I seem to start off a lot of entries this way, but I honestly can’t believe that March is almost over! Today is the first day that I’ve felt like Winter is finally loosening its grip on Ottawa; the sun is shining, and the snow is finally melting. I swear I even heard a bird singing walking to class today! Today was also the last official practice of the season, which is always a little bittersweet. Because it was their last practice ever, our four graduating players got to pick drills to end practice. They ranged from shootout games to a rousing game of Star Wars, something I haven’t played since Atom. All in all, it was a great last practice to cap off a great end of the year.
As I mentioned in my last entry, we finished the season in fourth place and ended up playing McGill in the first round of playoffs. Our playoff run unfortunately did not get off to the best of starts; we ended up losing the first game 9-0 at McGill, which meant that the series moved back to Carleton for a must win, do-or-die game. Obviously, this result was a huge disappointment to the team. Although we ran into penalty trouble, serving 26 minutes total, we could not blame the blowout loss on that fact alone. We knew we had to be better in the next game, as it was no longer simply about winning and moving on, but about our pride.
Even though we would lose the next game, a much closer 3-1 decision, I have never been more proud to wear the Ravens jersey as I was that day. Something clicked for us, inspiring our best effort of the year. I honestly don’t know what sparked it; maybe it was the need we all felt to prove ourselves after such a bad loss in our first game, or maybe it was for the love we all have of our graduating players and our desire to give them a worthier send-off. But, what I do know is that after 40 minutes of play, we were winning 1-0. I know that single players brought their absolute best game. I know that we were so close to winning that game that I can still taste it in the back of my mouth. Experience may have propelled McGill to victory that day, but it took everything they had and even then, they did not score the winning goal until there was less than 5 minutes left to go in the game. In my head, it was a 2-1 loss, as they scored an empty net goal with less than 5 seconds left on the clock. Even though we lost the game, it was truly a statement game for our program because it proved that we can compete with the best there is in this country. Yes, it was devastating to lose this way, how can it not be when it was so close. But I can’t really be upset about a game like that. I think that right there is the very feeling that you can get from sport. It’s that moment where the result literally makes no difference at all. It’s exciting to think of where this kind of play can take us next year, especially thanks to the Montreal Carabins winning the national championship and therefore opening up another spot for a team in our league to qualify. A big congrats to all the teams in our league, and especially the Montreal Carabins, on a great season!
This year, as I’m sure you all know, the Women’s World Championships are being held in Ottawa. As part of promotion for the game, we are playing an exhibition game against team Germany on Easter Sunday, at 3pm at the Carleton University Ice House. If you are in the Ottawa area and would like to check out some great female hockey, we’d love to see you there!
I am also going to be volunteering at the World Championships as a member of the Broadcast team. It’s a great opportunity to learn a little bit about sports broadcasting, and to also catch some female hockey at the highest possible level. I saw a lot of these teams play at the Vancouver Olympics, so it’ll be great to see how everyone has developed since then. I hope that everyone had as good a finish to their seasons as we did, and for those who are still playing, best of luck in your last few games!