Raised in Ottawa, the chance to compete at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport level with the hometown Carleton Ravens held great meaning for Sydnie MacDonald. Having joined the Ravens in the autumn of 2009, she also played her junior hockey on home soil, competing with the PWHL’s Nepean Wildcats.
A tireless worker who poured her heart onto the ice, MacDonald deserved a better outcome for her senior night. While senior night evokes feeling of strong emotions for those being honored, pathos was predominant as she could not play on senior night versus the Montreal Carabins due to injury.
Loyal to her team, MacDonald was dressed in full uniform for the contest, occupying her familiar spot on the bench, providing moral support. Although keeping her emotions in check presented a challenge, carried on with a quiet dignity,
”I think it was tough sometimes as I was not actually playing. I was not always able to contribute unless the game it had gone to a shootout.”
Although her fifth and final year with the Ravens resulted in missing the postseason, there were many memorable moments in a career donning the program’s black and red jersey. One in particular came earlier this year when MacDonald and her teammates had the chance to compete against former Ravens captain Sara Seiler and the German National Team in a unique exhibition.
“It was pretty cool. Playing against her (Seiler) was weird because we know her style and how hard she works. She is a tough player go up against. To see her play in the (Sochi) Winter Olympics, that was so cool.”
Of all the moments in her Ravens career, the only that is her favorite came during the 2011-12 season. Competing on the road against the nationally ranked McGill Martlets, a team that featured the likes of Charline Labonte, Ann-Sophie Bettez and Cathy Chartrand, it was a true David vs. Goliath scenario.
“My favorite moment was when we beat McGill. It was made more special because it was a road win. We took them to a shootout and we scored the winning goal in the shootout. It was amazing and we scored on Charline Labonte. Unfortunately, it was one of the few games not filmed on Streaming Sports Network.”
While MacDonald plans for the next stage in her life and playing career, there are many aspects about the Ravens that she will miss. Reflecting on such things, the void of camaraderie rises to the surface, as MacDonald laments on what was lost,
“I miss the closeness. 20 other girls were always there for me. Going out on the ice, it was like warfare. There was never a problem with anyone and we saw each other every day.”
Like so many of her teammates celebrating after senior night, the presence of friends and family waiting outside the locker room were accompanied by hugs and tears. For MacDonald, it is an opportunity to pay tribute to the love and support that her parents showed her in five fulfilling years skating for the Ravens,
“My dad coached me almost my whole hockey life. My mom has always been supportive. They have gone to all the games. Their support was huge, even at away games. To have my parents there, it was nice.”
Such support was of positive influence for MacDonald. Understanding the role that women’s hockey players have and their part as role models for younger ladies in sport, MacDonald proudly donated her time with other Ravens players to give back to the community. One of her favorite efforts was getting involved with various hockey clinics for younger players. It is that kind of effort that not only makes MacDonald a valued teammate but a pillar in the local hockey community,
“Playing with the Ravens has definitely made me more aware to volunteer in the community. The chance to help young girls learn hockey skills in really huge. I love giving back to women’s hockey.”
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”