Following the 2016 Edmonton Region Draft, the Edmonton Black Gold Rush was excited to add 4 new Rushies to their roster: Kristen Denesiuk, Brittany Krachy, Erica Lee, and Lauren MacBeath. With the season under way, these newcomers have already made an impact entering the NRL. The fantastic four have all transitioned from U19AA to the NRL seamlessly. Through their talent, hard work, passion for the game and disposition, each of the Rush rookies have contributed, both on and off the ice, to the team’s success and competitiveness in the West.
When they’re not checking opponents off the ring, Kristin Denesiuk and Brittany Krachy are threats in front of the net. For Denesiuk, who played for the Edmonton Elite U19AA last season and has been playing ringette for 12 years, playing in the NRL was an easy decision because she loves the competitive aspect of the game and was excited to play against and learn from some of the best players in Canada. Krachy has 8 years of ringette experienced, and spent last season playing for the St. Albert Mission U19AA . She chose to play in the NRL because she wanted to compete at high level against some of the best players in the league. Krachy’s impression of her first NRL game was a feeling of nervousness, “but as the first couple shifts went by, I started to feel more comfortable, adjusting to the fast pace and continuing to learn how to become a better player”. When she’s not playing ringette, Krachy spends her time studying kinesiology at the University of Alberta. For Denesiuk, it was an experience like no other; “It’s a fast paced and physical game. I get to play against some of the best players in Canada and even play against players that have coached me in the past”. Outside of the rink, she is a student at MacEwan University, completing her prerequisites for the Pharmacy program at the University of Alberta. She enjoys playing any sport and when she’s not on the ice, you can find her in the gym. She also loves to cook, bake and have fun with her friends.
At the other end of the ice, you can find Erica Lee and Lauren MacBeath owning the defensive zone and shutting down the opposing team’s offense. Lee is going into her 14th ringette season, after playing for the Edmonton Elite U19AA last year. She chose to play in the NRL because “I wanted to continue playing the game I love and experience it at the highest level, and I’m excited to be playing against and learning from some of the best players in the world”. MacBeath has been playing for 15 years, and spent last season with St. Albert Mission U19AA. For MacBeath, the NRL was the natural progression after graduating from the U19AA program, “I always knew I wouldn’t be able to give up playing competitive ringette at only 18. There are great coaches and teammates that make you want to keep in the sport above all else”. When she’s not playing ringette, she is attending the University of Alberta, completing the prerequisites for the school’s School of Business. According to Lee, “My first NRL game was a blur and I think I was running on adrenaline the whole time. It was so cool to be on the ice playing against girls that I’ve looked up to my whole life and it’s something I’ll never forget. I definitely think that the biggest difference between the NRL and U19 is the speed and skill of the players, and it was amazing to experience the game at that level”. Outside of ringette, she is a Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Alberta; you also might not know that she hates any kind of chocolate food!
Photographs courtesy of Henry Kieftenbeld