Rebecca Johnston has received many medals and championships throughout her profession. She now leads the PWHPA Dream Hole Tour in scoring and enjoys the moments.
If this season is a swan track for Rebecca Johnston, she’s going out with a bang by main the PWHPA Secret Dream Hole Tour in scoring.
If it’s a reboot to a different part in her profession, she appears like a participant in her prime, able to make an affect.
A member of the PWHPA’s Staff Scotiabank, Johnston has 9 objectives and 17 factors in 11 video games, two forward of fellow Canadian nationwide workforce member Marie Philip-Poulin and 4 forward of American nationwide workforce member Abby Roque. Whereas it’s not a “league,” this yr’s format of protecting the Dream Hole Tour groups collectively feels extra like a league, which has helped Johnston discover on-ice success.
“The tour has been nice – we’ve been capable of go to a whole lot of completely different cities and showcase ladies’s hockey,” mentioned Johnston, a three-time Olympic gold medallist. “We’ve performed a whole lot of actually aggressive video games towards one another, in addition to having the consistency of being on the identical workforce and making it really feel like as a lot of a league as doable, which has been very nice.”
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Canadian followers welcomed Johnston’s return to aggressive hockey this season, watching the ahead rating a powerful 10 factors in seven video games on the 2022 Olympics. Following the Olympics, nevertheless, Johnston was noticeably absent from Canada’s World Championship gold medal-winning workforce in September. In keeping with Johnston, she was at some extent in her profession the place she wanted to step again and assess her future.
“After the Olympics and all through the summer season, I began occupied with what I wished to do subsequent, if I wished to maintain taking part in or if I wanted to take a while – for me, it was a giant second,” mentioned Johnston.
That second included pondering a shift in profession paths from competing on the ice to teaching. Johnston was employed in September 2022 to affix the NHL’s Calgary Flames full-time in a participant improvement position. The transfer, whereas thrilling, gave Johnston rather a lot to consider.
“Then the Flames alternative got here up for me, which I used to be very grateful for and wished to undoubtedly soar on board and take a look at,” she mentioned. “It’s been an ideal expertise for me working with the Flames, then having the ability to play for the PWHPA. They each have been supportive sufficient to let me do each, so it’s been throughout a special yr, however a whole lot of nice experiences for me.”
Now again within the recreation with a number of choices forward, Johnston has felt a brand new sense of freedom and calm on the ice. At 33 years previous, the veteran is having enjoyable and taking part in among the finest hockey of her profession. Inside that mentality, nevertheless, Johnston embraces each second she will for so long as she will.
“I don’t know the way for much longer I’ll be taking part in, so for me, it’s been good to have one thing else to give attention to,” Johnston mentioned. “With work and hockey, it offers me that stability. I’ve simply been having fun with and having enjoyable, and that’s if you’re most profitable is if you’re unfastened and never worrying about a complete lot. It’s been a whole lot of enjoyable this season.”
Whereas Johnston desires to proceed to study and develop in her position with the Calgary Flames, she’s additionally centered on the right here and now with Staff Scotiabank on the PWHPA’s Secret Dream Hole Tour. On Friday and Saturday, her workforce will play in a pair of OHL rinks in Peterborough and Kitchener, Ont. The next week, Johnston, virtually precisely a yr after she stepped off the ice as an Olympic gold medallist with Canada, will rejoin the Canadian nationwide workforce for the ultimate recreation of the Rivalry Collection towards Staff USA.
“I’m excited, it feels prefer it’s been some time, and I’m excited to get again to taking part in for my nation and being with all the ladies,” mentioned Johnston.
If that is her swan track, Rebecca Johnston and her 14 medals as a member of Staff Canada, in addition to two CWHL championships, will go down as among the best to play the sport. Including a PWHPA Dream Hole Tour scoring title to her resumé will solely additional cement that legacy.
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