By Tori Taylor, April 19 2020 —
Reflecting on the outstanding Dinos women’s hockey season may be a refreshing break from the steady stream of current news — add a little bit of sports normality to your daily reading. The Dinos had a fantastic year and improved by 39 points in their conference standings.
Looking at the season as a whole, there are a couple players that stand out. Dinos goalie Kelsey Roberts was awarded the well-deserved Canada West Player of the Year at the end of February by the conference — the top honor of awards to be given. She is the fifth University of Calgary player to receive this recognition. She follows behind Iya Gavrilova (2015, 2016) and Hayley Wickenheiser (2011,2013). This fourth year player has delivered game after game for 1,500 minutes. She has a goal-against average of 1.33 and a save-percentage of .948.
“I think the success I’ve had as an individual— and just as importantly as a team — can be attributed to the belief that we have in ourselves. When we are on the ice we aren’t playing with the fear of losing. Instead we play with a winning every night. We trust that everyone will do their job on the ice. This has for sure been a successful mindset for all of us,” said Roberts.
Roberts was at the top of her sport with 16 wins on the regular season. As well, she had an added four shut-outs which played a big role in her team’s 17-7-1-3 record. She traveled to Lake Placid, N.Y on Hockey Canada’s national team last summer as a part of a three-game series.
“I actually don’t like to think about the games too much. I try to distract myself through the day with school or going for walks — just to keep it light and avoid too much stress about an upcoming game. I normally have a solid pre-game nap. But as soon as I’m at the rink — that’s when I am ready. I have a few superstitions that I follow to get me focused. We try to joke around and keep things positive. It’s never too serious of a mood and that keeps me calm as I get into game mode,” said Roberts regarding her pre-game routine.
“Kelsey has been by far our most consistent player for the last two years, giving us a chance to win every night. She has learned what it takes to be successful on a regular basis by putting in the work on and off the ice, but the biggest improvement she has made is on her mental game. She controls her emotions and welcomes the challenges now. We’re excited to have her for one more year,” remarked Coach Danielle Goyette. Goyette also took home an award for Canada West Coach of the Year.
“As a team, I think we just really wanted to prove ourselves within our league. Our goal every night was to be the toughest team. We wanted to make sure it was never an easy game for the opposing team. I think we were extremely successful, in that regard. This came from both hard work on the ice and off. We had better mindsets, competed in practice, and pushed each other to be better every single day — whether it was a practice or a workout,” said Roberts. “A struggle that we overcame was when we lost two of our captains just a few weeks before the playoffs. They were key players all year and we were right in the middle of a race for the playoff bye. This forced everyone to step up and take on roles they weren’t used to. We excelled. We showed so much confidence in ourselves and each other. That was the real success this year.”
Roberts exhibited all the markers of a supportive and motivating team member. She pushed her team forward and kept attitudes positive on and off the ice. The Dinos have seen yet another exceptional athlete finish out her fourth season.