While the Boston Blades have provided their devoted fans with a series of valiant performances, dedicated to each other and their attempts at triumph, their efforts have not gone unnoticed. As four members of the Blades shall be part of the CWHL’s second All-Star Game on January 23, 2016 at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre, it represents a proud career milestone for blueliner Dru Burns.
One of five blueliners making her debut at the All-Star Game, the Plano, Texas-raised Burns is no stranger to New England hockey fans. Having first made a name for herself with the presitgious Shattuck St. Mary’s prep school, Burns joined the Boston College Eagles in the autumn of 2009.
Having never missed a game with the Eagles, Burns’ collegiate experience with the program, along with her reputation as a durable player, has transformed her into a fan favorite with the Blades faithful. One of two Blades including first-round pick Kristina Brown, making their All-Star Game debuts, this historic duo shall be joined by team captain (and fellow blueliner) Tara Watchorn along with world-class Genevieve Lacasse. Having competed at the inaugural All-Star Game as a member for Team White, Lacasse is staking her claim as the finest goaltender in league play.
Currently in her third season with the Blades, Burns is a solid stay-at-home blueliner. One of five holdovers from the Blades’ Clarkson Cup winning roster in 2015, including Ashley Cottrell, Lacasse, Megan Myers and Watchorn, her finest offensive performance this season involved a two-point effort against the Brampton Thunder on December 5.
As the All-Star Game is destined to provided Burns with more than just a career milestone, but likely a lifetime of memories, her selection is emblematic of her work ethic. Considering that she was an 11th round pick of the Blades in the 2013 CWHL Draft, she has exemplified the meaning of a high value pick. Providing a presence on special teams and strong skill at shot-blocking, she helps to set a positive exmaple for so many of the new faces on the Blades.
“I am very excited to be apart of the CWHL All-star game. I was truly honored when I found out I was selected. I am looking forward most to being able to play with some of the best women’s hockey players not only in the CWHL, but in the world.”
Although the Blades are hoping for a solid second half to the season, eager to qualify for the postseason and defend their Clarkson Cup title, the first half was filled with many positive learning experiences. As Burns reflects on the season so far, she reveals that the Blades’ first road trip represented her highlight. Serving as an opportunity for a team composed of several new faces getting acquainted, the seeds of friendship planted during said trip may blossom into a promising future ahead.
“My favorite moment thus year was our first road trip of the season. It was our first weekend of games and really first weekend together and the most time we spent together. Seeing everyone start to get to know each other and truly all become great friends was an unbelievable thing to be apart of.”
While Burns is humble about seeing herself as a leader with the Blades, one of the youngest teams in the CWHL, her maturity and experience are significant qualities that make her a key member for the Black and Gold. Acknowledging the efforts of fellow All-Star, Tara Watchorn, quite possibly the league’s best captain, along with Kristina Brown (WHERE IS SHE FROM), Burns’ recognition of her fellow teammates may be one of her finest qualities, one that makes her an All-Star on and off the ice.
“As to leadership, I think with the young team everyone leans on each other for it. We have Tara Watchorn as our captain and she is doing an unbelievable job of mentoring the team and carrying is through things. Kristina Brown has also done a fantastic job.
For me, being a veteran on the team people look at me for things. I also bring a fun aspect to the team and try to balance fun with working hard and making sure everyone is having a good time.”
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”
Photo credit: Angela Spagno