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Former UMH player will compete in two national championships

Bree Purcell, former Unity Minor Hockey player, has earned a spot on the Team Sask. roster

UNITY ‑ Bree Purcell, a 15-year-old Grade 10 student now attending Carlton High School in Prince Albert, will be on the roster for two upcoming national championships.

Bree is the daughter of Scott and Denise Purcell of Unity. Starting her hockey journey with Unity Minor Hockey, she is playing forward in her rookie season with the Prince Albert Bears in the SFU18AAAHL.

Bree attended a tryout for Team Saskatchewan at the National Aboriginal Hockey Championship (NAHC), and made it through the first few rounds of cuts. She soon learned that she had been selected for a full-time roster spot. The team has girls who play across Western Canada in the SFU18AAAHL and are born in Saskatchewan. The tournament will be held in Membertou First Nation in Sydney, N.S. May 7-14. Team Saskatchewan, for this national hockey event, will have several practises together before they fly out.

The Prince Albert Bears were originally scheduled to host the National Esso Cup however COVID-19 put a halt on this. Hockey Canada decided the pandemic was still enough of an issue and they wanted to host the national championship in a bubble centre, so relocated the championship to Okotoks, Alta., May 15-22. The Bears will attend the Esso Cup as the host team, along with being awarded the hosting of the Esso Cup for 2023.

Scott Purcell said their entire family is going to attend the NAHC tournament as it will be a great opportunity to see another part of Canada while spending some family time together, and supporting Bree in her event. Scott will be the only one attending with Bree for the Esso Cup in mid-May.

Purcell adds, “Bree had a good first season with the Bears. She led the team in blocked shots and had a very good plus-minus. She was able to learn a lot from the second- and third-year players, and is hoping to continue to grow her hockey knowledge. The Bears ended up finishing fifth on the SFU18AAAHL."

Bree has been noted for being one of the most disciplined players on the Bears roster. She has played 30 games this season.

Purcell will join four of her P.A. teammates, Kelsey Ledoux, Jacquelyn Chief and Sasha Malenfant, named to Team Sask. competing in the Maritimes in May.

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