Heading into her final season with the Calgary Dinos, Jordyn Burgar experienced a tremendous amount of momentum. Enjoying the milestone of being named team captain, Burgar, raised in Sylvan Lake, Alberta, belonged to an exceptional lineage of captains, including Iya Gavrilova, Megan Grenon, Paige Michalenko and Rachel Paul, among others.
Reflecting on the privilege of the captaincy, the appointment proved to be in line with her strong values, geared towards setting a positive example and helping shape a good team culture.
“It has meant a lot to me to be named team captain in my final season as a Dino. I was honored that my teammates and coaching staff thought I was fit to wear the ‘C’.
As captain, I aim to support my teammates however they need both on and off the ice and do my best to lead by example. I try my best to exemplify these characteristics such as serving others and being disciplined in my everyday life so it comes naturally with my team.
When I think back to my younger self, it was my dream to play university hockey, let alone be named captain in my final season. Therefore, I am very proud of this accomplishment and all that I was able to achieve in my career.”
Making her debut for the Dinos on October 4, 2019 versus the Regina Cougars, a 2-0 win that saw Sara Craven contribute a pair of points, Burgar’s first goal took place in the New Year. A January 3, 2020 home affair saw Burgar find the back of the net in the second period versus UBC Thunderbirds goaltender Tory Micklash, the goal also stood as the game winning tally.
Burgar’s other goal of her freshman campaign also took place in January. With a two point outing in a 3-1 win versus Alberta on January 25, it marked her first multi-point performance. Finishing the season with a respectable eight points, the calendar year of 2020 ended on another encouraging note.
One of 15 Dinos earning Academic All-Canadian standing, it set an important tone for Burgar. Equally important, the level of commitment on the ice is only exceeded by the perseverance in the classroom.
Recognized as an Academic All-Canadian once again in December 2022, among a very impressive 14 members of the program to gain such distinction, there was a sense of full circle for Burgar. Embodying the potential of student athletes to bring a positive influence to campus life, the tremendous commitment exerted defined her undergraduate journey.
“It is always a special feeling to be recognized as an Academic All-Canadian. As student-athletes we have to work very hard to balance both aspects of our university career. I personally pride myself in what I have achieved both as an athlete and a student.
I believe that my experience as an athlete has helped me to build qualities such as dedication, hard work, and communication skills which have also helped me navigate any challenges and adversity I faced as an undergraduate student.
Being recognized for your academics gives you a sense of achievement that validates all of the hard work you have put in over the course of the year. Overall, I believe my ambition to be a student-athlete allowed me to evolve into a well-rounded individual.”
A few weeks prior to the Academic All-Canadian honors, a November 25, 2022 match versus the Alberta Pandas saw Burgar score the game winning goal in a 2-1 final. Also the final goal of her Dinos career, there was a unique tinge of coincidence as fellow graduate Alli Borrow scored the other goal. Assisted by Elizabeth Lang, who also logged the assist on Borrow’s goal, Burgar scored on Halle Oswald, the eventual winner of the Canada West Goaltender of the Year Award.
In the latter half of Burgar’s final season, numerous other games held tremendous meaning. Senior Night on February 10 resulted in an inspiring 3-2 overtime final versus Grant MacEwan. U Sports Rookie of the Year Sydney Mercier provided the heroics with the game winning goal, ensuring that the Dinos future is in good hands.
Although a February 18 playoff game versus Saskatchewan represented the denouement for Burgar, it allowed her to enjoy 75 career appearances. Worth noting, another game just a few weeks earlier provided a tremendous residual warmth. Contested on January 27 at the Scotiabank Saddledome, the magnitude of the Crowchild Classic represented a major milestone for a jubilant Burgar.
An exciting event on the Dinos hockey calendar, shaping the program’s mythology, the chance to renew rivalries with the crosstown Mount Royal Cougars on NHL ice, Burgar played in front of proud family and friends, part of a crowd featuring over 10,000 enthusiasts. Although the Cougars prevailed in a shootout, as goaltender Gabriella Durante provided a valiant 29 save performance, the ninth edition of the Crowchild Classic added to the feeling of celebration as the season wound down for Burgar and her fellow seniors.
Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, Burgar’s next focus is towards pursuing a Master’s degree. Pondering the exciting possibilities of the future ahead, the last few seasons in Dinos colors provided an unforgettable foundation. From the feeling of a second family found in her teammates, the camaraderie experienced on road trips throughout the Prairies, from the overall sense of achievement, whether as a role model or decorated student, the journey made provided a rich and rewarding arrival.
“Looking back on my years as a Dino, I most enjoyed the opportunity to be part of a team and make friends for life. Some of my favorite memories are from road trips, hanging with the girls, and simply getting to practice every day together.
There are a few personal moments that I will never forget, like scoring my first goal and getting to play in the Crowchild Classic in front of all my family and friends. The experience of being a Dinos athlete has given me so much to be thankful for.
Being part of this team also allowed me to be a role model for other young athletes and represent women in sport.Knowing the impact that older players had on me when I was young makes it pretty special to be able to be that for others now and I am very appreciative of the position I have been put in to be able to positively impact other young female athletes.”
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated“
Featured image from: @ jburgar