Two Vancouver HEROS participants had the opportunity of a lifetime on Saturday with the Abbotsford Heat’s Pro Experience. Invited to participate in an on ice practice session coached by Stanley Cup winner Ryan Walter, the two were put through their paces in pro drills at the Calgary Flames’ NHL affiliate’s arena. Brianna and Christmas have both been involved in HEROS since their days in elementary school in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Facing a number of social and economic challenges, both young women have overcome adversity, worked hard and have set their lives on the right course for success. Their Pro Experience began with a bus ride with the Vancouver Women’s Hockey team who donated two positions on the ice to Brianna and Christmas. When they arrived at the arena, the girls were treated to dressing room access to get ready for their training session in the spotlight. “The Abbotsford Heat really did a top-notch job” says Katlyn Moore, HEROS representative at the event. “The girls fit in so well with the women’s team and from the moment they got off of the bus, they really did feel like pros.” After their hour-long ice session, the girls hit the locker room, and got ready for the rest of their experience which included a catered dinner followed by a feisty game between the Heat and the Uthica Comets (the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks NHL Affiliate teams respectively). Ryan Walter even joined them at the Second Intermission to answer questions and even showed off his 1982 Stanley Cup Ring. Thank you to the Abbotsford Heat and the Vancouver Women’s Hockey team for giving the Pro Experience to two well deserving HEROS.