Hockey player Meghan Agosta in Team Canada colours in 2018. (File photo)

HOCKEY

Surrey’s Meghan Agosta to play in Elite Women’s 3-on-3 game at NHL All-Star weekend

‘What an amazing honour and privilege it is to be heading to St. Louis,’ Agosta says

** This story has been updated with an interview

Four-time Olympic medalist Meghan Agosta is among 20 women invited to play hockey during NHL All-Star Game festivities in St. Louis.

The South Surrey resident, a constable with Vancouver Police Department, has been chosen to play in an Elite Women’s 3-on-3 game on Friday, Jan. 24, in a battle between Canada and the U.S.

“What an amazing honour and privilege it is to be heading to St. Louis for the NHL All-Star Weekend,” Agosta posted to her Instagram account late Wednesday. “What a great way to continue growing the game and paving the way for the younger generations.”

The Elite Women’s game, a new addition to the league’s all-star festivities, will be played during the weekend’s skills competition, with 10 players per team.

Agosta, a forward, said an email inviting her to play in the game arrived a couple of weeks ago. “I read it and read it again, and I was a bit shocked but also super excited and very honoured,” she said on Thursday (Jan. 16).

“To part of something so special, with the NHL hopping aboard and helping to grow the women’s game, it’s an amazing opportunity,” she added. “Something like this, it’s really about growing the game and giving the younger generation of girls coming up more opportunities in the future.”

On a Canadian team roster posted to nhl.com, Agosta’s hometown is listed as Ruthven, Ont.

CLICK HERE to see the full team rosters.

“It’ll be a skills competition,” she said of the three-on-three game, “and you can see that in the way the guys play at the All-Star Game, and that’s what it’ll be for me – to have fun, go out there and enjoy every single moment and play the game we love to play.

“It’s a honour to represent your country at a world championships and at the Olympic Games, and this will be no different,” Agosta added. “I mean, it will probably be a bit of a battle but it’ll be fun too, to be able to go out there and showcase just how great women are playing the game.”

In St. Louis, Agosta will be reunited with Team Canada ‘mates from the 2018 Winter Olympic Games in South Korea, where the Canadians won the silver medal in a shootout loss to the Americans.

• READ MORE: Surrey’s Meghan Agosta had puck on her stick when Canada scored silver medal.

In a post-Games interview in 2018, Agosta said she embraced the “unbelievable journey” she went on with her teammates for more than a year leading to the Olympics, for which she took a leave of absence from her job with the VPD.

“The overall experience was amazing,” Agosta said at the time, “but for sure, this was probably the hardest defeat I’ve ever been a part of, by far, and again, just because how hard we worked.”

Last January, Agosta was among guest speakers at the inaugural Surrey edition of Canadian Tire Wickenheiser World Female Hockey Festival, better known as Wickfest. This year, the tournament will return to Surrey from Jan. 30 to Feb. 2, at the new North Surrey Sport & Ice Complex.

• RELATED STORY: New Wickfest hockey event in Surrey welcomes 800 girls for more than just games.

READ MORE: ‘It’s exciting’: North Delta’s Jarry to play in NHL All-Star Game.

Agosta, who will turn 33 on Feb. 12, has been a member of the Canadian women’s national hockey team since 2004. She has played in four Olympic Winter Games, winning gold at Turin 2006, Vancouver 2010 and Sochi 2014. Her bio is posted to meghanagosta.ca.

Off the ice and away from police work, Agosta and her husband, VPD sergeant Jason Robillard, are raising three kids at their home in the Morgan Crossing area of Surrey, including a daughter, Chance, born six weeks prematurely in November of 2018.

“She’s 100 per cent healthy now,” Agosta reported. “She was in nicu (newborn intensive care unit) for three weeks but she’s a resilient little thing, and she’s my inspiration every day, to just be the best parent to her and also my two step-boys.”

Added Agosta: “I know that as soon as Chance can walk, she’s gonna be on skates, and I hope that she can follow me in my footsteps and have the same opportunities I’ve had playing this amazing sport.”



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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