A pair of Huskie women's hockey players are coming home with gold medals from the FISU World University Winter Games.
Defenceman Isabella Pozzi and goaltender Camryn Drever from the University of Saskatchewan squad were part of Team Canada that downed Japan 5-0 in the gold medal game on Saturday in Lake Placid, New York.
"It was incredible," said Drever of the experience. "It honestly felt so long, but so short at the same time, and just the relationship and the way that the team bonded. It just made it feel like a home away from home."
Pozzi, who was an assistant captain on the team, said it was an experience of a lifetime.
"Winning the gold medal is right at the top," Pozzi said, adding meeting all of the players and coaches from across the country made it even more memorable.
"Sharing this experience with all of them was very special and that's something that I'll never forget."
Canada went undefeated in the tournament scoring 42 goals while giving up just three.
In the gold medal game it took until late in the first period for Canada to score, but after that the game was never in doubt.
It's the first time in a decade that Canada has won gold in the event.
Drever said she got into the spirit of playing in Lake Placid — the site of the Miracle on Ice when the U.S. men's team won Olympic gold — on the flight there.
"I had never watched the movie Miracle until the plane ride there. My roommate, Kennedy Brown, she loves that movie and told me to watch it before I went there.
"And honestly, it was so inspiring. And just to be able to be in that rink was super cool."
Drever said at the start of their first skate, head coach Greg Bowles lined them up at the end of the rink and had them skate up to the line.
"Then he asked one of our teammates, I think it was Maria. He was like, Maria, what's your name and who do you play for [mimicking a scene from the movie]? And then just kind of made that little Miracle quote and yeah, it was pretty special."
The fifth-year education student from Edmonton said it was fantastic being able to share this experience on Team Canada with her Huskie teammate Pozzi.
"I couldn't have picked a better teammate," Drever said.
"Just going way back to Hockey Alberta camps and playing against her in midget, and now being able to grow together the last four, five years as teammates and people and students.
"I'm so happy for her to be able to wear the letter A with the Team Canada jersey and proudly wear that gold medal around her neck."
Pozzi echoed those sentiments.
"There's no one else on my team that I would have wanted to go there with and for us to both be able to experience it together and bring home a gold medal together was super special and exciting, and something I'm going to remember forever."
Men also win gold
Team Canada's men's team, captained by Huskies forward Jared Dmytriw and with Huskies goalie Roddy Ross, downed the United States 7-2 on Sunday evening to win gold.
Huskies equipment manager Cord Ivanco also took home gold as part of the men's hockey staff.
Team Canada hadn't won men's gold at the competition since 2013.
Dmytriw said it was amazing to be playing the U.S at the Lake Placid arena that was used during the 1980 Winter Olympics.
"To have the game against the Americans in that rink where the the Miracle on Ice happened, it was unbelievable," said Dmytriw, who scored three goals and three assists during the tournament. "There was sold out crowd and it was electric in there. I was super proud of the group and that we were able to to finish off and achieve our goal."
Ross said it was a great feeling to play for Canada at an international level.
"For me being able to wear that jersey was unreal," Ross said.
"It was nice to have some familiar faces to share the experience with, and we can go back and take those memories for the rest of lives," added Ivanco.