(FREDERICTON, NB) The UNB Varsity Reds returning women’s hockey team continues to attract attention from across the country, and commitments from players.
Varsity Reds head coach Sarah Hilworth has received signed Letters of Offer from forwards Alayna Wagstaff, of Olds, Alberta, and Tamina Kehler, of Chilliwack, British Columbia.
Wagstaff is entering her Grade 12 year at Olds High School and is a member of the Midget AAA Rocky Mountain Raiders, of the Alberta Female Hockey League.
“I chose UNB because it’s what I’m looking for in a school,” said Wagstaff. “Coming from a small high school, where I know everyone, including the teachers, I wanted the same thing in a university.”
Last season, Wagstaff helped the Rocky Mountain Raiders win the gold medal at the prestigious Macs Midget AAA World Invitational and earn the silver medal in the AFHL’s Midget AAA division.
Previously, she’s been invited to Team Alberta’s U16 selection camp and was a member of the gold medal winning team at the 2014 Alberta Winter Games.
Coach Hilworth has witnessed Wagstaff’s hockey evolution up close.
“Working with Alayna for the past two years as a skills instructor, I have seen growth and maturity in her game,” said Hilworth. “She thinks the game at a high level and will be an asset from day one.”
Wagstaff looks forward to working with Hilworth.
“Knowing there will be strong coaching development made my decision easier,” she said. “Playing hockey in university has always been a goal of mine, and I’m excited to be part of a new program.”
Kehler is entering her Grade 12 year at Chilliwack's Highroad Academy.
She’s a member of the Pacific Steelers, of BC’s Junior Women’s Hockey League.
Kehler played on the Fraser Valley team that won the gold medal at the 2016 BC Winter Games. She was invited to Team BC’s U16 selection camp and, most recently, advanced to the top 25 in the selection process for Team BC’s U18 squad.
Prior to joining the Pacific Steelers, she played a single season with the Major Midget Fraser Valley Rush, where she led first year players in assists.
“I couldn't be more thankful for the opportunity UNB has given me to continue playing the sport I love,” said Kehler. “I’m beyond excited to work with their great coaching staff and be a part of the amazing vision they have for their program.”
“Tamina brings a skill set that will help us be successful from day one,” said Hilworth. “She’s not afraid to get to the net and is very good around the net.”
“Tamina has played against some of the top players in North America this past season, with the Pacific Steelers, and we anticipate that she will bring some of that experience next September.”
Kehler hasn’t decided on what she’ll study at UNB, but eventually wants to get into Law.
Wagstaff is considering Nursing or Kinesiology.
Both will join the Varsity Reds when they return to Atlantic University Sport in the 2018-19 season.