Zablocki enjoying hometown Esso Cup experience

Prince Albert Northern Bears vs Regina Rebels during the 2023 Esso Cup in Prince Albert, SK (Photo by Mark Peterson/Hockey Canada)

It’s not often you get the opportunity to compete for a national championship in your hometown, but Stryker Zablocki is enjoying every second of it playing for the Regina Rebels.

She says she has enjoyed every moment of the tournament so far.

“It’s very special. It’s definitely not something you experience every day and I think it’s been super fun for me and my whole team, especially for me because it’s my hometown and everything.”

Zablocki currently sits eighth in tournament scoring with three goals and one assist in Regina’s first four games of the tournament. That includes a goal and an assist in Regina’s 3-1 win over Quebec in the tournament opener.

Although Zablocki did not score in Wednesday night’s game against the Prince Albert Northern Bears, she says the atmosphere of the crowd at the Art Hauser Centre was something she will remember for life.

“It was crazy. The cheering was wild. Like everywhere you went, there was people cheering and banging on the glass and it was pretty special as well.”

As of Thursday morning, Regina has posted a record of 2-2 at the 2023 Esso Cup putting themselves in a good situation to qualify for the semifinals. They sit third behind the undefeated Stoney Creek Sabres from Ontario, and the 3-2 Fraser Valley Rush from B.C.

Despite having just finished her Grade 10 year, Zablocki is one of several players already getting attention in the national spotlight the tournament provides. She says having the extra exposure is nice, but not something she is super concerned with at the moment.

“For my age anyways, they can’t reach out for a bit longer, so I’m not really sure where that stands, but I think it was good for the ‘07s, especially on my team because we’re rookies and I think it’s a little extra exposure.”

@nathanreiter14 •