Among the members of the Carleton Ravens hanging up their jersey, Erin Beaver leaves behind a team that evolved into a second family for her. At 5’11”, she was an imposing figure on the ice. Often playing with Kelsey Vander Veen, another 5’11” skater, they were a formidable pair, always giving the Ravens a chance to win.
Her senior night was one where emotions ran very high. Upon reflection, she acknowledges that it was difficult to keep emotions in check prior to gracing the ice.
“I would say at the beginning of the game (it was). Once I got on the ice, I had to compete and I put them aside. I still had to play competitive hockey.”
Proudly in attendance at senior night were her parents, who wore her PWHL Oakville Ice jerseys. Ironically, Ravens captain Victoria Gouge played with Beaver on the Oakville Ice as both grew up in Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe district.
“I actually had my parents Lisa and Randy, sister Rebecca and my cousins Jack and Ben. Stephanie Plourde (who no longer plays with the Ravens) is my roommate and my old roomie Blaire MacDonald were there too. It was pretty amazing. My family and friends supported me. My parents made the five-hour drive to support me in my last game as a Raven.”
Another former teammate, Jessica O’Grady, who once scored three shootout goals in a game against the Ottawa Gee Gees, would prove to be another influence for Beaver. With plans to return home, the CWHL’s Brampton Thunder was geographically suited to continue her hockey career.
Although she did not register for the 2014 edition of the CWHL Draft, she still brings great potential. It is not uncommon for many players to take a year off from the game to focus on career and the next chapter of their life, before pondering a return.
“I thought about it and looked into it. Jessica O’Grady, who played with us last year, is now playing in Calgary. It was an option but it all depended on how work pans out.”
For Beaver, there is no question that there were several moments in her Ravens career that she can reflect on with great pride. Her greatest moment is one that many of her teammates share. Beating the national powerhouse (and conference rival) McGill Martlets on their home ice is one of great pride.
“I would say it was the game when we beat McGill. My first-ever CIS goal was scored on Charline Labonte. We ended up winning that game and it still stands out over the years. I can say I scored on an Olympian.”
Another moment that stood out in Beaver’s proud career was the chance to play in an exhibition game against the German national team. Prior to the 2013 IIHF Women’s World Championships (hosted in Ottawa), the Germans held their training camp at Carleton University.
It held special emotions for Beaver and her Ravens teammates because one of their own was competing on one of the world’s biggest stages. Sara Seiler, a former captain with the Ravens, was a member of the German national team. As a side note, she would also compete at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games. The chance to play against Seiler and the German team was an opportunity to celebrate the game and their friendship with Seiler,
“It was great. I feel like Seils and I have a special bond. We poked fun with one another (during the game) and she smiled. Especially to help prep her for her journey to Sochi, it was very exciting.”
As the Ravens prepare for the upcoming 2014-15 campaign, fans and teammates alike will miss the presence Beaver had, on and off the ice. It is a feeling that is very mutual for Beaver, where Carleton University played a big part in her growth as a player and as a person,
“What I will the most is that this is a great university. The girls from my time at Carleton are what I will miss too. Just as important was the coaching staff over the years, including the support staff and athletic therapy over years.
I did have surgery over the years, so a big shout-out to the athletic therapy staff at Carleton. Of course, a big shout-out to the girls. It was a great group of girls to compete with at CIS-level hockey and playing with them was a memorable experience.”
All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated