The turnaround season for the Calgary Dinos’ women’s hockey program was a team effort, but its goaltender was undoubtedly a major factor in their success.
Kelsey Roberts, a two-time provincial champion with the Northern Capitals, Prince George’s top female under-18 hockey team, backstopped her squad to its first winning record and first-round playoff bye in seven seasons.
The fourth-year’s efforts have been rewarded yet again with the University of Calgary’s 2019-20 Female Athlete of the Year, marking the third time in school history a women’s hockey player has received one of the Dinos’ top honours.
Roberts joins Hayley Wickenheiser and Iya Gavrilova in that prestigious class and beat out four other nominees.
She led the Canada West conference with 16 wins of Calgary’s 18-7-1-3 regular-season record, logging in the second-most minutes, nearly 1,530, and the second-highest save-percentage at .948.
Those numbers were just the start of her now impressive resume, which was followed by nods for Canada West women’s hockey player of the year, a Canada West first-team all-star and a U-Sports first-team All-Canadian.
"The University of Calgary has an abundance of elite-level athletes who take great pride in their sports, and I'm honoured that I was chosen among these female athletes for this award," said Roberts in a school release.
"I would like to thank my teammates and my coaches for an amazing season, this would not have been possible without them."
The Kitimat, B.C. product played with two other former Northern Capitals this year in Taylor Beck and Sage Desjardins, all of which were critical down the home stretch in getting Calgary its first-round playoff bye.
The Dinos’ dream season would ultimately come to an early end by losing to Mount Royal 1-2 in the best-of-three semi-finals.
Prior to the season, Roberts was named to Hockey Canada’s national women’s development team for its annual three-game summer series with the United States.
Her first game in a maple leaf sweater resulted in a 4-2 loss to the Americans, stopping 22 of 26 shots in Lake Placid, New York.
.@NCapitalsfmaaa alumna Kelsey Roberts made 22 saves in her Team Canada debut, but despite holding a 1-0 lead through 1.5 periods, the Americans came back with a 4-2 victory 🏒🇨🇦 | https://t.co/pzngC6ch3v #CityOfPG @HockeyCanada @PGMatters pic.twitter.com/y8SwzEXlnG— Kyle Balzer (@KyleBalzer) August 16, 2019