HV-GB hockey player making name for herself in national, international competitions
© Submitted photo
Laura Baikie (back, fifth from left, player #19) of Happy Valley-Goose Bay was the only Labradorian to compete in the Lady Flames Summer Storm tournament in Marlboro, Mass., earlier this month. Baikie is making a name for herself in the hockey community both in and outside the province.
For a lot of high school students, schoolwork and extra-curricular activities can make for a busy life.
But for 17-year Mealy Mountain Collegiate student Laura Baikie, life is a littler busier than most.
Baikie is not only a member of the Lake Melville Xtreme female and midget hockey teams in Happy Valley-Goose Bay, but she is also a member (and the only Labradorian) on the Atlantic Aboriginal Hockey Team; and was also the only female Labradorian that took part in the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships in Kahanawage, Quebec earlier in May, as a member of Team Atlantic.
She also just returned from Marlboro, Mass., where she helped make up the Atlantic Selects Team, which took part in the Lady Flames Summer Storm tournament that saw a dozen teams compete.
Quite an extensive list of accomplishments for a hockey player who is just entering her last year of high school.
“I just love hockey and skating,” said Baikie of her hectic hockey schedule. “It keeps me committed and focused.”
Baikie was selected for the Atlantic Selects Team — based out of Nova Scotia — on the recommendation of a teammate’s mom to Coach Rufus Sweet.
Sweet heads the Blue Line Hockey Group in Nova Scotia.
“I draw (players) from Atlantic Canada for the team,” explained Sweet. “A player I have had for three years recommended Laura to me, and that’s how she came on board.”
Sweet said he doesn’t actually see the majority of his girls play, but rather goes on the advice from players, hockey parents and others who know other player’s caliber.
“I roll the dice and I’ve been lucky the last six or seven years to get great players,” he said. “I know the people that pass along info to me about players wouldn’t recommend someone unless they knew they were strong.”
Sweet said Baikie is a “great kid” and played really well in the Lady Flames Summer Storm tournament.
“She was very likable and coachable; she held her own in the tournament and I was very happy to have her play.”
The team — made up of 14-18 year olds played some stiff competition, with several older, University-level players taking part in the event as well.
The Atlantic Selects came away with a three-loss and one tie record.
“The competition was big and a lot of fun,” said Baikie, who plays defence.
Getting to the tournament itself was no easy task, either.
Baikie explained she traveled to Halifax, where the entire team then drove to Connecticut, which was a 17-hour drive.
They stayed overnight before continuing on to Virginia — another eight-hour trek — where the stayed for five days to practice, but also to relax and get to know each other.
The team then backtracked to Massachusetts, to take part in the tournament from Aug. 9-11.
“We didn’t win, but it was a great experience,” said Baikie. I love making new friends — I’ve made hundreds of friends through playing hockey.”
As for what lays ahead on the hockey rink for Baikie once she graduates next spring, she’s not entirely sure as of yet.
“I’m debating which (post-secondary) schools have the best sports programs, as I would like to compete at the university level, even with the varsity teams.”