Oshawa’s Saroya Tinker has been granted the opportunity to attend one of most prestigious universities in the world by simply doing something she loves.
“[Hockey’s] taken me to study at one of the greatest universities in the world… I think it’s been my positive pastime… and has allowed me to push myself to all the limits I want to get to,” said Tinker, a defenceman for the Yale Bulldogs women’s hockey team.
Born in Oshawa, Tinker 19, grew up playing sports.
I originally did dancing and gymnastics and then they said I was going to be to tall for gymnastics, so I decided to quit and play hockey,” said Tinker.
In high school, Tinker captained the Paul Dwyer Saints girl’s hockey team from grades 10 through 12.
Tinker’s accomplishments continued at the provincial level.
As assistant captain for the Durham West Junior Lightning in the Provincial Women’s Hockey League she helped lead her team to first place in the regular season and was second in points for the playoffs with seven. Her team advanced to the final four before being knocked out in the bronze medal game.
Tinker’s passion for the game led her to be chosen to compete for Team Canada in the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) under-18 Women’s World Cup of Hockey in St. Catharines, Ont. in January 8-15, 2016.
Tinker beat Russia and the Czech Republic en route to the final game where they fell to the United States, 3-2 in overtime.
Lisa Haley, head coach of the U18 women’s team, believes Tinker was a valuable asset to the team.
“As far as hockey goes I was impressed right away by Saroya’s athleticism… you could tell she was an athlete and not just a hockey player, and I think that that’s an important quality to have in this day and age, it lets you be pretty versatile in the things you can do as a hockey player,” said Haley.
Tinker is in her freshman year at Yale on a hockey scholarship. She has one goal and four assists in 30 games and the team has an overall record of 10-17-4.
Tinker believes her father, Harvel, is her biggest influence in hockey.
“He always wanted me to play. He never pressured me to play but I knew that it was going to be something I loved to do too, so I decided to do it and it’s been great ever since, he’s always pushed me, not put too much pressure on me, but pushed me when I needed it,” said Tinker.