5 years later, Sarah Potomak is back on the roster for the Women’s Ice Hockey World Championship

Sarah Potomak firmly believed she could wear the Maple Leaf again, despite feeling the insecurity that comes with rejection.

The 24-year-old forward from Aldergrove, BC will play for Canada in the Women’s Ice Hockey World Championships in Herning and Frederikshavn, Denmark from August 25th to September 4th.

When Potomak made her World Cup debut in Plymouth, Michigan in 2017, Canada’s youngest player, aged 19, scored twice and provided another assist in five games.

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She was also the first BC player in two decades to play in the tournament after goaltender Danielle Dube in 1997.

Potomak returns to the World Championships after a five-year hiatus.

She was invited to try out for the 2018 Olympic team but was dropped from the squad.

After a knee injury kept her out of the Four Nations Cup in 2018, Potomak’s name was missing from international tournament listings as of Monday.

“It’s been a really long journey for me and a lot of ups and downs and then I went through COVID and cancellations and all that,” Potomak said The Canadian Press. “It just feels really, really good for me to finally be able to make this team.

“After 2018 when I was circumcised and just kept getting circumcised, I kept picking myself up.”

Three veteran forwards from Canada’s 2022 Olympic team – Natalie Spooner, Melodie Daoust, Rebecca Johnston – who have withdrawn from selection camp have created a job opportunity in advance.

CONTINUE READING: Poulin leads Canada to the Women’s Ice Hockey World Championship

However, competition for the Denmark line-up remained fierce in a massive 142-player Calgary camp from which World Cup, development and U18 teams were selected.

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Sarah and her younger sister Amy became the first sisters to represent Canada together during a two-game series against USA in 2016.

Amy, 23, has been selected for the Canada development team playing a three-game set against the Americans in Calgary starting Wednesday.

As assistant coach to the 2018 Olympic team, Canada head coach Troy Ryan was familiar with Sarah Potomak’s quick hands and aggressive play.

On the last day of selection camp, he brought her welcome news.

“I was one of the last forwards in the whole group to get called up, so I was super scared and just sick,” Potomak said.

“Troy said congratulations to me. I couldn’t really speak. I was pretty emotional. Being able to step into a room full of teammates was very special.”

Ryan said: “She’s been fired a lot over the past few years. What happens when a player gets sacked is they never actually know how close they came.

“I often had to tell her how close she was. We felt her come and compete in the camp, now is a good opportunity for her to get that chance.”

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Potomak, a standout for the Minnesota Golden Gophers, was close to leading the No. 4 into the 2020 women’s Frozen Four. She had led the team to the top scorers chart in her senior year with 19 goals and 27 assists in 36 games.

The NCAA tournament was abruptly halted two days before the puck drop when the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

Canada’s camps being cut back and months of lack of women’s games – international or otherwise – hampered Potomak’s ability to up Canada’s depth chart and tested her confidence.

“There were some days that were really, really tough,” Potomak said. “I only leaned on those who mean the most to me, like my family… the more I did that, the more they leaned on me and just kept lifting me up.”

“The more I got out there to play hockey and just fall in love with hockey again to be honest because after 2018 it was pretty tough and even a little bit of college was tough to just fall in love with hockey again, then I have fun, as any player can attest, then you play your best game.”

Now the women’s assistant at Trinity Western University – Amy will also play for the Spartans this season after four years with Minnesota – Sarah says she is a fitter player than she was in 2017.

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“Fitness test scores have increased dramatically since 2017 and it’s helping me be stronger, faster and faster on the ice,” she said. “I still have a really good offensive team, but I can play basically any role they want me to play.”

Canada meet hosts Denmark in preliminary round matches on Saturday and the United States on Tuesday before the championship opens against Finland in Herning on 25 August.

© 2022 The Canadian Press

https://globalnews.ca/news/9065026/5-years-later-sarah-potomak-back-on-womens-world-hockey-championship-roster/ 5 years later, Sarah Potomak is back on the roster for the Women’s Ice Hockey World Championship

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