Providing a strong presence on offense, Alli Borrow delivered on all accounts in a dazzling senior season with the Calgary Dinos. Finishing as the team’s scoring leader with a superlative 26 points, she paced all players in goals scored. Also contributing three game winning goals, Borrow proved essential for a Dinos team that enjoyed 19 wins, finishing as the fourth seed in Canada West.
Raised in Clearwater, British Columbia, the last two seasons resulting in a cumulative total of 40 points, Borrow’s career began with the now defunct Lethbridge Pronghorns. Skating with the program from 2017-20, she recorded 34 points in 81 games played. Of note, her final goal in the Lethbridge jersey took place on February 1, 2020, finding the back of the net versus UBC goaltender Tory Micklash in the first period. Coincidentally, her final appearance for the program took place one week later versus the Dinos.
Remaining in Alberta to finish her Canada West career, Borrow joined the same Dinos in the autumn of 2020, although she would have to wait one more year to grace the ice. Majoring in Sociology, Borrow’s Dinos career involved playing for head coach, and former Winter Games gold medalist Carla MacLeod. Debuting for the Dinos on October 15, 2021 versus Manitoba, the appearance also resulted in her first goal, scoring in the first period as Kate Wagner earned the assist.
Among the highlights of Borrow’s final season with the Dinos, the milestone of a place on the Canada West First Team All-Stars represented an exciting pinnacle. Poised to be a point of proud reflection in later years, the honour provided an exclamation point on an exceptional career. In addition, goaltender Gabriella Durante gained Second Team honors, while the All-Rookie Team featured a pair of Dinos in Keagan Goulet and Sydney Mercier.
“Being named a Canada West First Team All-Star has been a dream of mine since coming into the Canada West league. To be recognized for all of the hard work and dedication I have put in over my career has truly been a special accomplishment. It is definitely an honor to receive this award and it is something that when I look back on my hockey career, I will be very proud of myself and the team I played on. I am super happy I was able to end my career with the Dinos and be part of this program.”
Among Borrow’s achievements in the iconic red and gold Dinos jersey, this season placed her into the upper echelon of talents. Finishing the season as the Canada West leading goal scorer, lighting the lamp 15 times, the Dinos enjoyed an 8-3-0 mark when she scored.
Before the holiday break, Borrow scored one of the greatest goals of her Dinos career. Coming back from a 2-1 deficit, as Jada Leung scored the tying goal, overtime saw Borrow record her ninth goal of the year, resulting in her second game winner.
“To be the Canada West leading goal scorer was something I was very proud of and did not necessarily envision for myself. But, every night I came to the rink and wanted to play my role on the team which was to score goals and put up points.
Therefore, to be able to go out there and do it for my teammates was something I took pride in. I would not have been able to accomplish this without my line mates and the team as a whole helping me find scoring opportunities and supporting me throughout the season.”
Borrow’s best performance involved a pair of hat tricks versus the Manitoba Bisons. The first occurred on Remembrance Day, a 4-0 home victory which also saw Elizabeth Lang add her name to the scoresheet. As a side note, Sophia Zuck contributed a pair of assists while goaltender Gabriella Durante registered 23 saves for her third shutout of the campaign. For her efforts, Borrow earned Canada West Player of the Week honors.
Coincidentally, Borrow’s second hat trick versus Manitoba also resulted in a 4-0 shutout. Taking place on the road, Borrow and Jada Burke also assisted on the game winning goal, scored by Rebecca Clarke. With the four point performance her finest of the season, the theme of coincidence continued as Durante gained another shutout, leading the team with seven.
As exceptional as these performances were, both proved to be prologue. While the Crowchild Classic also held tremendous importance, gracing NHL ice on January 27 at the Scotiabank Saddledome versus the Mount Royal Cougars, the most impactful game for Borrow took place on February 10, as Senior Night festivities occurred.
Proudly belonging to a class filled with seven sensational seniors, including Erin Armstrong, Jordyn Burgar, Jada Burke, Emily Hill, Annaliese Meier and Ashley Sutherland, the shared sense of achievement encompassed a joyous occasion. With family proudly on hand, it provided Borrow with an important feeling of celebrated closure. An opportunity to recognize what they meant in the narrative of her hockey career, one that ended in strong admiration of her offensive brilliance with All-Star acclaim.
“Scoring a hat trick is a moment every hockey player dreams of. This was a very memorable moment but there are other moments throughout the year that stand out to me. Playing the Crowchild Classic was a super cool experience and something I will never forget.
Yet, the most memorable moment to me was having my family come down to Calgary for my senior weekend and celebrating the end of my career. It was really special to have them there as they have always been so supportive of me and helped me get to where I am today. It put a smile on my face to have them there for my last U Sports games.”
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated“
Featured image by David Moll