WHEN an injury to a squad mate allowed former Bathurst-based talent Rebecca Lee the chance to star in the Canberra Chill's first ever Hockey One clash she was determined to make the most of her inclusion.
Lee and her Chill teammates managed to win 3-2 in a shoot out over the Brisbane Blaze on Sunday after the teams finished all square at two goals apiece in the Canberra match.
Following a long build up to the new competition - formerly the Australian Hockey League - Lee was hopeful her efforts at training had paved the way for a place in the team.
"I wasn't originally named in the 14, which was disappointing after training so hard. Unfortunately one of our players Tina [Taseska] got injured. I was the 15th man and I got called in so I was excited to have that opportunity," Lee said.
"It was a great game and it's great having three Hockeyroos in our team. We have Brooke Peris, Edwina Bone and Kalindi Commerford. It's great playing alongside them and getting a win against Queensland is always a great feeling.
"With them having so many Hockeyroos in their team it's a really good start for the Chill.
"We have a really great team environment and we've been playing together for years. There's also a couple of internationals. There's three Japanese girls and a girl from England and they've been amazing to learn from."
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Both defences turned up ready to go in Sunday's match, keeping the scores locked at nil-all going into half-time.
It was only late in the third quarter when the scoreboard clicked over, as Brisbane Blaze's Rosie Malone scored from the field. Her successful one-on-one conversion doubled the advantage.
Blaze started the stronger of the teams during the final term but Chill got themselves on the board when a sharp Beckie Middleton across the circle found an unmarked Naomi Evans, who scored.
Evans nailed the one-on-one to make it 2-all with seven minutes to go.
Chill goalkeeper Sakiyo Asano was superb during the shoot out, giving the Canberra squad three points from the match while Brisbane went home with two.
Canberra now prepare for a meeting with rivals NSW Pride this Saturday.
Normally, Lee would have had the chance to face her sister in the ACT-NSW fixture but Tamsin Bunt became a mother less than two months ago and has put hockey aside for the moment.
"We're feeling pretty confident. Last year we beat them during the rounds. There was a bit of commotion after the game got pulled up short and they didn't get to use their powerplay," Lee said.
"That's just outdoor sports, unfortunately, so hopefully we get to play the whole game this time.
"My sister normally plays with the team but she had a baby seven weeks ago so mum's a full fan of me this time so she doesn't have to split her allegiance.
"It's a bit different not playing against her because that's always fun but hopefully she'll be back out there next year.
"She'll be watching but she'll gravitate more towards the Pride because that's her team. She might have a bit of hockey envy but understandably her priorities are in a different place at the moment."