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Jadyn Holben - Class of 2021

I started skating when I was about 4 years old and started playing hockey two years later with Whitemud West. I played with them up until peewee and then made the switch over to EGHA. It would be become one of the best decisions I would ever make. The memories and lasting friendships over the years is something I’ll never forget.

I will dearly miss all of it and it’s been a big part of my life. Memories of lacing up before games, our on the bench discussions, driving around for bottle drives, early morning practices, hanging out on weekends, running around hotels and everything else will always be near and dear to my heart. I can confidently say I have made life long friends here. I wish we could’ve had a proper last season or at least a chance to properly say goodbye. I always think about our last practice before lockdown and how excited I was to be with such an amazing group of girls this year.

I wanna thank my Mom and Dad for putting up with driving me everywhere for the last 11 years, early mornings or late at nights, in freezing cold arenas that may or may not have froze your hands and toes. I also wanna thank my grandparents for helping out when Mom or Dad couldn’t go and being my biggest cheerleaders and TSN analysts, helping me out planning plays. A big thanks to my many coaches over the years for helping me grow and become who I am today. Lastly, thank you girls for everything. You are truly so amazing. I’ll never forget and always cherish our time together.

Essiyah Weis - Class of 2021

I began my first year of Initiation when I was 5 years old in Hull, Québec. As a shy kid and one of the only girls on my team, I remember finding it hard to make friends and to really enjoy the game. When my family moved to Edmonton I joined EGHA in my first year of novice, but was reluctant to play again, (so reluctant in fact that I refused to go to any of my tryouts). But once my dad dragged me out to the first few practices I began to realize that girls hockey was a much more fun experience from what I had previously known hockey to be. I quickly bonded with my team and became friends with girls who I later would go on to play with throughout the rest of my minor hockey career.

 

I have lots of great memories from minor hockey, but I always find that the best ones were at hockey tournaments. Tournaments were always the most exciting part of the year and they were always when my team bonded the most. There is something about cramming 15 girls into a hotel room and eating pizza together and playing back to back games for 3 days straight. I loved chatting with my teammates about the last game over 5 squished together tables at a restaurant and the collective buzz after a huge win. Some of my favorite tournaments have been winning gold at Wickfest, playing in the 2016 and 2018 Alberta provincials and playing in a mini-series against Harbin, China.

 

My dad has always been my best coach and  greatest influence throughout my minor hockey experience. I will be forever grateful to him for really pushing me to start playing hockey and for all the work that he does to make my hockey experience that much better. There are so many things that I will miss about minor hockey (except for 6am practices), but above all else I am going to miss the girls that I have gotten to know through hockey. I have made some great friends throughout my 11 years with EGHA and I wish everyone the best.