On November 6, Kylee Kupper will be in Saguenay, Quebec to play in the National Women’s Under 18 Hockey Championships and she couldn’t be more proud!
Fifteen year old Kylee recalls when she heard she had made Team Saskatchewan, “Barret Kropf the head coach phoned me and told me I had been chosen as a member of Team Saskatchewan. I was very happy I received the call. I worked really hard to get there.”
To make Team Saskatchewan, Kylee attended a number of camps with a new goal to reach at each one.
The first was the Zone camp in Maple Creek in November of 2010. An injury just days before the camp, threatened Kylee’s chances at camp. “Three days before zone camp in November 2010, I broke my hand.” Kylee competed at Zone camp with a cast covered by a hockey glove. “ I was most focused on getting through the camp and doing what I could with my injury.”
“When I received the call saying I had made my zone team I placed my goal a little bit higher.” said Kylee.
The next goal for her was to be chosen to compete in the Top 80 camp in Wilcox in July of 2011 and once she attained that - to reach the Top 30 camp.
Kylee was invited to the Top 30 camp, which was the last stop before making the roster for Team Saskatchewan. “While I was at the Mandi Schwartz Challenge in Regina, which was top 30 for Team Saskatchewan I really focused on playing my best because it was my tryout for the 2011 Team Saskatchewan team. Once I found out I would be attending the U-18 Canadian Women’s Nationals in Quebec I had never been so happy and proud of myself for setting my goal and achieving it.”
This is the first time that Kylee will play for Team Saskatchewan, but not the first experience on the Zone team. “I have been on my zone team for two years. My highlight is beating Team Southeast (Zone 1) 8-2 in the gold medal game at the Saskatchewan Winter Games in 2010 in Moose Jaw.” said Kylee.
Kylee is excited to play in Quebec with Team Saskatchewan. I know almost all of the girls on the team. I have played with a number of them throughout different SHA events. I have also played against a bunch of them, I am ex-teammates with a few and currently I am teammates with one.”
“I am very very excited to represent team Saskatchewan in 2 weeks at the U-18 Canadian Women’s Nationals!”
Kylee’s mom Cheryl, dad Curtis and younger brother Austin are planning to travel to Quebec to watch her compete. Tyren, Kylee’s older brother is unable to attend.
The road to nationals began many years ago when Kylee first strapped on hockey skates in the Coronach Sportsplex at the tender age of three. “I played 10 years in Coronach with the Broncos. My highlight was being able to play with my cousins and a couple games with my big brother, Tyren.” said Kylee.
Although she has spent the last two hockey seasons living and playing girls hockey in Weyburn, Kupper credits her hockey days in Coronach with much of her success. “Playing boys hockey in Coronach has made me a more aggressive player and has helped me to have the drive to be the best that I can be.”
After two seasons in Weyburn, Kylee has moved to Wilcox to play for the Notre Dame AAA Female Hounds for the 2011-12 season. She talked about her time in Weyburn. “ I played 2 years with the Midget AAA Weyburn Goldwings. I moved when I was 13 to play as an underage. My highlight in Weyburn was training every day and having the opportunity to play in Hamilton, Ontario and St. Paul, Minnesota.”
After two seasons in Weyburn, Kylee felt she was ready for a move.
“I really liked the girls on the Goldwing’s in Weyburn and my billet was amazing, but I didn’t feel I was given the opportunity to show my skills. So I was looking for another opportunity to play elite hockey and be given the chance to show my hockey abilities.”
Kylee made the decision to move to Notre Dame to play for the Hounds, but Weyburn objected. Kylee received a “Contested Release” from the Weyburn club. She explained. “My decision to come to Notre Dame came with some conditions. The release I received from Weyburn was a “Contested release” which says I am suspended for the first five league games and am unable to play against Weyburn throughout the season. I have already sat out three games and still have two more to go. It is very frustrating having to sit out and watch my team play because all I want to do is play hockey. I am very excited for this coming Friday as I will finally be able to play.” As well, Notre Dame Coach Janice Rumpel was also suspended for a number of games.
Kylee is enjoying her time so far at Notre Dame. “I really do like it here at Notre Dame, not only does it give me the opportunity to play elite hockey but I am also able to play other sports. This fall I am playing soccer along with hockey. Our soccer team finished first in our league, we are in the City Final on September 24th, we recently won gold at regionals and we have qualified for provincials.”
- My hockey team has only played three league games and we are 2-1. We have a lot of speed on our team and we have girls from all over Canada. I have been given the opportunity O was looking for as I am playing second line with two girls from British Columbia, power play and penalty kill. Janice Rumpel is a great coach and she helps us as individuals and as a team reach our potential and even go beyond.”
Kylee traveled with the Notre Dame AAA Hounds to Ottawa in September to play in a tournament.
“It was a great tournament with lots of NCAA Div. I, Div. III, as well as CSI College Hockey Scouts. We placed third out of around 20 teams.”
Keep your eye on the Triangle News for reports on Kylee’s experience in Quebec as well as her year with the Notre Dame Hounds.