Taryn Baumgardt is hoping to join the Calgary Inferno blueline

The Calgary Inferno recently added some Central Albertan talent

The Calgary Inferno – Calgary’s professional women’s’ hockey team – recently added some Central Albertan talent in the first round of the Canadian Women Hockey League (CWHL) draft.

Defencemen, Innisfail product and Quinnipiac University graduate Taryn Baumgardt was recently selected in the first round and is on her way to the training camp of the 2015-16 Clarkson Cup Champions.

“It was a tremendous honour, an amazing feeling and something that I will never forget,” she said. “I’m very grateful for the opportunity.”

As a young player, Baumgardt is looking to help the Inferno – who went 20-4-0-0 last regular season, but came up short to the Les Canadiennes Montreal – who walked away with the Clarkson Cup.

“Hopefully, I move forward with the team and I will look to help the team in any role I can,” she said. “I will play within my abilities and hopefully, help the team be successful.”

Baumgardt will play under new Inferno coach Tomas Pacina, who worked with the Women’s Canadian National team from 2001-2003 as a skills coach. He has worked alongside multiple NHL teams.

Baumgardt has been training hard to capitalize on her opportunity.

“I have been training all summer and have been trying to get on the ice as much as possible before camp starts,” she said. “It is a pretty special feeling. There is so much talent in Central Alberta and my years here have really helped me become the player I am.”

Baumgardt believes she is the beginning of a wave of talent coming out of Central Alberta.

“It is a pretty special feeling,” she said. “There is so much talent in Central Alberta and my years here have really helped me become the player I am. The number of girls playing now compared to when I started out is tremendous. There has been a lot of growth.

“There are so much more programs and the level of hockey has improved so much. It is so much more competitive now, which is awesome to see.”

Baumgardt, when asked what her hockey aspirations are beyond the Inferno, kept her intentions close to the chest.

“I am always looking to grow my game and I want to be an impact player, striving to help the team any way possible,” she said. “Obviously, my goal is to make the Inferno first.”

Baumgardt took the time to thank those who have helped her reach this opportunity with the Inferno.

“I’ve had a number of coaches – both male and female,” she said. “The support from them and their knowledge of the game have really helped me grow. I owe a lot to the coaches I have had in Central Alberta, as well as in college.

“I am looking forward to this opportunity.”

todd.vaughan@reddeerexpress.com