It has been a month to write – well, email – home about for Brianne Jenner.
The 17-year-old has been to Germany and back for the 2009 IIHF World Women’s Under-18 Championship, and, after a quick stop at home, capped off a busy January with a trip to the National Women’s Team camp in Calgary, where she was the youngest player to attend.
“It’s been really busy, but it’s been great,” Jenner says. “I’ve had a lot of great opportunities – going to U18s and now getting the invite to camp – hopefully I can learn from it and use that to my advantage.”
The whirlwind month began just a few days after Christmas, when Jenner and the rest of Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team gathered in Toronto for a pre-competition camp ahead of the world championship.
After a pair of pre-tournament games against CIS competition, the team flew to Munich, Germany before hopping a bus to Füssen, where Jenner captained Canada to a silver medal, dropping an overtime heartbreaker to the U.S. in the gold medal game.
One year after suffering the same fate, coming up short against the Americans in the tournament’s final game, Jenner says she learned that you can’t leave anything on the ice when gold is on the line.
“You have to give it your all and not have any regrets,” she says. “Last year (a 5-2 loss in Calgary) we didn’t have our best game, and it’s tough to think back on it. This year was tough because we didn’t come out how we wanted to, but we knew that we gave our all and we were proud of our effort, which was a step up.”
Back at her family’s home in Oakville, ON, Jenner tried to catch up on her school work – “It didn’t go as well as planned” – before hitting the road again, off to Mississauga to play a pair of weekend games with the Chiefs, her club team in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL).
“It was a little bit different,” Jenner says of going back to the club team game after her experience with international hockey in Germany. “They’re both really fast, intense games, but there is a little more physical contact in the CWHL.”
After a few more days at home and a few more days in the classroom Jenner was back on the road once more, this time to Calgary, where she rubbed shoulders with world champions and Olympic gold medalists at the National Women’s Team camp.
With a world championship roster spot still up for grabs, and a chance to be centralized ahead of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, Jenner has not looked out of place on the ice and has been a student off of it, watching how Canada’s veterans handle themselves.
“I just try to observe what the other girls are doing, day in and day out,” Jenner says. “How they warm up, how they prepare, all the little things like that. They’re all things I can incorporate into my game.”
With players like Jayna Hefford, Caroline Ouellette and Jennifer Botterill to learn from, Jenner, and the future Canadian women’s hockey in general, is in good hands.