The days are finally getting warmer and Grace MacKenzie is headed back to the ice.
But she will be the first to tell you she doesn't mind.
MacKenzie, of Stillwater Lake, is a 17-year-old ringette goalie in the Halifax Hurricanes organization.
She gets a big chance this weekend in Toronto. She is one of five goalies invited for tryouts for the Canadian under-21 women's team set to play in the world championships later this year.
"This is the first time for me," the Sir John A Macdonald student said before leaving. "I'm nervous. I'm excited."
She has a polished resume after more than a decade in her sport. Two years ago, she helped the Nova Scotia under-16 team win an eastern Canadian title.
She participated in an identification camp last year and was scouted throughout the year. She plays at the under-19 level in Nova Scotia.
With the popularity of women's hockey in Canada, many of MacKenzie's friends chose pucks over rings.
"I did try it when I was atom age, but I liked ringette better," she said.
The passion developed early. "I always liked the people. I like the speed. I like the competition."
Thirty-five players have been invited to the training camp. MacKenzie is the only Nova Scotian to earn an invitation.
There are four inter-squad games starting Friday night. Players advancing in the selection process will be announced by Tuesday.
"I feel good about it," MacKenzie said. "It will be tough competition."
There will be two more training camps in September and October. The world tournament will be held Nov. 27 to Dec. 3 in Mississauga.