Coming out of Midget AAA hockey, Alanna Sharman took Canada West hockey by storm in her freshman campaign. Playing for Bisons alum Ashley van Aggelen with the Winnipeg Avros AAA Midget team during the 2013-14 season, the native of Teulon, Manitoba followed in her footsteps and committed to the Bisons program.
Finishing her freshman campaign with a CIS-best 40 points, her 17 goals ranked third in the nation, while her 23 assists ranked second. In addition, Sharman would also become only the third rookie in the 18-year history of Canada West women’s hockey to capture the conference scoring crown. Of note, she would log 15 more points than any other rookie in Canada West.
Establishing herself as a nationally prominent player, she would also rank among some of the finest players in CIS play with seven power play goals and five game winning goals. Her plus/minus rating of +32 ranked second in conference play (and in the entire CIS) to Calgary’s Iya Gavrilova, who would capture the Brodrick Trophy by season’s end.
Sharman became the first Bisons player since Caitlin MacDonald to capture CIS Rookie of the Year honors. MacDonald accomplished the feat in the aftermath of the 2009-10 season. Along with fellow freshman Erica Rieder, both were named to the CIS All-Rookie Team.
Despite going pointless in her CIS debut in an October 3 road match at Regina, she would correct that the following day. Getting on the scoresheet with an assist, the scoring floodgates would open on October 17. Sharman did more than just score her first career CIS goal in a 4-1 victory against Mount Royal.
By the final buzzer, Sharman’s two goals, three points and +3 rating resulted in her first multi-point performance. Her superlative offensive output was complemented by the fact that it was the first of three consecutive multi-point performances.
There were more heroics to come for the rookie sensation as her inaugural season with the Bisons ended with a 9-game scoring streak. Beginning on January 17, said streak would begin with a sensational five-point output as Manitoba prevailed against Regina in a 5-1 final.
Compiling an astounding 21 points during her streak, Manitoba managed a 6-3 record. Perhaps more impressive was the fact that in 28 regular season games, Sharman would record a point in at least 21 games. Her impact was translated into an impressive 16-5 mark.
Heading into the postseason, Sharman’s presence injected confidence, as the Bisons qualified for the Canada West finals against the Alberta Pandas. Despite the Pandas capturing the postseason title, the Bisons have a significant building block in Sharman.
While her strong season may raise expectations, she has the talent to remain a consistent 25-35 point scorer every season. As her efforts provided the Bisons with one of its most memorable seasons ever, positive energy defines the outlook for the 2015-16 campaign.
Undoubtedly, her season builds on the proud legacy being established by Manitoba-born women’s hockey players. Quickly emerging as a hockey hotspot for elite talent, Sharman follows a new generation of Manitoba stars such as Christine Bestland, Bailey and Shelby Bram, DeLayne Brian, Halli Krzyzaniak and Jocelyne Larocque to name a few. Poised to one day don the Canadian jersey at the Winter Universiade and compete in the CIS nationals, the best may be yet to come for Alanna Sharman.
Photo credit: Jeff Miller