Portage Collegiate Saint Karly Vince is the Winnipeg Women’s High School Hockey League’s Free Press Division MVP.

The Grade 12 forward received the honour on Tuesday night at the league’s award ceremony. Vince says she was one of four girls nominated for MVP, noting when she found out she was unbelievably proud.

“I was super excited and just happy, in general, that I was recognized because the Grade 9 version of me would’ve never expected this,” Vince explains. “I was at the bottom in almost everything. So, it’s really exciting that I improved so much to be able to get this award.”

Vince says she was shaking at the award ceremony due to nerves but adds once she won, she couldn’t contain her energy.

The PCI forward played in 17 regular-season games this year and put up a league-leading 23 goals while dishing out four assists for 27 points. She added another five goals and three assists in six playoff games before the Saints were eliminated. Vince reflects on PCI’s impressive postseason.

“I think we did super well. No one expected us to get to the semi-finals. They thought we would get knocked out in the first round,” says Vince. “When we faced the Gophers, I think we were all a little nervous. We lost to them in the first game, and then in the second game, there were no goals until halfway through the third when they scored on us. With like one minute left, we got two goals against them, and we are all proud of ourselves for just doing that.”

The Gophers came into the series with PCI having just two losses all season. 

Vince was very satisfied with the way she went out in her senior season with the Saints, noting the MVP makes it even more gratifying. The graduating player says working hard is the most important thing.

“All it takes is hard work. I just try to show the girls that if you just put in the time, and work hard at practice, it pays off,” Vince continues. “I’ve worked hard for three years, and this just shows it pays off in the end.”

The division’s Most Valuable Player says this was her favourite season of hockey at PCI and adds she’s so grateful to have had such a close bond with her teammates.