Part of a strong leadership core for the rapidly improving Carleton Ravens, Audrey-Anne Boutour provides a confident presence, subsequently setting a positive tone. With the collective goal of a postseason berth, Boutour is eager to bring better days to the program.
Of note, Boutour’s connection to the Ravens actually took place before she even donned the Ravens jersey for the first time in the autumn of 2014. Competing at the CEFEP level with the Dawson College Blues, Boutour (who was raised in Rouyn-Noranda, Quebec) had visited the Carleton Ice House on September 28, 2012, as a member of the opposition for a unique exhibition game. With the final outcome in the Blues favor, fans in attendance could not have foreseen that a member of the Blues on this day would one day don the Ravens colors.
Considering that several of the Ravens rivals include Montreal’s McGill Martlets, Concordia Stingers and Les Carabins, there is no shortage of familiar faces that Boutour opposes on the ice. Several former Blues teammates comprise spots on these opposing team rosters, providing Boutour with the unique aspect of calling her friends and former teammates as opponents.
“They are really talented girls. It is an amazing opportunity to play against such great girls, some I have known several years previous. It is fun to have a good game of hockey against such great friends.”
Committing to the rebuilding Ravens, Boutour would prove to be one of the star players during the encouraging Pierre Alain era, one of many prized recruits that would follow. A member of the RSEQ All-Rookie Team, she would be rewarded for her strong leadership with the honor of being named assistant captain in her sophomore season.
With the Ravens having improved on their win total in every season that Boutour has donned their colors; the chance to have donned the A on her jersey represented a tremendous source of pride. Although a different group of players have gained the opportunity to be assistant captains this season, Boutour’s experience and solid work ethic makes her an invaluable source of wisdom,
“I was the assistant captain last year and it was an amazing opportunity. It was nice to be named a captain by my teammates and coaches, and to be rewarded through hard work.”
During Boutour’s early seasons at the Ice House, it would prove to be the springboard for much more hockey to come in Canada’s capital region. Competing in the nationally prominent Ottawa-Vanier Women’s Ball Hockey League (OVWBHL), Boutour’s strong playmaking skills and acumen for the game translated onto the ball hockey court.
Boutour’s club team during the recent 2016 OVWBHL season resulted in the strengthening of her Ravens roots. Among her teammates was Claudia Bergeron, a former captain with the Ravens during the Shelley Coolidge era. Joining them was fellow alum Olivia Keefe, who once competed at the professional level with the CWHL’s Boston Blades.
With an accomplished ball hockey career running parallel to her exciting time with the Ravens, Boutour would experience a special milestone in 2015. Hosted in Ottawa, the CBHA nationals represented another memorable chapter in the Capital Region’s history of elite women’s hockey.
Competing with the Ottawa Rebels, whose roster included former Gee-Gees captain Fannie Desforges, local legend Chelsea Grills and Ravens alum in Jessica O’Grady, Boutour et al faced off against the Vanier Mooseheads (who had captured the national title in 2014).
With an all-Ottawa match in the bronze medal game, Boutour and the Rebels enjoyed an overtime win, providing Boutour with the proud milestone of a podium finish. Ironically, Boutour would suit up for the Mooseheads at the 2016 edition of the CBHA Nationals. Through it all, the chance to compete in the renowned OVWBHL allowed Boutour another element of enjoyment as Ottawa represents her second hockey home,
“For sure. It keeps you going during the summer. Playing at the nationals was amazing. In 2015, it was another opportunity to play here (in Ottawa) and it was as a great time.”
So far, the 2016-17 season has allowed Boutour and her Ravens teammates several other great times. Their first two home games of the season represented a series of proud milestones, demonstrating the remarkable rebuild taking place.
With the home opener taking place against the defending national champion Carabins de Montreal, captain Tawnya Guindon would score one of the biggest goals in her Ravens career, scoring the game-winning tally in a monumental 3-2 upset. The momentum would continue for the rising Ravens, defeating archrival McGill at home in a 4-2 final as Guindon scored a pair of goals, including another game-winning tally. Such victories represent significant highlights for a veteran player such as Boutour, who is ready to contribute towards future glories, while giving a significant freshman class a role model to emulate,
“When we beat McGill last year, and for sure this year, those were highlights. This season, to have back-to-back wins against Montreal and McGill, it does not get much better than that. To win against some of the beat teams in the league is an exceptional experience and opportunity.”
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”
Photo credit: Marc St-Pierre Photography