CZECH REPUBLIC - It didn’t take long for Kentville native Brett Pettet to make her presence known at the IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship in Zlin, Czech Republic.
Pettet, one of 23 athletes selected for Team Canada’s roster, proved to be a leading offensive force on the national squad early in the world championship tournament. The right-shooting forward scored in the opening 5-1 win over Sweden Jan. 7, and recorded both a goal and assist in the 4-2 victory against Russia Jan. 8.
The 18-year-old added two more assists in Canada’s 6-2 trouncing of Sweden Jan. 13.
“It was a great feeling. That’s what we work toward every day stepping on the ice for practice before school or working out after school. It’s all for those moments,” said Pettet, who was quick to praise her teammates for creating great offensive opportunities.
“A lot of credit goes to my linemates and my teammates.”
The tournament came to a close with an intense battle for gold between Canada and the United States Jan. 14.
“It’s what you train for and what you look forward to every time you step on the ice and it’s always fun to play the U.S. The rivalry is exciting, pretty thrilling,” said Pettet.
It was especially exciting for Pettet, who plays on the same team as several of the American players throughout the school year as a student-athlete with the Shattuck-St. Mary’s boarding school in Minnesota.
“It’s always a lot of fun to play against them and we both had a lot of support from our fans that came to Czech Republic,” said Pettet.
The pace was fast, the shifts were demanding and every play counted.
“Every time you stepped on the ice you wanted to do your absolute best,” said Pettet.
Team Canada’s players outshot their opponents in the first period, but the United States went into the third with the lone point on the scoreboard following a power play goal by Delaney Drake off of an assist from the stick of Clair Degeorge.
Canada’s Daryl Watts opened the scoring in the third period with a power play point assisted by Emma Maltais at 12:43 and both teams held the 1-1 tie until the final minutes of the championship match. American player Grace Zumwinkle scored the eventual game winner off of a rebound at 17:28 and Emily Oden secured the 3-1 victory with an empty netter at 19:55.
Canada finished the world championship with a 4-1 record and 11 points to the American team’s 13.
“I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better group of girls and teammates,” said Pettet.
She said the highlight of the experience was “the pride that comes along with representing your country, throwing that jersey over your head and having the maple leaf there. It’s what you work toward and what you dream of.”
Now reunited with teammates at Shattuck, Pettet is already switching gears and focusing on doing what it takes to help her school win a national championship.
But she won’t soon forget her time in the Czech Republic. Turns out, the championship match against the U.S. was played on Pettet’s birthday – and the silver medal made for a great parting gift.
“Getting to see a different part of the world is pretty amazing and to do it through hockey makes it even better,” said Pettet.
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