Stonewall’s Bianca Zak plays for the Balmoral Hall Blazers. (Brook Jones/Stonewall Argus & Teulon Times)
Bianca Zak is pushing her high school hockey career to the limits.
The Grade 12 student at Balmoral Hall in Winnipeg is competing at an elite level in high school hockey.
Zak steps onto the ice as a goaltender with the Balmoral Hall Blazers in the Junior Women’s Hockey League.
The hockey schedule as a player with the Balmoral Hall Blazers spans over 182 days, therefore, Zak has had to dedicate much of her life to playing the sport.
“It’s a really big honour to be allowed to do something that you love everyday,” Zak said. "It is a really good feeling."
Zak, who is from Stonewall, has been playing hockey since she was five-years-old. She started her hockey career playing house league for the Stonewall Blues until she started attending Shaftsbury High School where she played for the Titans in Grade 9 and 10 before she moved on to Balmoral for Grade 11.
“I have three older brothers. I was at the rink all of the time watching their games,” Zak said.
The Stonewall Argus & Teulon Times caught up with Zak during a practice at BellMTS Iceplex Feb. 9. After practice Zak said she enjoys the family atmosphere with her teammates. Zak will be heading east to Mount Allison University after her upcoming high school graduation,
Balmoral Hall director of hockey and team head coach Sarah Zacharias, who not only graduated from Balmoral Hall but also played hockey for Niagara University, had this advice to give:
“Love what you do and you never work a day in your life,” Zacharais said. “My favourite part is seeing the girls...It’s so nice to get on the ice with these players.”
Zacharias said people can underestimate how rigorous the day to day schedule is for student athletes playing highly competitive hockey.
“It’s a lot to handle and a big focus is on culture. We really pride ourselves on being good people,” Zacharais said.