Hockey Canada Images/Andy Devlin Emily Clark, 17, played on the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship team, winning gold against the US, 2-1 in overtime.

For 17-year-old Emily Clark, from Saskatoon, hockey is more than just a passion – it’s a way of life.

And after her and her teammates won gold against the United States at the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship, Clark’s dedication is starting to pay off.

“I’m the youngest of six kids and my dad has always been involved in hockey and coaching. I have four older brothers and an older sister and all four of my brothers played, so I’m just one of the boys I guess,” said Clark.

“My dad runs two of the rinks in Saskatoon, so I was always in the rink and bugging him,” Clark said with a laugh.

According to Clark, a girl looking to play hockey in Saskatoon with any amount of seriousness will have to be dedicated to the sport and passionate because it isn’t always a walk in the park.

“Being the only girl playing boys hockey when I was younger was kind of challenging,” she said. “I just had to change one mind at a time. I had really great coaches growing up who always believed in me and always treated me like a hockey player and not a girl hockey player.”

The best advice Clark has for any aspiring female hockey players is to stick with it and push through any road blocks you may encounter.

“Always work hard. I’ve been cut from more teams than I’ve made – but I’ve never given up. Just stick with it,” she said.

Clark is currently spending the school year away from home, attending a hockey academy in British Columbia.

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