Sami Jo Small and Cherie Piper came to Brandon on Monday with the goal of inspiring young local female hockey players through the Scotiabank Hockeyfest camp at Westman Place, and that’s exactly what they did.
Sienna Gudnason, an eight-year-old from Glenboro, came to the camp as a left-winger and goalie on her two hockey teams, but entered the camp as a goalie. She got to work one-on-one with Small — a goalie for the Canadian women’s team at three Olympic Games who helped them win two golds and one silver medal — and participated in drills and picked up tips on things like stretching.
Gudnason’s day was made even better at the end. After Small gave the 150 players in attendance a speech on the importance of being a good teammate, she drew Gudnason’s name from a bag to give her an Olympic jersey with Small’s name and number on the back. Small and Piper, who won three Olympic gold medals with Canada’s women’s hockey team, then signed the jersey.
It was a great day for Gudnason, who’s even more inspired to be a goalie now after meeting some hockey heroes.
"It was cool," she said while wearing her autographed jersey.
The Hockeyfest camp had on- and off-ice sessions for the participants. It’s the fourth straight year the event has been held in Brandon.
» Brandon Sun