Part of a Carleton Ravens program that had 17 first and second year players, Ainslee Kent proudly provided a leadership role. A fourth-year player, Kent was recognized as an alternate captain, hoping to set a positive example for the younger players to emulate. Taking into account that it was a team vote, it represented how her maturity and spirit of sportsmanship were important values to pass on towards the freshman and sophomore groups.
“I think about having gone through four years with the team. The young players have similar goals and we want to lead in that regard. Being made alternate captain was a team vote. For them to look up to us, it is nice to be recognized by both coaches and your teammates.”
Kent’s leadership role was defined by admirable efforts beyond the ice. Recognized by the Ravens sporting community with the Community Outreach Award, it represented the great spirit and compassion of the women’s hockey program. Having served as a member of the university’s Varsity Council, Kent’s teamwork skills have represented a hallmark in her tenure with the hockey program.
“It was pretty special just because our whole team does a lot of work. We like to make sure that we are part of the community and I like to help with that.”
Midway through the 2014-15 season, Kent and her Ravens teammates had a special opportunity to give back to the hockey community. Joined by the legendary Cassie Campbell (the first woman to captain her team to consecutive gold medals in the Winter Games), the Ravens took to the ice at Canadian Tire Centre, home of the NHL’s Ottawa Senators. Providing instruction to young female players, it was also a moment of rejuvenation for Kent, reflecting on younger days with great pride,
“Being on the ice at the CTC and taking part in the camp was amazing. I remember being 10 years old and going to hockey schools all the time, getting an autograph from Cassie Campbell. To actually teach with her (at CTC) and see how excited the young girls felt, it was pretty special. It speaks volumes to how hard we worked to get to this level.”
Throughout her Ravens career, a very positive influence has included former teammate and captain, Sara Seiler (who represented her native Germany in the 2014 Sochi Winter Games). Several of the most notable and treasured moments in Kent’s career involved contests that consisted of Seiler gracing the ice,
“One of my most favorite moments was in my first year. We were playing Ottawa U and we won in a shootout. I remember it was Seiler’s last year and she roofed a shot that hit the water bottle, sending the bottle flying through the air. That was a great team moment, and for us, it is always fun beating our rivals at Ottawa.”
Another particular game that took place not only brought Seiler’s career with the Ravens full circle, but was a game to remember for Kent. With the Ravens hosting the German national team in 2013 (as Ottawa was the host city for the 2013 IIHF Women’s Worlds), it was a treasured moment for all Ravens involved. As a side note, Kent would also get the opportunity to compete against the Norwegian national team, as well as the U18 squads from both Canada and Switzerland.
“That is pretty amazing. Sometimes, you do not think you will get the chance to play other national teams unless you are in the national program. The game against Germany, to play against our former captain Sara Seiler stands out as the most exciting. They were all fun events to be part of.”
With one year of eligibility remaining in Canadian Interuniversity Sport play, Kent is pondering her future. Having already graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in International Business, she was recognized by the Ravens during their senior night ceremonies. A veteran of 74 games, her father, Robert, along with sisters Jordyn and Cassidy joined her for a pre-game ceremony. Regardless of her decision, her legacy as a valued teammate can never be in dispute, as she will always find a home in the Ravens hockey nest.
“Senior night has not really hit me yet. I played only four years and I may come back (as all CIS players are allowed five years eligibility). It depends where I end up doing my Masters Degree in International Affairs. It was a special night, celebrating with my best friends from the very beginning. Personally, I do not feel that I am done with hockey yet.”
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”
Image from Carleton Ravens Athletics