As the Montreal Carabins have developed into a national power, one of the key contributors to their success is Ariane Barker. A third-year forward from Napierville, Quebec that attended the College Edouard-Montpetit, she has developed into one of their most consistent and reliable scorers.
In winning the Canadian Interuniversity Sport national title in 2013, it was the culmination of many years of effort for Barker and the Carabins program. “For us, it was the result of a season of hard work. The coaches laid out a good plan in the matches and the fruit of those results was reflected in everyone’s hard work. We were all very happy with the championship win.”
The road towards the 2013 national title also consisted of a postseason tilt with their conference rivals, the McGill Martlets. Having posted an undefeated regular season, the Martlets were heavy favorites to claim the national title. Defeating the Martlets was a tremendous confidence booster for Barker.
“The teammates may have been even happier at defeating McGill. Ranked as the number one team in Canada, it was an unbelievable feeling and something that was exceptional.”
Known affectionately as the Mario Lemieux of women’s hockey, France St. Louis is responsible for the Operations of the Carabins hockey program. One of the first francophone superstars in the history of the Canadian national women’s team, she has also grabbed a silver medal for Canada at the 1998 Nagano Winter Games. In addition, she is one of the individuals that Barker looks up to,
“She is definitely a mentor. She is a proven performer. She always knows what to say to motivate us. She exudes confidence.”
One of the unique aspects of the Carabins is the fact that they feature five players from France (Marion Allemoz, Caroline Baldin, Lore Baudrit, Amandine Causnet and Athena Locatelli). Playing on a line with Baudrit, Barker has helped her adjust to the North American style of play.
“There are five of them on our team and we all get along very well. They have enhanced our team and we get to see another way that hockey is played. Their presence helps make everyone better.”
The 2013-14 Carabins campaign was another season in which Barker provided solid numbers. In only 19 games played, she accumulated 32 points on the strength of 17 goals. One of the top scorers in conference play, she had five games in which she registered three point performances. Her finest game of the season was a four-goal output on January 12 in an 8-1 whitewashing of the Concordia Stingers.
With the Carabins neck-in-neck with the Martlets in the national rankings all season, it was only fitting that the two would collide in the 2014 CIS national title. Of note, Barker would score a goal in the national title game, tying the game at 1 apiece. Although the Martlets would emerge as the victors in a hard-fought overtime frame, it marked the third consecutive season that Barker and the Carabins played in the national title game.
Earning a spot on the CIS All-Tournament Team along with Carabins teammate Elodie Rousseau-Sirois, it was a token of consolation. With Barker poised to return in the autumn as one of the Carabins’ key leaders; she is likely to emerge as a component as the squad’s ambitions for a fourth consecutive title game appearance.
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”
Photo credit: James Hajjar Photographie