RED DEER – This month’s Alumni Spotlight focuses on Sierra LaPlante.
Sierra LaPlante is considered a late starter in her hockey career. She started playing hockey as a second-year U11, after her brother asked to play U7.
“I remember practicing on our community outdoor rink – him in his new hockey gear and me in whatever we could find – snow pants, ski helmet and gloves with some figure skates,” said Sierra. “It was these times that I fell in love with the game and told my Dad I wanted to play hockey too.”
Her late start didn’t affect her development as a player. Sierra played her minor hockey with Hockey Calgary’s Crowfoot Minor Hockey Association before making her debut in the Alberta Female Hockey League. Teams she played with include Calgary Bantam Elite Fire White, Rocky Mountain Raiders U18 AAA and Calgary U18 AAA Fire. She now suits up for the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds.
“My minor hockey experience helped me grow and mature as a hockey player and individual, allowing me the capability to adapt to playing at the higher, faster, smarter university level,” reflected Sierra.
Sierra’s dedication to her craft, is displayed through her style of play. She plays with confidence, relying on her instinct and adrenaline.
“That’s my favourite thing about hockey – the opportunity to play off of your instincts and getting to experience the adrenaline and memories it brings with it,” said Sierra. “Just knowing you’ve practiced and battled throughout the week, so you’re prepared to perform on the weekends, alongside your second family is really something special.”
It’s her own family who she credits being the biggest influence in her hockey career. Her Dad has coached her and pushed her to be her best. While her Mom offers unwavering support to Sierra’s hockey career.
In 2019, Sierra was part of the Team Alberta who struck gold in Red Deer at the Canada Winter Games. She claims nothing can compare to the atmosphere of that evening. The crowd chanting and supporting every play, the bench energy, adrenaline rush, the buy-in the team had to play their role and how each player contributed in their own way, makes up one of Sierra’s favourite memories playing hockey in Alberta.
“My advice when you’re starting out is to just have fun. Have fun learning about the game of hockey, about yourself and your skills, and have fun with your teammates, because who knows, they may become your long-time best friends,” said Sierra.