'Just being there with the team, it was amazing,' says junior team member Kiana Heska

Kiana Heska has a gold medal to remember her time on Canada's junior national ringette team.

In Burnaby, the Surrey resident was the lone B.C. athlete on the team that won the 2019 World Ringette Championships last Saturday (Nov. 30), in the tourney's junior division.

She didn't get the big-game icetime she'd hoped for, but Heska said she enjoyed being one of three goaltenders on the team.

"I dressed for an exhibition game, not a tournament game, but just being there with the team, it was amazing," said Heska, 19, a lifelong Guildford-area resident.

Team Canada, the defending junior world champs, won gold again after beating Finland 9-7 in game two of their best-of-three series.

Seated in the stands for Saturday's game, Heska and other players got dressed in their gear before the final whistle to celebrate the win with teammates on the ice at Bill Copeland Sports Centre.

"Going in, we knew it was going to be Canada-Finland (in the final)," Heska said, "but we weren't guaranteed anything and had to work for the win."

For 10 days, Heska took a leave from B.C. Thunder, a National Ringette League team that plays the majority of its home games in Richmond.

She was named to the 22-player squad last spring, following a five-day selection camp in Ottawa.

In February, Heska wore Team B.C. colours during the Canada Winter Games tournament in Red Deer, and was in net for the squad's 6-4 loss to Team Manitoba in the bronze-medal game.

Last Saturday's win marked the third world championship win for Canada's junior national team.

Gatineau's Sara Plouffe posted a hat trick in the final game, while Blainville's Mégane Fortin picked up a pair of goals and an assist. Singles came from Moncton's Britney Snowdon, Mississauga's Emily Power, Notre-Dame-De-L'Île-Perrot's Ariane Sagala and St. Jacobs' Maddie MacLean.

In the senior Sam Jacks Pool, Team Canada lost 5-1 to Finland in the championship game.

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