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Leigh Aberdeen is one of the top players on her Alberta hockey team, the Falcons. But as a Métis and the only girl on the team she's different--and not everyone is happy about that.
To top it off, she doesn't think her mother wants her to play hockey, so Leigh hasn't told her about the Falcons. Soon she's getting threatening messages on the phone, the Falcons'captain tries to get her kicked off the team, and her mother wants Leigh to go to a dance recital on the same night as the finals. When the pressure becomes too intense, Leigh has to face some hard decisions.
Hat Trick is a suspenseful, action-packed story about a young woman who learns the price of living a double life--the hard way. [Fry Reading Level - 4.2
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Jacqueline Guest has written over a dozen books for young readers, specializing in sports themes and historical fiction. Many of her main characters come from different ethnic backgrounds, including First Nations, Inuit and Métis. Her books have been finalists for the Willa award and the High Plains Book Awards. For more information, visit www.jacquelineguest.com.Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:
Chapter 1 Leigh Aberdeen tightened her grip on her hockey stick. Her eyes flicked to the player on her left. His gaze was riveted on the ref's hand, which held the puck. The puck hit the ice and Leigh's reflexes took over. She cut in front of the other player, outmanoeuvred him and headed down the ice. She watched as the centre for her team sent the puck speeding out to meet her. Swerving, Leigh intercepted the puck and turned toward the far net. She could hear the crowd screaming. Her team, the Forest Park Falcons, were tied with the Devon Dynamos with two minutes left in the third period. This was the closest they'd come to beating their arch rivals all season. Leigh caught a glimpse of both Dynamo defencemen streaking toward her. If she could keep out of their reach, she had a good chance of setting up her shot well enough to beat the Dynamo goalie. Suddenly, out of the corner of her eye, she saw the flash of a green uniform. It was Jimmy Crane, the captain of the Falcons, coming up on her side, fast. What was he doing? He should be running interference for her with the two Devon players. "Pass me the puck," Jimmy shouted at her. "I'm nearly set up!" she yelled back through her face mask. "Take these two out." She dodged around one of the defencemen who'd caught up with her. "I'm the captain. I call the plays," Jimmy said, bumping her out of the way. Leigh was so surprised, her stick jerked, sending the puck spinning out of control down the ice. Her balance was way off. She felt her skates starting to slip. Her arms automatically came up to help centre herself. Unfortunately, when her arms came up, so did her stick. She felt the butt end hit the shoulder of the Dynamo defenceman who had moved in behind her. The whistle went before she had a chance to lower her arms. The ref was pointing at her and signalling with his hands. Leigh knew she had a two-minute penalty for high-sticking. There was only time for one more play, and now the Falcons would be shorthanded. She sat in the penalty box, watching as the two teams formed up for a faceoff in Falcon territory. The puck hit the ice with a smack. Both centres were on it instantly. The Falcon centre tapped it out to a defenceman who passed it up ice to the waiting forward. Leigh held her breath. If he could make a break for it, he might get a chance to score. The Dynamos were all over the guy. He had no one to pass to until the other defenceman could break out. The Falcons needed their extra forward, the one sitting in the penalty box. Leigh watched as the two Devon defencemen moved in on the lone Falcon forward. They stripped him of the puck, turned and headed back toward the Falcon goal. It was amazing to see what a difference one extra player on the ice could make. The Dynamos headed down the ice like a killer wave. The Falcons tried to intercept the passing, but they were spread too thin. Leigh watched as the Dynamos passed the puck back and forth, waiting for their chance. The puck went rink wide as one of the Dynamo forwards passed it to his partner. Suddenly, the Dynamo centre cut to the slot area just as the far winger passed the puck into him. He turned, and slammed the puck into the far corner of the Falcon goal. The Dynamo fans went wild. The horn sounded, ending the game. Dynamos 3, Falcons 2. Leigh looked across at her team's bench, but no one even glanced her way. After a quick handshake for the winning team, the Falcon players grabbed their equipment and headed for the dressing room. Leigh didn't need to be there to know what the guys were saying. As the only girl on the team, she changed in the women's washroom, and right this minute, she was glad she didn't have to face her teammates. Leigh sighed. Letting your whole team down by pulling a stupid penalty and losing the game was a poor start to the NHL career she dreamed of. She wondered if Manon Rhéaume had ever messed up and cost her team the game. She took off her shoulder pads and threw them at her equipment bag. She hadn't meant to high-stick the guy. It had been an accident. She tossed her chest and back pads at the growing pile of equipment. Cooper helmet with cage, jersey, neck guard, elbow pads, Koho gloves, pants, shin pads, girls' can, long underwear, not to mention Bauer skates, aluminum sticks, extra blades, and other assorted stuff made quite a sight. Why hadn't Jimmy let her take her shot? Did he think she was that poor a player? She pulled on her jeans and T-shirt, then started stuffing her pile of equipment in her bag. This had been their last game of the regular season. Losing to the Dynamos hadn't been the best way to end it, but they had still placed well enough in the standings to have secured a spot in the All City Championship. The championship had been the dream of the whole team, and everyone had worked hard to get this far. Now all they had to do was win the playoff series and they'd take the coveted title. No problem! They were the Forest Park Falcons. They could do it. She jammed the last of her stuff in her bag. They would do it. Leigh came out of the washroom just as the other players were leaving. "Nice play, Aberdeen," Jimmy said standing in her way. "Didn't you hear me when I told you to pass me the puck?" He was tall for his age and a lot stronger than the other boys in his class. Leigh noticed he'd slicked his pale blond hair back off his forehead, which somehow made him look older. A lot of the girls in her grade thought he looked like Brad Pitt. Yeah right, Leigh thought as she took a deep breath and squared her shoulders. "I had a clear shot. I just needed the two defencemen blocked." The rest of the team had gathered around them now. "Well, on the Falcons, you do what the captain says." Jimmy moved in closer to her. "No hotshots trying to go for the glory and costing us the game instead!" Just then Coach Stevenson came out of the dressing room. "Okay, that's enough, Jimmy. Leigh made a mistake. It happens to everyone. Next time she'll watch her stick in close quarters. Now, break it up." He waved the boys in the direction of the doors. "Your parents are waiting to get you guys home. Don't forget practice tomorrow night," he called to the retreating players. The coach walked Leigh out. "Jimmy had a point, Leigh. We have to play as a team or we won't stand a chance. If you want to grandstand, you're on the wrong team. I don't know exactly what happened out there, but it looked like you wouldn't pass to Jimmy, lost control of the puck, then got angry and high-sticked that Dynamo player. That penalty cost us." Leigh bit her lip. She wanted to tell the coach her side of things, but she didn't trust herself to speak. Coach Stevenson continued talking. "Don't take it so hard, Leigh. We're still in the playoffs. We're still going all the way." He smiled at Leigh. "Winning the City Championship would mean a lot to the club." She started to walk over to her dad. "Practice tomorrow at 7:00," the coach reminded her. "It's important." Leigh winced at the reminder about the practice. She'd had a few problems juggling her schedule and as a result, she'd missed several practices. She knew they were part of playing on the team, but sometimes, when your mom and dad lived in two different houses, it was hard to fit everything in. She knew if she ditched her mom for hockey, there'd be trouble. Her dad helped her with her equipment. "Bad break," was all he said, then he gave her a hug. "It was an excellent game till then. You played great, and so did the Fraser boy." "Yeah, Robert kicked," Leigh agreed. "I wish I could stickhandle like him." She threw the gear she'd been carrying into the back of the car. "He told me he's from Mountain Mill, and says he can trace his Métis roots right back to a Hudson Bay trader who married a Cree lady in 1802. You're from around Mountain Mill, aren't you, Dad? Did you ever know the Frasers?" Leigh asked. "I told you that was a long time ago. I don't know any of those people anymore." Her father started the engine, revving it loudly. "But your family is Métis too and I thought—" Leigh began again. "I don't want to talk about it," her dad said, cutting her off. Her father always acted like that when Leigh mentioned anything about his Métis family. He never told the other engineers at the oil company he worked for or any of his friends about his roots. And since both she and her dad had such fair colouring, no one ever suspected they were Métis. Her light brown hair and pale skin were even odder for Leigh considering her mom was a native Canadian, a member of the Tsuu T'ina nation. Her mother lived on the reserve close to the outskirts of Elliston. Leigh visited her mom on weekends and had a lot of fun with all her relatives there. Her mother was teaching her traditional native Fancy Dancing, and Leigh really enjoyed the colourful costumes and drumming. When she was with her mom, she felt "connected." To what she wasn't sure, but it was a good feeling anyway. Leigh had never mentioned her mother to her friends or told her dad about her Fancy Dancing. She knew her dad wouldn't like her doing Indian dancing. In fact, no one knew anything about that part of Leigh's life. It seemed to keep things simpler that way, especially with her dad. Not that she was ashamed of her Indian mother exactly…After all, she told herself, what would her teammates say? It was tough enough being the only girl player on a boys' team without adding more trouble. Besides, it evened out because she kept her hockey playing secret from her mom. Her mom wanted Leigh to continue her dancing and would only worry about Leigh getting hurt if she knew about the hockey. Her mother had fallen from a horse when she was young and hurt her leg. She worried that something similar might happen to Leigh. Leigh had decided she was really doing her mom a favour by not telling her. It wasn't lying, exactly… It was a good thing her parents never spoke to one another. It made keeping the two parts of her life separate and secret a lot easier. Hockey was something she shared with her dad and Fancy Dancing was with her mom. It wasn't easy, but her system had worked so far. Is everyone's life this complicated? Leigh wondered....
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Book Description Lorimer, 1997. Condition: Fair. Former Library book. Shows definite wear, and perhaps considerable marking on inside. Seller Inventory # GRP70508774
Book Description Lorimer & Company Limited., Publishers, James. Library Binding. Condition: Fair. A readable copy. All pages are intact, and the cover is intact. Pages can include considerable notes-in pen or highlighter-but the notes cannot obscure the text. At ThriftBooks, our motto is: Read More, Spend Less. Seller Inventory # G1550286013I5N00