(FREDERICTON, NB) Kendra Woodland hopes to be representing her country in 2018, and knows she’ll be representing the UNB Varsity Reds.
The 17-year-old, from Kamloops, British Columbia, has signed a U SPORTS Letter of Intent and will join the Varsity Reds returning women’s hockey team in 2018-19.
Woodland is one of three goalies shortlisted by Hockey Canada for the team that will represent Canada at the U18 women’s world championship, in Russia, in January. The final roster will be announced next month.
“Kendra is an exceptional student-athlete who brings high-end talent to UNB,” said Varsity Reds head coach Sarah Hilworth. “We’re very excited that a player of Kendra's caliber has chosen to stay in Canada to continue to develop her skills as a goalie and to show her commitment to grow our league as a competitive choice for highly touted recruits in Canada.”
Woodland had been committed to the University of North Dakota until that program was cut earlier this year. She had other options, both in Canada and south of the border, but chose UNB.
“The school is everything I thought it would be and more,” said Woodland, of a recent recruiting visit. “It has a lot of character. When I first met Coach Hilworth, I knew I wanted to play for her because I really liked her as a person and her philosophies of the game, so that played a huge part in my decision. I'm really excited to be able to play for such a driven person.”
Woodland has played two seasons for the Thompson Zone Blazers, a male team in British Columbia’s Major Midget League.
She’s a member of BC’s under 18 team and will represent the province at the national women’s U18 championship tournament in Quebec City, in November.
Woodland was one of 42 players invited to Hockey Canada’s U18 Summer Showcase, from which she was one of three goalies selected to Team Canada for the recent Lake Placid Series. “I’m passionate about the game and my teammates,” she says. “Leadership and support is also a part of my role. Everyone has a role to play on the team and I enjoy leading by example on and off the ice.”
“Kendra brings a level of ability that will make us a competitive team starting day one,” said Hilworth. “Her experience with the national team program combined with her success with her provincial team on the national stage will set the tone in terms of our expectations as a program.”
“I feel beyond excited and honoured to have the opportunity to be part of the Varsity Reds and am really looking forward to playing there,” said Woodland. “I think it's a challenge to be new to the league, and with all the players new to the team and the school, there will be bumps in the road, but I'm confident that it's nothing our team as a whole won't be able to overcome.”
Woodland will complete her Grade 12 year at Kamloops’ Westsyde Secondary School before making the move across the country for next fall.