There will be a very familiar face to Hounds when Team Canada takes to the ice Dec. 26, 2019 in Slovakia at the 2020 International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s Under-18 Championship.
Annie King, 17, an assistant captain for the Notre Dame Hounds Midget AAAs, has been selected to represent the country at the event and will depart for Europe not too long after the conclusion of the 2019 Mandi Schwartz Memorial Tournament in Wilcox.
To her club’s captain Kendra Zuchotski, like many who have watched Annie develop over the years, that she has been so recognized is not much of a surprise.
“I am so happy for Annie,” said Zuchotski, a commit to the University of Saskatchewan.
“She is a player that has earned it. She works hard, she reads the ice so well, and her work ethic is incredible, so I am really happy that she’s received this opportunity.”
A smooth-skating defender, King was dynamite for Team Saskatchewan at the 2019 Canada Winter Games, and at the 2019 National Women’s Under-18 Championship this past November in Winkler, MB, alongside Wilcox native, and Cornell University-commit Ashley Messier.
According to King, that chemistry played a big-time roll in clinching the minds of Hockey Canada’s already-intrigued staff.
“They called me a few weeks back to let me know that I was going to Slovakia with them,” said King, “and they touched base on why they chose me, and it was exciting to hear.
“I am looking forward to meeting up with the club. Hockey Canada was impressed with my skating, my feet and how I move the puck. Ashley Messier and I were partners at nationals, they liked our connection and how well we flowed together, so it was nice to hear.”
Currently suiting up for her third season with ND’s midget club, and her fourth overall at the College, Annie has parlayed her on-ice talent, and her off-ice commitment to excellence, into an intent to play for NCAA Ivy-League powerhouse Dartmouth College.
To Craig Perrett, her head coach with the Hounds, it is the little things Annie does away from gamedays that are the most impressive.
“She is a leader on our team on and off the ice,” he said, “she kind of sets the pace for our club in practice.
“She is always first in the drill, she’s always the first one up at the board asking good questions, she’s always going 100 percent, which forces everyone to try to match her tempo and quality. Off the ice, she prepares herself so well for hockey, to play games, and it’s so good for the young players coming into the school for the first time to see the way she operates, how she works in the gym; it’s incredible. As a student-athlete she is always studying, working hard at it; she understands that getting good grades is just as important as playing well on the ice.”
Annie King and Team Canada open the eight-team 2020 IIHF World U-18 Championship Dec. 26 in Bratislava, Slovakia vs. Team Russia. King and Messier are the only two Saskatchewanians on the roster.