Kendra Woodland will get a chance to wear the maple leaf... again.
The 19-year-old goaltender, a member of the UNB Reds women’s hockey team, has been named to the national women’s development team.
“It is indescribable,” said Woodland. “I know it sounds cliché, but there really are no words to describe the feeling it gives you to know that you are representing the whole country. I’m beyond honoured to be a part of this team.”
Woodland is one of 23 players selected by Hockey Canada.
The team will participate in a three-game series against the United States, in Lake Placid, New York, August 14-17.
Previously, Woodland represented Canada at the World U18 Women's Championship, in Russia, earning a bronze medal.
In Lake Placid, the development team will be coached by Maritimer Troy Ryan, from Spryfield, Nova Scotia.
“Troy will work with our players and evaluate their development so they have a chance to compete for spots in the lead-up to the 2022 Olympic Winter Games and beyond,” said Gina Kingsbury, Hockey Canada’s director of national women’s teams.
Woodland is one of three goalies chosen for the team, the only player from Atlantic University Sport on the roster, and one of just four U SPORTS players selected.
“I believe that we have incredible players and people in our league and it’s exciting to see the recognition, through Kendra’s selection,” said Sarah Hilworth, head coach of UNB’s women’s hockey team. “For our program, being able to help a player achieve one of her goals shows how we can prepare players to play and compete at the next level. I hope that we can continue to build a program that produces players that Hockey Canada recognizes and follows. I believe we have players here now that, with hard work, can stand out and potentially get there. I also believe with Kendra there now, that student-athletes going through the recruiting process will recognize the effort that we put in, and will want to choose UNB for their education.”
Hilworth feels Hockey Canada has recognized Woodland’s talent, work ethic and commitment to details.
“Kendra is a competitor,” she said. “She never lets her opponent out-work her, and is focused on completing each save and each rep to her fullest. I saw that all season from her, and I know that’s what Hockey Canada saw from her too.”
“Everyone has a role on the team and everyone has a different strength,” said Woodland. “Whether I’m in the net, on the bench, or in the stands, I still get to be a part of representing the most amazing country alongside the lifelong friends that I’ve made so far.”
In the 2018-19 season, Woodland posted a 9-12 record, a 1.76 goals against average and a .945 save percentage, earning AUS Rookie of the Year honours.
“My first season with the Reds was one to remember,” said Woodland. “I discovered who I really was. I’d never spent much time away from home and my family, so figuring out how to be on my own, on and off the ice, was big.”
The next ‘big’ thing for Woodland is the Lake Placid series.
Game one is scheduled for Wednesday, at 8:00pm Atlantic time.
She’ll return to Fredericton later this month, as the Reds women’s team opens training camp on Sunday, August 31st.