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Thursday, 25 January 2018 05:47

Kirwin loved her golden experience in Russia

Written by  Andrea Carol
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Small town girl, Taylor Kirwin of Gull Lake, Saskatchewan made the entire province proud earlier this month when she joined Team Canada in Russia and took on the USA.


She learned to skate on the skating rink, located within the Gull Lake Recreation Complex.
Following in her older sister’s footsteps, she gave hockey a try.
It was right there in Gull Lake on the ‘rink of her dreams’ that Taylor fell in love with the sport.
Kirwin started playing hockey when she was only eight years of age.
She was born in Swift Current and grew up in Gull Lake and played much of her minor hockey there. When she was 14, she moved to Swift Current and played for the Wildcats organization and is now into her fifth year with them.
She says she started skating when she was six.
““I’ve been playing for a really long time....I started off as a figure skater and I wasn’t the most graceful figure skater,” Kirwin laughed.
“Once I started hockey, I fell in love with it right away. I’m more of an aggressive player. I’m more of an offensive defenceman and my stats show I’m high in scoring which isn’t usual for a defenceman,” says Kirwin.
Kirwin’s hockey story began in Gull Lake.
Her mastery of the sport owed much to her sharp skills and her distinctive grasp of the flow of the game, earned her a place on Team Canada for the 2018 IIHF World Women’s U18 Championships in Dmitrov, Russia.
“I was on Team Sask U16 for two years and made the U18 team for two years. I was the captain of Team Sask this past year when we went to Quebec City. Last April, I received an email from Hockey Canada inviting me to their Strength and Conditioning Camp. There were 50 players invited and it was in Hamilton, Ontario. It was five days of fitness training, working out and mental skills training. Not much fun, but was a good process,” Kirwin says. “From there, I received another email inviting me to the August summer camp in Calgary. 42 players were invited to camp and by the end of the two-week camp they cut it down to 23 players. I was part of the 23 players and we flew to Lake Placid, New York and played a three-game series there. After that, we went back to our home teams and each player made their provincial team. We went on to Quebec City for Nationals. About two weeks after that I was invited to Russia.”
Kirwin buzzed with excitement when she described the feelings she had while representing Canada in Russia.
“Oh wow, it was like breathtaking. Honestly, there’s no other feeling like it. It was definitely exciting. I had to live in the moment while I could because you don’t know if you can put it on again. I will hopefully be able to in the future,” Kirwin said.
She was lucky to be able to wear her home team number (25) on her Team Canada sweater and was awarded player of the game during the final.
The Gull Lake native’s autobiography could be called Ms. Hockey sometime in the future if this rising young star keeps going.
Shaunavon has bragging rights to Hayley Wickenheiser and Gull Lake has Taylor Kirwin. It’s an exciting time for women in hockey and the southwest is certainly proud of these exceptional hockey players.

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