Yukon Goalie Maya Oakley, Just 12, Happy to be in Halifax

Yukon 0 – New Brunswick 17

Halifax, N.S. – Maya Oakley (Haines Junction,  Y.T.) may have only seen three minutes of ice time, and Yukon may have lost its third game with another whopping 17-0 score Tuesday afternoon at the Metro Centre, but the 12-year-old goaltender is happy just to have the chance to be in Halifax, N.S., for the 2011 Canada Winter Games.

Standing at just five feet tall and weighing at most 100 pounds, Oakley is the youngest player on her team, and at the entire women’s hockey tournament.

“It’s hard to get that I’m the youngest player,” Maya said, explaining she didn’t know coming into the Games that she would be the only 12-year-old girl here. “But looking around, most teams have 17- and 18-year-olds, and our team is 12 all the way up to 17 (years old).”

Maya’s big sister, 13-year-old Sierra Oakley, is also on the Yukon team and plays forward. Maya originally tried out to play defence on the team, but head coach Louis Bouchard thought “I might have enough skill to play nets, so I tried it a couple of times,” she said. Maya made the squad as back-up to 15-year-old Jocelyn Wynnyk of Marsh Lake, Y.T.

At first, right when my coach said start stretching and get warmed up, I got really tense and nervous, but right when I got on the ice I felt alright,” Maya said after her very first game representing her province, her oversized jersey falling to her knees. “I think I did pretty good; I tried my best.”

Maya’s favourite hockey team is the Vancouver Canucks, her favourite player is Roberto Luongo and she likes playing hockey because “it’s really fun.”

Despite the big losses for team Yukon, Maya said her team has had “a really good time here.”

“Just being here is great,” she said with a grin.

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