It was an eventful week for PA’s Strkyer Zablocki at the Women’s U18 National Championships in Dawson Creek, B.C.
Suiting up for Team Saskatchewan, Zablocki says the tournament was a very memorable experience.
“I got to spend lots of time with all my friends (that) I don’t get to see very often. The whole experience playing hockey there against the top talents in Canada was also very fun.”
Zablocki is no stranger to the national stage as she was invited to the National Women’s U18 selection camp earlier this year and competed at the Esso Cup with the Regina Rebels in Prince Albert earlier this year.
“The two experiences were very different.” Zablocki says, comparing the U18 Nationals to the Esso Cup. “In Esso, the caliber was a lot lower than Nationals, because Nationals grabbed from everyone in the province other than just your club teams. It was definitely a whole different pace, style and level of game.”
Saskatchewan would finish in fifth place, falling in their quarterfinal matchup with B.C. before defeating Ontario Blue in their final game of the tournament.
Zablocki says Saskatchewan featured a younger roster and showed well at the tournament.
“We placed better than we played last year. I wasn’t on the team, but last year they got one win, this year we got two so that kind of is starting somewhere. We had a young team and not a lot of the girls had been on team Sask before. It was super good considering how young we were.”
Zablocki, who is only 16 years old, will be eligible to play for Team Saskatchewan at the Women’s U18 Nationals next year as well. After getting a chance to play on the national stage, Zablocki says she wants to work on her game and improve on her performance from this year’s tournament, which saw her record six points in five games.
“A few goals I have for myself is starting by improving little by little, and I want to make a bigger impact next year on the team and become a person they can rely on a little bit more than this year. I think just improving, whether that’s on of off the ice as a person, that’s something I want to do.”
So far this season with the Regina Rebels in the SFU18AAAHL, Zablocki has posted 18 points, including nine goals in only eight games played.
“I definitely want to use momentum from Nationals and bring it into the season with the Rebels.” Zablocki says. “I hope that’s something I can do and keep building up my confidence and getting better as a team. I think we’re going to be pretty good again this year. I’m hoping that we can carry on our goals from last year and make it back to Esso.”