As the leading scorer for the PWHL’s Aurora Panthers in the aftermath of the 2014-15 season, it represented another chapter in a strong career assembled by alternate captain Tara Morning. Ready to bring her strong scoring skills to a new level of play, her hockey resume is one that already features a numerous amount of awards and accolades. Such honors include awards at the LLFHL level and the chance to play for Team Hefford at the Ontario Winter Games.
This season, she would log eight multi-point games, including a two-assist effort in a February 18 win against her former club, Barrie. Finishing one point ahead of Jaden Head for the team’s scoring title, she provided offensive consistency for the club.
Having committed to compete with Dalhousie University of the Atlantic University Sports conference for the autumn of 2015, Morning is eager to suit up for the program. An added bonus for the swift skater is the fact that her freshman season with Dalhousie shall be a family affair,
“I am really excited. I like the facilities and the blend of sports and academics. It is near the Ocean and it is exciting that I am going to play against my sister Jasmine. She plays at Mount Allison and it will be different to actually play against her.”
The impact of her sister is one that has already shaped her career in positive ways. Having been teammates in years past, the chance to be on opposite ends of the ice at the university level definitely represents a new episode in each of their careers. Regardless of the final score between the Dalhousie Tigers and Mount Allison Mounties in the season to come, one element that shall not diminish is the mutual respect between the two hockey-playing sisters.
“She has been a huge influence. We played together our whole lives. She was a forward while I was on defense. She is very competitive in one-on-one battles. She pushes me and helps me to improve my game. For two years, we played together on the Barrie Jr. Sharks.”
Prior to making the commitment to joining Dalhousie’s program, she had the chance to participate in the 2014 College Series Rush Hockey Showcase. An event that features unique tournaments and the chance to meet special guests, there was one guest that provided Morning with memories to last a lifetime,
“Basically, it was a showcase event where scouts watched you play and tired to find the potential in you. There were more NCAA schools there but it was interesting to meet new people.
Everyone is looking to move to the next level with the same options. We got to play against some Division 1 players, such as Hilary Knight. She went easy on us, but at the hand, we all got to take a picture with her. It was a very good experience.”
Like so many girls that compete at the PWHL level, Morning also sandwiched in a couple of seasons at the high school level. Competing with Aurora High School in York Region (a district north of Toronto), it would prove to sharpen her skills while experiencing the chance to strengthen her leadership skills. Earning the Most Valuable Player Award at Aurora High, while being named to the 2014 York Region Girls Hockey All-Star Team, it was definitely a memorable moment in her young career,
“It is nice to be rewarded with that kind of stuff; to be recognized for it, which is nice. This team (the Panthers) always comes first. With school hockey, it is not as taxing, but you learn to juggle priorities and work through stuff like that.”
One of the benefits of competing at the PWHL level is the the opportunity to compete in various tournaments throughout the Greater Toronto Area and upstate New York. Morning and her Panthers teammates traveled to NCAA school Union College, which was the host school for an early season tournament. The aftermath of the event would provide Morning with the favorite moment of her season while enhancing her team-first approach, qualities that should make her a valued teammate at Dalhousie
"We participated in a tournament at Union College. It took place at the beginning of the season and we were finalists. It was nice to see the team come out on top at the beginning of the season. You get to meet new people (especially on your team) and you get to gel.”
”All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”
Image obtained from: http://www.leaguelineup.com/teams.asp?url=aurorapanthersinteraa&sid=307241891
Image of Morning playing against Hilary Knight obtained from: https://twitter.com/taramorning14