Amy and Sarah Potomak may have a bit of an advantage that could help British Columbia this week at the 2013 National Women’s Under-18 Championship. After all, the sisters have been playing the game together since they were about 10 years old.
“We definitely have a connection on the ice together and know where we are on the ice,” older sis Sarah, 15, told HockeyCanada.ca following their province’s tough but well-fought 3-1 loss Wednesday to defending champions Ontario Blue, on Day 2 of the national championship currently taking place in Calgary, Alta.
“She’s a mentor on the ice and on the bench,” Amy, 14, said of following her big sister’s hockey playing ways. “She’s someone that I look up to.”
And no wonder. The girls beat Quebec 3-2 in overtime on Wednesday, a game which saw Sarah garner an assist in the second period – and score that game-winning goal at 3:47 in that extra frame.
Sarah also played for Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team for a three game-series against the United States this past August in Lake Placid, NY., and travelled with the Canadian contingent to Sheffield, England, in July to the 2013 IIHF Women’s High Performance Camp, during which she mentored young female players from other countries to help grow the female game globally. She helped British Columbia to fourth place at the 2012 National Women’s Under-18 Championship last November in Dawson Creek, B.C.
Sarah and younger sis Amy together dominated the puck for part of Thursday’s game as well, but just weren’t able to get it past Ontario Blue goalie Shea Tiley of Shallow Lake, Ont.
“We’re disappointed that we lost the game, but now we’re ready to focus for tomorrow,” Sarah said following the game. “Today was a tough loss, but we need to move on. We need to prepare for our next game.”
Positive messages such as that make Sarah not only a great older sister, but also a great teammate.
“It’s a once in a lifetime experience, having (my) blood sister on the ice with me,” Sarah said. “But we treat each other just like our other teammates.”
Amy agrees their coaches treat them exactly the same as the rest of the team.
The girls are excited to be reaching for gold together, along with their other British Columbia teammates. They also currently play together at the Pursuit of Excellence Hockey Academy in Kelowna, B.C.
They attend class from 7 a.m. until about 5 p.m., and keep busy after school by studying or attending hockey practice. Being on the same team and attending the same schools allows the sisters to support each other both on and off the ice.
“We travel every weekend for tournaments, so we’re always on the go and stay busy,” Amy said. When the sisters have some downtime between studying and hockey, they like to relax at home with their family.
But spending so much time together also poses some small challenges for the two Potomaks.
“Sometimes we bicker at each other; we’re siblings,” Amy said with a laugh.
Catch the Potomak girls and the rest of British Columbia in action this week at the 2013 National Women’s Under-18 Championship, taking place at the Markin MacPhail at Canada Olympic Park, or if you can’t make it to the arena, watch them live on FASTHockey at www.hockeycanada.ca/nwu18.