a five-day selection camp in Ottawa.

“We are very excited to ice such a strong and powerful group of young athletes for this team,” Lorrie Horne, head coach of Ringette Canada’s junior national team, said in a release.

“This is a diverse group of young Canadians, from seven provinces, who are ready to prepare themselves in their pursuit of a world championship.”

It’s expected that six International Ringette Federation member countries will compete at the world championships, including Canada, Finland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Sweden and the U.S. Following the last event in Mississauga, Canada holds the junior world title, and Finland holds the senior world title.

• RELATED STORY: Surrey White Rock Ringette Association ‘excited’ about world championships coming to Lower Mainland.

In Burnaby, Heska and the others will battle for the world championship from Nov. 25 to 30, following a pair of training camps – first in Sherwood Park at the end of August and then in Burnaby in mid-October.

Heska is among three goaltenders on Canada’s junior national team.

“It’s heartwarming and humbling to know that I’ll get to represent my country,” Heska told the Now-Leader this week.

“Just getting the invitation (to the selection camp) was exciting news,” she added, “and then to go there and find out I made the team, it was even more exciting. I wasn’t going in expecting anything, I just went there to do my best, let the cards fall and let the coaches make the decision.”

Last season Heska dressed as a backup for BC Thunder, a National Ringette League team that plays the majority of its home games in Richmond, and she aims to return to the Thunder roster this fall.

In February, she wore Team B.C. colours during the Canada Winter Games tournament in Red Deer, and was in net for the squad’s 6-4 loss to Team Manitoba in the bronze-medal game.

Heska, a Guildford Park Secondary grad, has played ringette since age seven.

“I played both (ringette and hockey) for a long time, then switched to hockey for a couple years, only hockey, and then I went back to ringette only after that, about two years ago,” she explained.

She didn’t start out as a goaltender.

“I had to play player growing up, because my parents wanted me to learn to skate first, and I begged and pleaded them (to play goaltender) until they finally said yes,” Heska said with a laugh. “I always thought it was just a cool spot to be, and it looked fun to make the big saves.”

In a bio posted to Ringette B.C.’s Canada Winter Games page, Heska says her off-ice hobbies include training dogs in agility, teaching kids skating, reffing hockey, walking on the beach and having campfires.

“I am also attending Douglas College with the intention to pursue a career in either teaching or counselling,” she posted, before quoting former Canucks goaltender Roberto Luongo: “I don’t fear stopping a 100 mph slap shot. I fear not stopping it.”

Heska said she’s eager to represent Canada – and B.C. – at the world championships in Burnaby.

“The tournament is just 15 minutes from home,” she noted. “It’d be cool to travel to Europe or somewhere to play, but it’s really cool to have the event so close to home, too.”

Asked if she’d like to add anything about herself, Heska offered this in an email.

“If it wasn’t for all my coaches, family and friends’ support over the years in all the sports I played, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I’d like to express my appreciation and thank them for everything they’ve done for me.”

In addition to Heska, the other athletes on Canada’s junior national ringette team are Emilie Cunial (from Beaconsfield, QC), Marie-Ève Dubé (Blainville, QC), Lydia Duncan (Mitchell, ON), Mégane Fortin (Blainville, QC), Meghan Hanton-Fong (Waterloo, ON), Taylor Hildebrand (Oak Bluff, MB), Emma Kelly (Nepean, ON), Grace MacKenzie (Stillwater Lake, NS), Maddie MacLean (St. Jacobs, ON), Jasmine Ménard (Gatineau, QC), Jasmina Morroni (Blainville, QC), Sara Plouffe (Gatineau, QC), Emily Power (Mississauga, ON), Ariane Sagala (Notre-Dame-De-L’Île-Perrot, QC), Ann Sauve (Strathmore, AB), Torrie Shennan (Edmonton, AB), Britney Snowdon (Moncton, NB), Laura Soper (Mississauga, ON), Brett Van Nieuw Amerongen (La Salle, MB), Julie Vandal (Gatineau, QC) and Marla Wheeler (Dalemead, AB).



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

Like us on Facebook Follow us on Instagram and follow Tom on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Surrey’s Kiana Heska in net for Team B.C. during the 2019 Canada Winter Games in Red Deer, Alberta.

Kiana Heska. (Photo: Ringette Canada)

Just Posted

VIDEO: Body found after ‘suspicious’ fire near Langley/Surrey border

No cause of death announced; investigation continues, say RCMP

Clothing donation bins in Surrey are crucial for hospital auxiliary

Program is the organization’s only source of income not greatly affected by pandemic

COLUMN: Me to We Scandal – Should Teachers Be Recruiters?

Classrooms must be centres for education, not indoctrination

Surrey council gives nod to office tower at southeast corner of Central City mall

The 25-storey office tower is proposed for 10045 King George Boulevard

Study suggests 8 times more people in B.C. infected with virus than confirmed

The study looked at anonymous blood samples collected for reasons unrelated to COVID-19

‘We’re not busting ghosts’: Northern B.C. paranormal investigators check out bistro

Paranormal North Coast British Columbia recently checked out PF Bistro at City Centre Mall.

Russian hackers seeking to steal COVID-19 vaccine data: intel agencies

It is believed APT29, also known as ‘the Dukes’ or ‘Cozy Bear’ was responsible

Twitter racing to unravel mystery cyberattack

Some of the world’s most prominent names had their Twitter accounts post invitations for an apparent Bitcoin scam

B.C. announces funding to support post-secondary students with disabilities

The province is investing $275,000 in the new BCcampus website

Tough time for tree fruits as some B.C. farm products soar

Province reports record 2019 sales, largely due to cannabis

Abbotsford woman starts petition to have B.C. government help with IVF costs

Jennifer Kuiken says cost of in vitro fertilization is too high for most people

‘Let’s all do a self-check’: Okanagan mayor reacts to racist vandalism targeting local family

Home of Indo-Canadian family in Summerland was targeted on evening of July 13

Province agrees to multimillion-dollar payout for alleged victims of Kelowna social worker

Robert Riley Saunders is accused of misappropriating funds of children — often Indigenous — in his care

Most Read