Keeping returns from nationals
Natalie Keeping of Bay Roberts continues to play at the highest levels of female hockey. She recently played for Team Atlantic at the Canadian under-18 tournament in Calgary, and scored a goal in her first game.
Another chapter in Natalie Keeping’s exceptional hockey odyssey has come to a close.
The Level III student at Ascension Collegiate in Bay Roberts recently returned from the 2013 national under-18 women’s championship in Calgary, held Nov. 610.
Keeping was a member of Team Atlantic, which finished with a record of one win and two losses during the preliminary round.
“It was a good experience,” she told the Compass.
Keeping, 17, was one of three players from Newfoundland and Labrador selected to the squad. The others were Amy Curlew of Goose Bay and St. Anthony’s Heather Richards.
Colin Carrol of Corner Brook is an assistant coach with the team.
Keeping played a myriad of roles during the four-day tournament, although lines were being juggled from one game to the next, she was happy with the way she played.
“I think my first game was my best game,” she said.
In that game, Team Atlantic played a tough Ontario Blue team. Keeping scored a goal in the contest, her only one of the tournament, in a hard fought 4-3 loss.
With just under 20 seconds gone in the third period, she wired a slapshot just over the shoulder of Ontario netminder Sarah McDonnell to give Atlantic a brief onegoal advantage. The tournament Team Atlantic finished in sixth place at the eight-team tournament.
Things did not get easier for the team in its second game. After Ontario Blue came the team from La Belle Province, with Team Quebec doubling Atlantic by a score of 4-2.
Keeping and her teammates got in the win column with a tight 4-3 victory over British Columbia.
With a record of 1-2, Atlantic played Manitoba in the tournament’s fifth place game.
Atlantic dropped the contest 20 to finish the tournament behind Manitoba in the standings.
Tournaments like the national under-18 championships can provide a positive experience for the players both on and off the ice.
Players get to bond off the ice with significant downtime between games in the early stages, while playing against the highest competition possible on the ice.
Keeping said she found the level of competition to be the highlight of her experience.
“It was exciting to get to play against players who made under18 Team Canada and playing against the best players in the country,” she said.
Bay Roberts resident Natalie Keeping recently returned from the 2013 Canadian female under-18 championships in Calgary.