Grade 8 student selected to play with Canadian hockey team in Finland

            A Grade 8 student at Norquay School, who has played with Kamsack Minor Hockey teams, is preparing to go to Europe in July as a member of a Select female hockey team.

            Sara Auchstaetter of Pelly has been invited to play in the Helsinki Summer Series Hockey Tournament in Helsinki, Finland as a member of the Western Canadian Selects team.

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She is the daughter of Trevor and Erin Auchstaetter of Pelly. Trevor works at Blaine's Autobody in Kamsack and Erin is an educational assistant at Norquay School.

The Selects is a team that is comprised of “elite players from Western Canada,” said information on Auchstaetter’s GoFundMe Internet webpage. The head coach is an alumnus of Legacy Hockey as well as the University of Alberta and many other prestigious teams.

“To make this team you must be invited,” the information said. Selects Legacy hockey invites players for each year based on their performance during the spring and scouting reports from their winter seasons. Players are invited back each subsequent year based solely on performance and character.

The series begins in Stockholm, Sweden where the team will practice and play a few exhibition games before the team goes to Helsinki to begin a six-day tournament with teams from around the world.

Auchstaetter started playing hockey at the age of two and has been in love with the game ever since, said Nicole Silvius of Norquay, who is a friend of the family.

“Sara played in Pelly, and then played with the Kamsack Flyers from novice to peewee,” Silvius said. “In her first year of peewees she joined a Yorkton girls team for Saskatchewan Hockey Association provincials.

“The next season, the Yorkton Gardon Crushers Girls Bantam Team was formed and Sara joined as an underage player,” she said. The team plays with the Southern Saskatchewan Female Hockey League.

“She has now played with them for two seasons. She was chosen as assistant captain for the 2016/2017 season and was one of the leading scorers on her team.”

This year Auchstaetter was eligible to try out for the Saskfirst zone teams and she made her zone team, the information said. She was to play in a tournament in April and from there was eligible to make a team representing Saskatchewan. 

Hockey is Auchstaetter’s passion, says the webpage. She has been playing hockey for almost 11 full years and has a goal to play Olympic hockey.

The trip to Europe is expected to cost Auchstaetter about $5,000, and if another member of the family wishes to accompany her, it would cost at least $10,000, it said.

In order to help pay for the cost of the trip, the family set up the GoFundMe page and several fundraisers are being held.

Proceeds from a paint night, being held in Norquay on May 13, will be donated to Auchstaetter and plans are to hold “a couple of wing nights” in Pelly within the next couple months and a burger sale on July 1.

Funds raised will be put directly towards the cost associated with the trip, for registration, the flights, the gear and the meals, the webpage says.

"I'm very excited for this dream come true and so thankful to all the people who have been supporting me,” Sara said.