SCORER - Emily Swier of the RDC Queens hockey team posed for a photo in her team’s new dressing room at the Enmax Centrium in Red Deer.

Red Deer College Queens hockey player Emily Swier surges ahead

Red Deer College Queens hockey player Emily Swier has been on fire the past couple of months.

After a slow start to the 2016-17 ACAC Women’s Hockey season, the fourth-year Management student had scored 10 points in her last six games heading into the Christmas break, including the game-winning goal in a crucial contest against the NAIT Ooks in late November, which vaulted the team into first place in the ACAC.

“It was a good month, I think, for the whole team. We all kind of started picking it up. I know I was a little bit dry to start the season from what I normally am. So November has kind of clicked for all of us,” said Swier, who was named RDC’s Female Athlete of the Week for the week of Dec. 5th.

It wasn’t an easy start to the year for Swier, who won the RDC Female Athlete of the Year award last season after scoring 12 goals and 25 points to lead the Queens hockey team to an ACAC Conference Championship.

The dynamic forward tallied just two assists through the first nine games of the season before catching fire in November.

“I didn’t really have a fast start in terms of contributing the way I normally do in terms of points. But that’s the nice thing about our team this year. We’ve got so much depth in terms of putting the puck in the net,” she said.

In fact, at the time of writing, the top three scorers in the ACAC are Queens players, with Ashley Graf leading the league with 15 points and Swier and teammate Jade Petrie following close behind with 12 points each.

This has been an interesting year for the Queens hockey team. After the Red Deer Arena closed down at the end of last year, the team moved to the ENMAX Centrium.

Swier said the transition from the familiar routines at the Arena to the very regimented schedule at the Centrium has been a tough transition for the team.

“It was a big transition for us and I think that maybe showed a little bit on the ice. But we’re getting things together now. We’re getting comfortable and the team’s meshing.”

That shows on the ice, too, as the team has put together a 9-3-2 record in regular season play.

“There’s a lot of vets on this team. I feel like it’s a lot of vets and then a lot of brand new girls. So it’s been good. There’s never a time where a leadership position’s not filled. There’s been lots of girls who are stepping up who are fourth or fifth years,” Swier said of the team.

On top of playing for the Queens, Swier is also participating as an active committee member with Take Some Time, a project that RDC will be launching in February that is related to mental health and stress management.

“I know a lot of people who are impacted by mental health and have those struggles and I know a lot of athletes do. I just think everyone’s impacted by it in some way and I think that everyone deals with a certain level of stress at some point in their lives and it’s a good thing to think about, remember and try to improve on ways that you can take some time to try and de-stress.”

Swier and the RDC Queens hockey team will be back in action on Jan. 5th when they take on the SAIT Trojans at the Centrium. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.

zcormier@reddeerexpress.com