From small town to national stage: Wight opens season with torrid pace
Third-year forward Rianne Wight in scoring race with legendary Hayley Wickenheiser -Photo: U of R Photography Dep't

Rianne Wight has made her mark on the University of Regina women's hockey team this season.

The third-year forward has been jostling with Hayley Wickenheiser all season for the most goals scored in the country.

Wickenheiser, considered by many to be the best female hockey player in the world, has represented Canada at the winter Olympics four times, earning three gold medals and one silver. She recently took a position with the University of Calgary Dinos, joining the same league as Wight.

"It's pretty cool," Wight said. "Wickenheiser's known everywhere - it's nice to be able to tell people I that I have something in common with her.

"She's really intense, competitive player," Wight said of Wickenheiser. "When she's got the puck you just have to watch out because she can shoot and she can skate."

Born and raised in Wawota, a town of about 600 people in extreme southeastern Saskatchewan, Wight has been interested in hockey since she was young.

"My babysitter's kids used to play a lot - they were both boys and they used to always put me in net and make me play goal," Wight said with a chuckle. "It wasn't too long before I broke out of the net and started playing other positions."

Wight has decided to transfer from the Faculty of Kinesiology & Health Studies to nursing this year. She considers the extreme demands of having both academic and athletic responsibilities a challenge but also a great part of being a student-athlete.

"I like being busy," Wight said. "It can be hard to get homework done and find a balance between homework and hockey."

While Wight is working hard to stay among the national scoring leaders, she's got other team-oriented goals in sight.

"We really want to make it to nationals this year," she said. "If we can do that, it'll be an experience that we'll be able to build upon in the next couple of seasons."

For up-to-date news, schedules, and results, visit the University of Regina's athletics website at .