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Taking advantage of borrowed time

Bonnyville’s MacKena Foisy will help lead the Lakeland College Rustlers women’s hockey team into their first ACAC campaign later this month. Photo by Jamie Harkins

 

JAMIE HARKINS – Special To The Source

 

There are only a select few athletes who have walked away from their sport a champion.

Lakeland College King’s Energy Group Rustlers women’s hockey team defenceman MacKena Foisy is determined to enter that company. 

Foisy, 19, is confident the Rustlers can play with and better their Alberta Colleges Athletic Conference (ACAC) competition despite this winter being the team’s first campaign.

“I’m excited to start playing,” said Foisy, who is completing her second year of University Transfer – Business studies at Lakeland College. “We’ve had a little bit of exposure to that pace and I think we’re definitely at the same level as the other teams. So, I’m really excited to play and hopefully win.”

The Rustlers start the 2022-23 ACAC season at their home Russ Robertson Arena with games against the Red Deer College Queens and Northern Alberta Institute of Technology (NAIT) Ooks on Oct. 14 and 15, respectively. 

The girls prepared for these first two contests by engaging in a gruelling preseason trek that included a nine-game schedule against fellow ACAC clubs, junior squads and established USports powerhouses.

Foisy said the packed first month may have been tiring, but it did ensure everyone’s conditioning was at the right place. 

She added it also got them used to facing and overcoming any challenges thrown their way.

The big right-shot defenceman notes protecting her own end of the ice is the main focus when she’s out there. 

However, that doesn’t stop her from skating with the puck when an opportunity arises.

Foisy believed her hockey career had come to an end in the spring of 2021 after three seasons with the Lloydminster midget AA Steelers and had accepted an invitation to study Engineering at the University of Alberta before getting a call from the Rustlers. 

The chance to spend a couple more winters close to home and prolong her love affair with the game proved too difficult to pass up.

“It feels really good to be part of something,” she said. “It’s like a second family. I just love the game. I love challenging myself physically and mentally, all of it.”

Foisy’s first season with the Rustlers ended with a successful provincial championship run as a member of the Alberta Junior Female Hockey League. Shortly after, the team was granted admission into the ACAC leaving the Bonnyville native a chance to walk away from the sport with another prestigious banner.

“I don’t want to take this year for granted,” said Foisy, who plans on transferring to the University of Alberta next fall. “I want to remember everything and just play it like it’s my last year.”