Sydnee Baker Bringing Big Game To Small Island

Sydnee Baker UPEI Hockey

Sydnee Baker with the UPEI Panthers – Photo by UPEI Athletics

When most people talk about “Island Life,” they picture palm trees and sandy beaches. Although Prince Edward Island has its fair share of beautiful beaches, for the majority of the winter, Canada’s smallest Province is covered by snow and ice.

The ice and cold, however, is just fine with Chatham’s Sydnee Baker, who finds herself on the ice more often then not with the University of Prince Edward Island Panthers women’s hockey team.

“The weather so far has been something to get used to,” explained Baker of life in PEI, stating the University has been closed a handful of times due to weather since her arrival. “It’s part of living on an island in Canada I guess.”

Despite the cold weather outside, Baker, a first year student-athlete with the UPEI Panthers has been staying hot on the ice, finishing the seasons first half leading her team in scoring as a freshman.

“Patience and hard work has paid off for me when it comes to success on the ice,” explained Baker, who attended UCC and John McGregor in Chatham. “Trusting my coaches decisions and always believing in my abilities. Just focusing on being the best I can be so that my team can have success.”

Baker isn’t unaccustomed to on ice success, scoring a point per game last season with the PWHL’s London Devilettes, and helping the UCC Lancers girls team to OFSAA in her grade 11 season before transferring to JMSS.

Despite the distance from home, and the challenges of being a first year player, Baker has brought a big game to the small island of PEI.

“Playing University hockey at UPEI has been everything I imagined,” explained the 5’10” forward. “The competition is tough, our schedule is busy, between being on the ice six times a week, whether it be for games or practice, and off ice training. It keeps me going. My coaches and teammates have been like family. Not to mention all the other athletes on campus, the support for each other is amazing.”

That support, and the lifestyle of PEI has helped Sydnee Baker, who is still deciding on a major, as she transitions to life and sports in a new city.

“Life in PEI is laid back. From the beaches to downtown Charlottetown, it is such a beautiful place,” she said of the city and lifestyle. “All the “Islanders” are so friendly and helpful.”

“Being away from my family and friends has been an adjustment. I have moments where I wish they were closer, but I just try to keep busy and I look forward to the next visit.”

Playing a prominent role with her team, who are one of the Atlantic University Sport’s top teams, Baker is definitely busy, and will remain busy as she works toward her personal and team goals.

“My focus is to continue work hard, win games, get us to playoffs, and have a chance to get to that CIS championship. That would be amazing in my rookie year.”

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