Last year’s version of the SAIT Trojans women’s hockey team didn’t quite go as planned but this year their plans are sky-high.
“The season wasn’t as good as we had hoped,” said Bret Howe, 24-year-old winger in her final year of eligibility.
With a new year comes a new set of goals, and the Trojans aspirations are to win the ACAC.
“We don’t have a lot of returnees this year, only seven or eight.
“We’re all looking forward to this year, it’s a great group of girls and keeping optimistic is integral,” said Howe.
Having only four teams in their league presents mental hurdles for the women’s team.
“It’s tough only playing three teams.
“Every week presents a new challenge for us, and last year we just didn’t quite have the mental toughness throughout the year,” said Howe.
Howe noted a few key improvements that need to be made and issues that need to be eradicated for the Trojans to get back to their winning ways.
“We need to gel better as a team and be 100 per cent focused at all times.
“There were times last year where we had lulls in our concentration,” she said.
This year’s version of the Trojans has eight returning players.
“A lot of turnover this year, which can present many challenges as there’s a lot for the rookies to learn in a short amount of time.
“We have a great set of rookies this year and girls that want to be here who are committed to winning,” said Howe.
The coaching staff of Terry Larson and Tim Fast returns for another year behind the bench.
“Tim and Terry have done a tremendous job learning how to deal with all the girls.
“They’ve grown a lot,” said Howe.
The Trojans also welcome a new addition to their staff, Annette Jensen, who will work primarily with the defence core.
“It’s awesome to have a new set of eyes and voice.
“It’s hard for Tim and Terry to manage the bench when it’s just the two of them,” she said.
Being a hockey player in college presents many time constraints, which can make school work difficult to accomplish, but Howe still has many goals for herself.
“I’d like to attain a 4.0 GPA, be on the first or second all-star team, score as many points as I can and keep positive.”
Howe has many memories in her early days as a hockey player, especially when she made the University of Calgary Dinos.
“We have a great set of rookies this year and girls that want to be here who are committed to winning.” – Bret Howe
“I was very proud of the accomplishment, especially being a fresh-faced teenager.”
Her parents are her biggest inspiration, as her father was a professional water-skier.
Howe was married over the summer, and her husband is there for her every step of the way.
“He helps me work on my game, improvements that I can make, and we go over every game together.”
Click here for the Trojans women’s schedule.