photo: Hockey Canada
photo: Hockey Canada
photo: Hockey Canada

canada

Jayna Hefford

Clarkson Cup: Exhausted in Post Olympic Competition.March 27, 2010.

Cdn. Olympians Jayna Hefford and Gillian Apps led the Brampton Thunder to a 3-2 win over the last year’s champions Montreal Stars in the semi-final of the Clarkson Cup Saturday March 27, 2010. Hefford and Apps both had a goal and assist in the win.

Hefford, who had just returned from a Cuban vacation was happy to be back, “It was a fun game to play. These are old rivalries in our league so once you get back on the ice competitive fires happen.“

Hefford joked about talking to her Team Canada team-mate Caroline Ouellette playing with Olympic sensation Marie Philip-Poulin on the ice just before the whistle blew “We were on vacation together last week and they told me that the two of them were not playing together and then it was announced they were playing together so I was giving her crap for not telling me the truth."

Brampton was missing a number of players which added to the pressure especially for the tired Olympians. I am exhausted,” explained Hefford, “I said to Appsie (Gillian Apps) if we win this game, I am going home to get some rest. I am dying. I haven’t been on the ice as much as I wanted to for this but at the same time I needed that rest (vacation) It was a grind, we were playing three lines so it was a tough game today but it was fun.“

Brampton scored two goals in the second period. Captain Lori Dupuis was vocal in dressing room according to Hefford. Brampton has struggled losing their Olympians says Hefford, “This team had a rough year but then winning these last two games to make the play offs was huge for them. They gutted it out to get to this championship. It is not about the stars. Everyone has to fit into the system. We were not shooting enough, a little too fancy at times. This team is good at just basic stuff, going hard and getting pucks at net."

Hefford knew she was rusty after taking time off, “I played one game after the Olympics, the last regular season game and it was a struggle for me. I don’t think I helped the team much at all. I have worked out and been to the gym and stuff but I haven’t been on the ice much and I felt better today than I did at the other game so I am just going to hope that tomorrow is just 10 times better than I felt today."
 

2010 Olympics Dedicated to Her Dad.

Q/A with Elizabeth Etue March 12, 2010
 
What made this Olympics special?

Well this was our third gold medal…it was a little more special being in Canada. We also did a team thing.We dedicated the tournament to someone.I dedicated the tournament to my dad who had passed away in the last year. Throughout my time playing hockey, my dad was my biggest fan, he was always around. He wanted to be there. I know he is with me in a lot of ways but I wish he had been there. My mom and brother (it was his first Olympics). Great time…my mom and her friends and a special time for my 35 year old brother.

This was a different Olympics for me in terms of taking a leadership role. I am proud of how our team played, especially young players. So it was a perfect gold medal… playing for my dad.

Were you on the ice during the cigars and champagne?
Yes. Not everyone was, about 8-9 of us…It is not something we haven’t done before… it will be one of my greatest memories. It was after the game…everybody gone and we were savouring the environment. We have had a ton of support when the story hit but it tainted next 12 hours. We will still have great memories… none of us smoke, cigars are a symbol. We didn’t know what to do …….we were so excited.

What happened to whole team the next day after winning?
As a team, the few days after the final, everyone was all over…with family and friends. We all went to the men’s game together. And the closing ceremonies…

Was 2010 bigger than 02 or 06 different?
it never gets old…even people ask if this is best. Each one has its own unique story. The 2002 was a team not expected to get a gold, lots going on that season. The team played an unselfish game, every thing we had to do, everyone did it.

The 2006 group was a very dominant team. So the challenge was to keep consistency. 2010 was special, aside from playing in Canada it was exciting to play the USA in a gold medal game after 8 years and after losing the 2009 World Championship. Also our team was in transition in terms of leadership. We struggled through a number of issues. We lost Cassie (Campbell) Vicki (Sunohara) and Danielle (Goyette). So the team did not have much of an identity for a few years. It underperformed in World Championship in 2009 in the final game. I don’t know what happened, it all fell apart.

This year it was a challenge in terms of leadership and identity for the team. The turning point was a bit of attitude at the Hockey Canada Cup. There was an incident in the game against Sweden. Couple of their players went after ( Marie-Philip) Poulin, we stood up for each other we lost game but played well. In the US series of games before the Olympics there was a scuffle in Victoria and again we were standing up for each other. After that everyone started filling roles that needed to be filled and we started playing with confidance.

What was reception like at airport when you returned from Vancouver?
It was pretty good in Calgary we had a later flight lots going on but when we came down escalators there were lots of people there with jerseys and posters to sign. It was amazing how much Canadians paid attention. So times people recognized my name and in a sport like ours it does not always happen.

Are you playing in the Clarkson Cup?
I am hoping the team makes the playoff. Gillian Apps and (USA) Molly Engstrom play this weekend (March 12th) and next weekend…. I am going on vacation for a week to Cuba then I will play in the Clarkson Cup if we qualify.
 

A Smart High Scoring Veteran.

By Heather McIntyre    |  November 2009

Jayna Hefford fits nicely in the middle of what you could call a youth movement.Younger players like netminder Shannon Szabados (23), Catherine Ward (22), Meghan Agosta (22), and Marie-Philip Poulin (18) are making a name for themselves on the Team Canada roster and while it’s not exactly out with the old and in with the new, veterans like Hefford have taken notice.

“The game has changed dramatically since I’ve been here,” said Hefford, a 32-year-old veteran who is headed for her fourth Olympic Games in February 2010. “The game is faster and the players are bigger & stronger.”

Hefford has a hugely successful international career. She is second in games played for the national team behind Hayley Wickenheiser. She is also third in scoring, having netted 116 goals and 209 points in her 195 games as of November 09.

A native of Kingston, ON, Hefford began playing at age 7 with a boys team for 3 She was named Rookie of the Year at the University of Toronto while working on her undergrad in Physical Education. A member of the Brampton Canadette Thunder in Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL)  since 1998, she set a new CWHL scoring record with a five-point performance in an 11-3 win over the Ottawa Senators in February 2009

While Hefford does her fair share on the score sheet, her name is now flanked by the likes of Agosta and Poulin – names that Canadian hockey fans are becoming more familiar with. The young players on Canada’s roster paid their dues on the international stage in Under 18 and Under 22 tournaments and are now ready to make the jump to the Big Show. In exhibition action at the Four Nations Cup (held Nov. 3 to 7 in Sweden), Hefford notched her first point of the tournament with an assist on a power play goal by Poulin. The other assist went to Agosta. “It forces us, as veterans, to continue to get better,”said Hefford.

Hefford is probably best known for her integral role in the 2002 Olympic in Salt Lake City. Many Canadian hockey fans remember the gold medal win on the turf of their No. 1 rivals – the United States. Hefford scored the game-winning goal in the final game with one second left in the second period.

She has been a member of the national team since the 1996-97 season, playing in the 1998, 2002 and 2006 Olympic Games and nine world championships. She is one of only three Canadians to have scored more than 100 international goals and set a record for most points in a game with three goals and four assists in 2006.

Hefford made the team again not simply because of her experience, but because of her consistency and talent on the ice. “You can’t sit back and think that because you’ve been here, that is good enough to keep you on the team,” she said. “Young players want spots.”

Hefford was also chosen Alternate Captain for 2010 Olympic team.