Having worked tirelessly to transform the Carleton Ravens into a nationally prominent program, head coach Pierre Alain is assembling an exceptional collection of young talent. Among his recruits for the autumn of 2016, Alain has landed a player that may alter the balance of power in the RSEQ Conference.
As the Ravens look towards the future with great optimism, there are already some great pieces in place. Forward Nicole Miners set a program record for most points by a rookie in the 2015-16 campaign. In addition, goaltender Katelyn Steeel was named to the RSEQ Second-Team All-Stars while a strong penalty kill unit consisting of Leah Scott and Hannah Dinovitzer adds to a promising defensive squad.
Hailing from Lloydminster, Alberta, Delaney Ross may prove to be the jewel in the crown. An exceptionally gifted scorer, Ross is poised to be a welcome presence for the Ravens program, one that could be classified as a game changer. Of note, she continues in the proud tradition of Western Canadians that have donned the Ravens colors, including goaltender Tamber Tisdale and blueliner Jasmine Levesque.
While the Ravens have solid goaltending and a hard-working defense, Ross may be the catalyst to awaken the Ravens offensive potential. As the program only scored 23 goals during the previous season, an influx of goal scoring shall be required in order to enable their postseason ambitions. Ross, already a contender for the 2017 RSEQ Rookie of the Year Award, instantly adds an exciting new dimension.
“The best part of my game would be goal scoring and setting plays up.”
The opportunity to play for an accomplished coach such as Alain was a key factor in making the decision to commit to Carleton. Of note, Alain brings a solid coaching resume, which includes leading Canada’s National U18 team to a golden outcome at the 2012 IIHF Women’s Worlds. Having also served on the coaching staff of the CWHL’s Montreal Stars, and one season as head coach at Toronto’s Ryerson University, Alain has an exceptional breadth of experience at elite levels.
“I am looking forward to play under coach Pierre and from what I hear, the team should be very strong this year.”
In addition, Ross is contributing to the growing legacy of Aboriginal competitors in women’s ice hockey. Considering that talents such as Brigitte Lacquette and Jamie Lee Rattray competed on the national team, the presence of Ross playing at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) level brings with it an opportunity to emerge as a role model for younger Aboriginal players.
Hailing from the Canoe Lake First Nation, Ross has competed in the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships on five separate occasions, boasting three gold medals and two silver medals, respectively. Her finest moment may have been the 2014 final, when she scored a pair of shorthanded goals for Team Saskatchewan, prevailing in a 5-3 final against Team Ontario. For her efforts, Ross was honored as the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
Over the past two seasons, Ross has amassed a superlative 216 points in just 112 games for the Junior Women’s Hockey League (JWHL)’s Warner Warriors, leading the club in scoring in both seasons. Each season also saw Ross accumulate significant milestones, capturing a league title in 2014-15, while the 2015-16 campaign culminated with recognition as the JWHL’s Top Forward Award.
Ross is the next in a line of exceptional hockey talents that have played at Warner School. Among them are the likes of Sarah Davis, a 2016 Clarkson Cup champion, Ivana Bilic, who skated for Canada’s U22 team, Megan Big Snake, who also participated in the torch relay for the Vancouver Winter Games, Brittany Haverstock, a 2011 Frozen Four champion and Shannon MacAulay, who scored the championship clinching goal at the 2014 Frozen Four for Clarkson.
As Ross transition to playing with the Ravens this autumn, there will be an added bonus for her. Current Ravens player Becky Davidson is also an alum from Warner. Getting the opportunity to become teammates once again is one that presents Ross with exciting anticipation,
“When we played in Warner she was my line mate so yes I’m very excited to be able to play with her again. Playing at Warner, my favourite moment was winning the JWHL title and getting named Offensive player of the year twice.”
Prior to playing for Warner, Ross had already established herself as a hockey prodigy. Of note, her 80 points set the single season scoring record in the highly competitive Alberta Major Midget Female Hockey League with the Lloydminster Steelers. Her acceleration and playmaking abilities first gained notice as she logged 13 points in four games at the 2014 Mac’s Midget World Invitational hockey tournament, winning the scoring title.
As a fan of the Los Angeles Kings, one of the current members of their roster is also one of her role models. Dwight King, a player of Metis heritage, hails from Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan, and was one of the players that Ross looked up to when she was growing up. A former member of the Lethbridge Hurricanes, King would win a pair of Stanley Cups in 2012 and 2014.
Another player that Ross admires is Craig McCallum, a competitor with the University of Saskatchewan Huskies. Having donned the Canadian jersey at the 2015 Winter Universiade, Ross hopes to emulate his success and one compete for Canada’s women’s team at the next Universiade.
Of note, the only member of the Ravens hockey program that has ever been part of the Universiade is Mandi Duhamel, who served on the coaching staff in 2011. If Ross could become the first Ravens player to don the Canadian jersey at the Universiade, it would certainly represent an exceptional moment in the history of the program.
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”
Image obtained from: http://www.jwhl.org/roster_players/6166946