Worlds: Heading home with a new watch!

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That's it - the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey Women's World Championship Division 2 Group B games have all been played. Congratulations to my friends in Team Australia for winning the gold and we also reached our objective of retaining our place in this division. We played hard with a team full of rookies and I must say I am impressed with the maturity and professionalism that our young team showed on and off the ice. I wish I could say I had the strength, vision and skills that these girls have when I skated out for my first Ice Fernz tournament. It has been an absolute honour and privilege to skate with this team and life-long friendships that I value greatly have been formed.

Today's game was tough as the Mexican team is skilled, fast and structured. We played our game but we were just that little bit slower than the Mexican girls and it is only fair to say we were not in a position to challenge for the win. At the final whistle the Mexicans had beat us by a score of 5-2 and we finished in fifth place between Mexico and Turkey in the table.

At the end of the game I was awarded the Best Player Award for Team New Zealand for the whole tournament. I received an amazing Tissot watch that I will treasure for the rest of my life. I cannot put into words the honour and pride that I feel right now. All said and done, I scored in every game and finished second in goals and points behind my good friend Alivia Del Basso of Australia who was on fire through the whole tournament. We reached our objective as a team and secured our place in this division for next year so we can all go home with our heads held high after a job well done.

I've received a lot of encouraging messages throughout the tournament and we've had a great Ice Fernz supporter crowd at our games. I am absolutely humbled and eternally thankful for all your support. It really means the world to me and I can't thank you enough.

Now all that's left is to pack up and head home to start my post-graduate studies at the University of Auckland. I'll have two weeks off from hockey to rest and recover before heading to the inline hockey national team camp on 18 March. Can't wait!

Anjali Thakker - © 1993 - 2017 - All Rights Reserved.