A hockey National title is within arm’s reach for 10 kinesiology student-athletes.

The puck is set to drop on the 2024 GFL U SPORTS Women's Hockey Championship presented by Connect Energy on March. 14 from the state-of-the-art Merlis Belsher Place in Saskatoon, SK.

By Alyssa Wiebe | Kinesiology Communications
Fifth-year kinesiology student-athlete, Isabella Pozzi.

Eight of the best teams from across the country will meet in Saskatoon to crown the 2024 champion. The Huskies enter the tournament as the host team and eighth seed as they prepare for game one against number one seeded, Concordia Stingers.

“We've been working hard the last three weeks in practice and focusing on strengthening the areas of our game we know we do well,” said fifth-year kinesiology student, Isabella Pozzi. “Everything we've been doing has been in preparation for Thursday night and we can't wait to take the ice at home in a national quarterfinal.”

As a Calgary native, Pozzi is in her final season with the Huskies and excited for what is next with her kinesiology degree in hand. She has spent her entire university career representing the Huskies and putting up 13 points this season alone. 

“Being a student-athlete has made my university career unbelievably memorable. The ability to compete in my sport at a high level while also completing my kinesiology degree is a special experience that I am so fortunate to have been given the opportunity to do.”

First-year kinesiology student-athlete, Kahlen Wisener.

Moving away from home can be challenging at any age. Pozzi had to make the decision that best suited her aspirations both on and off the ice and that landed her at the University of Saskatchewan (USask). 

“I chose to come to USask because it was close to my hometown of Calgary, meaning my family would be able to come and watch lots of my games. There was a strong sense of community and support that was evident from my first visit to Saskatoon, which made me excited to play for a team that is so involved in the community. I am grateful for the college I selected because the College of Kinesiology has always been supportive of the Huskies and has been a great fit for me as a student athlete,” said Pozzi. 

First-year student-athlete, Kahlen Wisener, joined the green and white from Winnipeg, Manitoba. She also chose to attend USask because of its strong women’s hockey and kinesiology programs.

“My first year has been a great experience and I am very happy with my decision to come to USask. Everyone is so welcoming and supportive, and it is amazing to be a part of the women’s hockey team here,” said Wisener.

“The professors here at USask have been so accommodating and supportive which really helps with staying on top of school when we travel for games. Ever since I was young, I knew I wanted to continue working in sports even after I was done hockey and that is why I chose the Kinesiology program. I love how there are so many different aspects to kinesiology that don’t just involve exercise; there’s the mental and psychological aspects to sport, anatomy, biology, and so many other parts of kinesiology that introduces me to different topics,” said Wisener.

Wisener knows that it is special to be a part of a team that gets the chance to compete at the National tournament in her first season. She is excited to see what happens in the coming years as the program continues to get stronger.

Fourth-year kinesiology student-athlete, Kate Ball.

Kate Ball is in her fourth season with the Huskies. She has spent her entire career playing hockey in Saskatchewan, beginning with the Saskatoon Bobcats and Saskatoon Comets.

As she continued into high school, Ball moved to Prince Albert to compete for the Prince Albert Northern Bears U18AAA program, and progressing successfully through the Hockey Saskatchewan program, representing her province at the 2017 Nationals and 2019 Canada Winter Games.

“Having spent my entire hockey career in Saskatchewan has been very special. Family is important to me, and staying close to them throughout the years has been great. It’s been a lifelong goal to play for the Huskies, my hometown University team, and doing so while representing Saskatchewan has been an honour,” said Ball. 

“The Huskies are deeply involved in the community, especially with the Comets minor hockey program. It’s gratifying to have once been in the shoes of those young girls, and now, to see them looking up to me and our team is an amazing feeling.”

Kate won Rookie of the Year with the Huskies in 2019-2020 and continues to bring her offensive talents to the program yearly with 12 points this season.

All 10 kinesiology student-athletes will be competing this week:

First-year - Ava Bergman (Winnipeg, MB)
Fifth-year - Cameron Drever (Edmonton, AB)
Fifth-year - Isabella Pozzi (Calgary, AB)
Third-year - Brooklyn Stevely (Regina, SK)
First-year - Kahlen Wisener (Winnipeg, MB)
Second-year - Jayde Cadieux (Cold Lake, AB)
Third-year - Taylor Wilkinson (Lloydminster, SK)
Fourth-year - Kate Ball (Saskatoon, SK)
Third-year - Kelsey Hall (Lloydminster, AB)
Second-year - Emma Backman (Saskatoon, SK)

As the team is preparing for game one this Thursday at Merlis Belsher Place at 7:00pm, they are asking for the Saskatoon and campus community to back the building. Tickets for the event are currently on sale on the U SPORTS website.

All 11 games from the event will be broadcast live on CBC Sports digital platforms.  The full schedule will be available throughout the tournament at usports.ca/en/broadcast.