Rachel Teslak shortlisted for Team BC

Teslak is vying for a spot on Team BC for the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

Local hockey player Rachel Teslak has been shortlisted to make Team BC at the 2019 Canada Winter Games.

She is one of 26 players who will be vying for a final spot on the roster.

Teslak is in the running to join the Female U18 Team BC at the winter games that will be held in Red Deer from Feb. 23 to March 3.

“It’s definitely a privilege,” Teslak said about being on the short list, she is one of eight defencemen that made the list.

“Something I worked my whole life towards. I’m very grateful, I’m very excited to hopefully being on the team moving towards the Canada Winter Games.”

Teslak said she has been striving to play at the Canada Winter Games as a goal of hers.

“It’s definitely always been a dream of mine and a goal I’ve set myself,” she said.

For her to make the team, she said would mean a lot about the work she has put in.

“It would be a very big privilege to play with and against the best female hockey players in our country … it would be something I would not take for granted,” said Teslak.

Players were invited in August to the provincial camp held at Shawnigan Lake, B.C. for evaluations. Teslak said her determination made her stand out at the camp to help her get on the short list.

“It’s my willingness to learn and being able to listen to the coaches and translate that on the ice,” she said.

BC Hockey will hold a preparation camp Dec. 20-23 in Penticton, B.C., where the final roster will be announced at the end.

“I just have to show my determination,” she said about what will make her stand out to make the final selection.

“I need to be confident in the player I am and play with a purpose and play with confidence.”

Notable hockey players to take part in the Canada Winter Games have included Hayley Wickenheiser, Cassie Campbell-Pascall and Cindy Klassen.

Women’s hockey has been included in the Canada Winter Games since 1991 when they were played on Prince Edward Island.

Teslak, who is an offensive defenceman, said she models her play off of Erik Karlsson, the San Jose Sharks defenceman.

“Love to score goals and hop in the rush to create some opportunities. But, I also love to be able to stop people and not allow the puck to get in our own net,” she said.

Teslak is a former member of the Cranbrook Pest Control Hornets AA Bantam hockey team.

Currently, she plays in Cornwall, Ont., for the Ontario Hockey Academy on their junior team.

She was asked to join the junior team this year so she could mentor the players on it.

“This year they asked me if I could step down and model for the younger kids moving forward, so I took that,” she said.

Previously for the last two years, she was on the OHA’s Tardiff team.

Teslak has already committed to play for St. Lawrence University next year, based out of Canton, New York it is a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division 1 school.

“I’m very excited,” she said.

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