Erica Fryer to play for West Coast Selects team


By Joel Charron

Erica Fryer, 11, has a once in a lifetime opportunity to play goal for the prestigious West Coast Selects (WCS) hockey team.

Fryer has been playing goalie since she began her hockey career four years ago. She has played three years for the Amherstburg Minor Hockey and currently plays for the Sun County AAA pee wee minor boys team.

Fryer said she was bitten by the goalie bug while playing Timbits hockey.

“We took turns playing goalie and I got a shut out my first time,” said Fryer. “I thought I was good at it so I stuck with it.”

Fryer said she was noticed while playing for the Sun County AAA pee wee minor boys team when they played at a tournament in the United States. She was invited to try out for the boys ’00 team and the girls ’99 team.

More than 200 girls invited from across North America competed for 51 positions, with those selected to participate in the program’s international spring training development camp and the World Selects Invitational in Prague, Czech Republic this spring for a 10-day tournament.


Eleven-year-old Erica Fryer is one of four Canadians to be chosen to play for the WCS. Fryer was also the top rated goalie coming out of the Jan 1 tryout.

Fryer was pitted against girls a year older than she is.

“I didn’t really think about it,” said Fryer. “I kind of liked it. It felt like I was playing with the boys.”

Fryer was one of eight goalies at the girls Jan 1 tryout in Detroit, Michigan, including a goalie from Vancouver.

Fryer said that all the players were split into teams for games for evaluations. The goalie evaluator was none other than Jim Bedard of the Detroit Red Wings. Fryer added that Bedard spoke of former Red Wing goalie Chris Osgood, who happens to be Fryer’s favorite goalie.

During the tryout, Fryer played three games at 35 minutes a game and let in only one goal.

“Only one goal got by her while the other goalies let in quite a few,” said Rick Fryer, father.

Fryer mentioned the entire time she was playing the lessons she learned from her In The Zone goalie coaches Perry Wilson, Brian Spearing and Brian Higginbottom kept going through her head.

“I kept on hearing ‘white ice, white ice’ in my head over and over,” she joked.

After the tryout was complete, Fryer said she felt good about her chances of making the team but was still very nervous.

When Fryer got the call from the WCS coaches, she was at the WFCU Center watching the Canadian Pacific team play Team USA in the U17 World Hockey Challenge.

“I passed the phone to her and the coach told her everything,” said Rick. “She couldn’t hear so she went out of the arena and when I met her in the lobby I asked her what was going on, her face just lit up.”

“I was really excited,” said Fryer.

Fryer is one of four Canadians chosen for the WCS, with others hailing from Chatham, London and Sudbury.

In addition to playing in Prague, Fryer will also be playing in spring hockey tournaments with the WCS in Sherbrook, Quebec, Minnesota and Chicago.

Fryer is also excited about the trip to Prague.  She said the plan is to rotate goalies so that they all play equally and that there is a full agenda of things to do when the WCS team isn’t playing hockey.

“This is going to be a great experience for me,” said Fryer. “This is a chance to make a name for myself.”

The trip to Prague isn’t cheap; Fryer has to raise $6,000 and will be looking for local businesses to sponsor the budding goaltender.

“West Coast Selects has drawn up a letter for Erica to ask businesses, companies, real estate agents, friends and family to have their name on a program that we are going to be doing,” said Rick. “You buy an ad  in the program and what ever money is donated goes directly towards Erica, 100 per cent of the money goes to her.”

Anyone looking to buy space in the program can call the Fryer’s household at 519-736-6160.

Space in the program is being sold for as little as $25 and as large as $2,500.

Fryer said she is hoping that this experience will lead her toward her dream of playing for the national women’s team.

“I would like to eventually play for Canada in the Olympics,” she said.

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