Rosedale’s Aynsley D’Ottavio continues to add items to her trophy shelf. After leading Team B.C. to an ice hockey win at the Canada Winter Games, the teenager has a shiny gold medal to go with memories from a great experience in Prince Edward Island.
“My experience at the games was unbelievable,” the teenager said. “The atmosphere in the village was exciting and upbeat and everybody was kind, especially the volunteers who always welcomed us with big smiles.
“It was so cool being surrounded by so many elite athletes from archery to badminton to alpine skiing and so many more. Interacting with others came easy because of pin trading and clothing swaps.”
A total of 3,600 athletes, managers and coaches from 20 different sports gathered at the multi-sport event, which was held Feb. 18 to March 5 in Charlottetown, PEI.
D’Ottavio led Team B.C. into an eight-team female hockey tournament. They were in a pool with Quebec, Saskatchewan and New Brunswick and opened Feb. 27 with an 11-1 whomping of Saskatchewan. D’Ottavio picked up an assist. Her crew beat New Brunswick 3-2 the next day and wrapped up round robin play with a 2-1 triumph over Quebec.
“We all knew the week was going to bring lots of challenges so we took each day at a time and supported each other as much as possible,” D’Ottavio said.
Team B.C. faced Manitoba in a March 3 quarter-final and blanked them 5-0 with D’Ottavio scoring twice. She scored again as her team pummelled Quebec in the semi-final, winning 6-1 to set up the gold-medal match with Nova Scotia.
“It was a big moment for female hockey in B.C.,” D’Ottavio noted. “It was the first time Team B.C. has ever gotten to the gold medal game.”
A 3-0 win on March 5 sealed the deal. D’Ottavio finished 35th in tournament scoring with three goals and four points in six games.
“We got better and better with each game and finished undefeated with a gold medal,” she said. “I am incredibly grateful to have been part of Team B.C. and to have had the experience of going to the Canada Winter Games.”
See https://www.2023canadagames.ca/ for more info and the full quarter-final game against Manitoba can be seen online at https://www.canadagames.ca/watch/hockey-female-b2-vs-a3-march-3-en.
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