Local Midget AA player will compete in national tournament

April 16, 2014   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart –  In her first season as a Midget AA player, Victoria Klimek has already set the bar in girl’s hockey.

On her coach’s recommendation, she skipped the Bantam Division and went right to Midget AA playing for the Stoney Creek Sabres as the youngest player on the team – and the top points earner for the 2013 / 2014 season.

As a right winger, Victoria scored 58 goals and had 44 assists.

Add that up and it’s and incredible 102 points for the season. She scored four goals in her first game with the Sabres.

The grade nine Westside Secondary School student will now compete with her team in the national Esso Cup Midget AA championship tournament.

It’s a long road to even get into this level of play with only six team in the country qualifying for the event.

“Our goal all season has been to win the Esso Cup,” Victoria said, adding “We’ve been training for a year. We started dry-land training in May and all through the summer.”

Her team, she said, gets along very well both on and off the ice, and she credits her linemates with being a cohesive unit that make the plays to set up scoring opportunities.

“Our line really gels together. We set each other up,” She said. “The team gets along so well. Playing at this level, it’s obviously faster – I’ve improved so much.”

Victoria got her start in hockey at age six after learning to skate without a hockey stick.

“I started figure skating but didn’t enjoy it. I saw my brother playing hockey and I wanted to play.”

Her talent on the ice was soon recognized and after playing at the Novice AA level, she was invited to play in the Atom AA Division in Brampton.

After moving to Oakville for Peewee AA for two years, her current coach Brian Cleary, thought she was ready to take it up and notch and suggested she skip the Bantam level and move right up to Midget.

“He thought Bantam would be too easy for me,” She said. “He thought I was ready for Midget.”

As a coach, Cleary obviously saw something in Victoria’s on-ice performance that made him believe she could compete at the higher level.

She made the transition to the to the Midget AA team with little effort despite playing with a squad who are all older than her.

It was a move that requires a lot of discipline.

The trip to Stoney Creek takes an hour and a-half each way with many practices not even getting started until 8 p.m.

As a hockey player, Victoria has defined her future goals in the sport – with the top goal being to play for Team Canada some day.

“I want to go to university in the States and play for a D1 school,” She said. “My long term goal is to play for Team Canada and go to the Olympics.”

The Esso Cup is a big deal in girl’s hockey.

Teams have to qualify through a series of tournaments to represent their region, which in this case is all of Ontario.

The Stoney Creek Sabres will be up against teams representing Atlantic Canada, Quebec, the West, and the Pacific region.

The Esso Cup gets underway on April 20, at the Gateway Ice Centre in Stoney Creek and runs through to the championship final on April 26.

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