WATERLOO, Ont. (May 17, 2017) - Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks women’s hockey alumnae Giuliana Pallotta
and Devon Skeats will join Team Canada to compete at the 2017 World Ball Hockey Championships in Czech Republic in June, 2017.
Starting June 3, Pallota, a former defenceman from Beeton, Ont., Skeats, a former left winger from Whitby, Ont., will don the red and white to represent their country on the international stage at the International Street and Ball Hockey Federation World Ball Hockey Championships in Pardubice.
The two women were recruited for the upcoming tournament last summer, after impressing scouts at the National Championships in Richmond, B.C., where they were linemates for the New Tecumseh Ball Hockey League (NTBHL), with Pallotta at centre-forward and Skeats on right wing.
“I believe that the competition will be pretty difficult," commented Pallotta on her expectations for the World Championships. "I saw a bit of this at the National level where I found the competition level raise to new heights. That being said, I know that I will be playing alongside some experienced veterans that are extremely skilled and knowledgeable about the game, which gives me comfort. Knowing I can lean on them and learn from them will only allow me to get better as the tournament progresses. I truly believe that we have the ability to bring back the gold again this year. “
Pallotta, a recent psychology graduate and 2016 Outstanding Women of Laurier finalist, has been playing ball hockey since the age of eight, and further developed her skills with the NTBHL upon joining the club when she was 15. Now, following a successful two-year campaign with the Golden Hawks women’s hockey team, Pallotta is looking to apply that which she learned as a student-athlete, to the world stage.
“It is a dream come true to be able to travel overseas and represent my country," said Palotta on the opportunity to represent Canada. "I am extremely honored and excited to be playing this sport on an international stage. I feel that Laurier has allowed me to prepare for an event like this because I am used to having to perform on a week-to-week basis, my training had me working hard throughout the year to stay in shape and the mental toughness when facing adversity will also be something that I will likely face from time-to-time over the course of the tournament. Overall, knowing I’m am going overseas with the label of being a Golden Hawk and Canadian are two things that I couldn’t be more proud to represent.”
As for Skeats, the psychology major graduated in 2013 after a five-year career for the Golden Hawks. Following Laurier, Skeats went on to play in the Elite Women’s Hockey League for the Neuberg Highlanders in 2014-15, and most recently, has played two seasons in the National Women’s Hockey League with the Buffalo Beauts.
For both Skeats and Palotta, the World Championships will mark their first time playing on an international scale.
Canada, who is the two-time defending champion and has also finished 1st in the tournament four times in the past five years, will compete in a round-robin series against Slovakia, Great Britain, United States, Italy, and Czech Republic.
The tournament will run from June 3 to 10 at the Tipsport Arena in Pardubice, Czech Republic.