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Mount Allison coach, Amherst native part of silver medal-winning Team Canada at world university games in Russia

Amherst native Terry Rhindress and Abby Beale of Sackville, N.B. stand with the silver medals they won with Team Canada at the 2019 Winter Universiade in Krasnoyarsk, Russia in March.
Amherst native Terry Rhindress and Abby Beale of Sackville, N.B. stand with the silver medals they won with Team Canada at the 2019 Winter Universiade in Krasnoyarsk, Russia in March. - Contributed

Sackville, N.B.'s Abby Beale played with Team Canada

AMHERST, N.S. —

How many Canadians can say they had a chance to compete in one of hockey’s greatest rivalries?

Amherst native and Riverview, N.B. resident Terry Rhindress got to experience that as an assistant coach of the silver medal-winning Team Canada women’s hockey team at the 29th Winter Universiade in Krasnoyarsk, Russia in March.

“It was an experience for sure,” Rhindress said. “Our goal was to play Russia in the gold medal game. I remember when we were talking to the players, we talked about the 72 Summit Series and the rivalry Canada has had with Russia.”

Rhindress said the gold medal game was played in a packed and partisan stadium, something most of the players had never experienced before.

“There were 6,000 or 7,000 fans there cheering for Russia, but your standing there on the bench with goosebumps as they’re playing the Canadian anthem,” he said. “It was a like a dream. I was waiting for someone to pinch me.”

Rhindress, who just finished his first season behind the bench with the Mount Allison Hockey Mounties, was invited last summer to participate in a Hockey Canada evaluation for the women’s team.

It was following that camp that Rhindress applied for a position with the team heading to Russia and he found out last fall that he was accepted to the coaching staff and spent three weeks in northwestern Russia preparing for and participating in the tournament.

The Russian team that beat Canada in the gold medal game had 16 members that competed recently at the Women’s World Championships, losing to Canada in the bronze medal game.

Canada won 10-0 over China, 4-0 over Japan and 1-0 over the United States before defeating Switzerland 8-2.

Its only loss in the round robin, a preview of the final, was a 4-2 setback to the host Russians.

Canada earned a spot in the final with a 5-1 win over Japan while the Russians thumped the Americans 10-1.

Russia won gold with a 2-0 win over Canada with the second goal being an empty-net goal to clinch the win for the Russians.

“It was quite an honour just to get invited to participate in the evaluation camp in Calgary last summer,” he said. “When they put out applications I never heard back and got involved with my own hockey team so that I never thought much of it. One day the phone rang and it was Hockey Canada telling me I was going to Russia.

“I’ve had the opportunity to coach at a bunch of different levels and I’ve been in some pretty neat locations, but to coach in Russia against Russia was sort of the peak of my coaching career up until this point,” he said, ”it was incredible.”

The team didn’t have a lot of time to prepare since the players came together from across the country. It included four players from the AUS, including the Mounties’ Abby Beale of Sackville, N.B.

Team Canada also included Katryne Villeneuve and Cassandra Labrie from the University of Moncton and Dalhousie University Tigers’ player Natale Stanwood.

“Our goal was to get better as the tournament went on. We didn’t have much of a chance to play together before while the Russian team had been together for six months,” Rhindress said. “A lot of the other teams were in the same situation as we were, they just arrived there before the tournament.”

The team, he said, came together very quickly and using video and on-ice practices it seemed to gel.

As for the future, Rhindress is hoping to get another opportunity to attend the Hockey Canada camp in Calgary this summer and the 2021 games are in Switzerland.

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