WINNIPEG — It’s hard for Keyona Tomiuk to put into words what her holiday plans are.
You have to excuse the 19-year-old though as the reality that she’ll be playing at the World Junior Ringette Championship still hasn’t completely sunken in.
“I thought representing Manitoba was the best thing ever,” said Tomiuk. “Now being able to go out there and represent Canada, it just means so much more.”
Tomiuk is one of four Manitobans who will wear the maple leaf at the international tournament in Finland.
“I just can’t wait to celebrate as Team Canada on the ice in Helsinki,” said Winnipegger Talia Gallant. “Just to have a blast out there.”
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Fun with those who are now something more than competition.
“You’re becoming friends with them instead of the enemies,” said Sam Renooy. “I guess that’s been the best part. Getting to know the girls and getting to play with them at a higher level.”
The four players will leave Winnipeg next week to meet up with the rest of Team Canada out in Europe. They’ll practice a few times ahead of their tournament opener on December 27 against the Czech Republic. The Canadians will play a total of six round robin games ending with a match against the favourites – Finland.
“We’ve watched so much game film on them that we know they’re going to be a tough team to beat,” said Tomiuk. “Especially knowing they’ve won a few championships before.”
The Manitobans know though anything is possible as long as they give it their best shot.
“Anything can beat anyone,” said goalie Ryann Bannerman. “We’re just going to bring our game and see what happens.”