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Women's Hockey

WHKY Alumna joins Team Canada
WATERLOO, Ont. (August 2, 2017)- Wilfrid Laurier Golden Hawks women’s hockey alumna Erika Kiviaho will represent Canada on the senior national team at the 2017 World Ringette Championships in Mississauga this winter.

From November 27th to December 3rd, Kiviaho, a former left winger of the Laurier women’s hockey team, will join 20 other women from across the nation to compete for Canada under head coach Barb Bautista (Calgary, Ont.). 

Kiviaho, a native of Whitefish, Ont., was selected for the upcoming tournament after being scouted throughout the 2016 ringette season while she played for the Waterloo Wildfire of the National Ringette League (NRL). Her talent earned her an invitation to Team Canada’s tryout camp and she was named to the team following the first round of tryouts.

Now entering her second season with the Waterloo Wildfire, this achievement is arguably the height of Kiviaho’s ringette career, and a milestone she has been working hard to reach since she first started playing the sport when she was four years old. 

“Team Canada has always been a dream of mine, being able to represent your country is the pinnacle of being a Canadian athlete” says Kiviaho of her accomplishment. 

Her long relationship with the game has had its fair share of successes, which will undoubtedly contribute well to her preparation for the upcoming feat. In 2011, Kiviaho earned a gold medal for Team Ontario in the Canada Winter Games. She then went on to take home a silver medal at Nationals in the National Ringette League with the  Richmond Hill Lightning of the NRL, and just this past year, she won another piece of hardware at nationals with the Waterloo Wildfire, as her team took home bronze. 

For Kiviaho, her passion for ringette was the catalyst that lead her to join Laurier’s women’s hockey team in the 2012-2013 season. The psychology major spent a total of four seasons in purple and gold as a varsity athlete, all while maintaining a ringette career with the Richmond Hill Lightning.

“I would have to sit down at the beginning of the season with both team calendars and figure out all of the conflicts; there weren't very many weekends off” explains Kiviaho on how she juggled two major sporting commitments. “My last couple of years with Laurier, I turned my focus more to hockey but would still try to make ringette occasionally as to not lose touch with it.”

During 81 regular season games played for the Golden Hawks, she earned five goals and five assists. She helped her team secure a playoff position every season throughout her career including, most notably, in 2013-14 when they earned their title as OUA champions. 

“I feel very lucky and proud to be able to represent both Laurier and Canada” states Kiviaho. “Leading up to and during my time playing hockey, Laurier had very successful teams. Being able to be a part of a program with a legacy like that and winning an Ontario University Athletics (OUA) championship is something not many people get to do and is one of my greatest experiences. For both Laurier and Team Canada, it is an absolute honour to be considered as the kind of athlete that is wanted on either of those teams.”

The World Ringette Championships will mark Kiviaho’s first time playing on an international stage. 

Team Canada’s senior national team will undoubtedly be looking to improve upon Canada’s second place finish, as the country won silver at last year’s competition held in Helsinki, Finland.
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