Swift-skating with an ambitious drive towards the net, Shannon Pearson is emerging into a key offensive threat for the Carleton Ravens. Raised in the southwestern Ontario community of Paris, the second-year player graces the ice with an ever increasing confidence, which is poised to pay dividends for a program admirably aiming towards a long overdue return to the postseason.
Prior to her arrival in Canada’s capital region, Pearson starred with the Brantford Girls Hockey Association and the Cambridge Rivulettes of the PWHL. Having worn number 18 with the Rivulettes and the Ravens, she rose to prominence in the 2014-15 season, finishing as the Rivulettes leading scorer, while logging four game-winning goals.
The opportunity to play for the Rivulettes represented a proud career milestone for Pearson. During the Great Depression, the Preston Rivulettes won 345 games, emerging as Canada’s first women’s hockey dynasty. Inducted into the Cambridge Sports Hall of Fame in 1996, the community entry in the PWHL is named in their honor, with players like Pearson working to extending their remarkable impact,
“I am still proud to say that I wore that jersey and keep that legacy going on. It was actually amazing and even more substantial. Today, I am also happy to say that I wear the Ravens jersey.”
Having logged six points in her freshman campaign, Pearson was one of several recruits to emerge from southwestern Ontario, which also included PWHL rivals Nicole Miners and Jennifer Semkowski from the London Jr. Devilettes. Showing the occasional flash of offensive brilliance, Pearson’s efforts represented the signs of potential for better seasons to come.
Of note, a November 7, 2015 tilt with rival Ottawa provided Pearson with a pair of milestones. In addition to logging her first career CIS point, she would also register her first multi-point game, earning assists on a pair of goals scored by Becky Davidson.
Pearson’s first goal in her Ravens career would take place in the Ravens final game of November, a 4-2 win against Concordia which saw her log an empty net goal. Ending her season with a two-game scoring streak, said streak was complemented by the Ravens logging back-to-back wins.
Approaching the game with a willingness to learn, complemented by a determination to give her team a constant chance to win, Pearson’s efforts have proven essential. With the Ravens having won their first two home games of the season, Pearson was definitely a key factor. Prevailing against the defending national champion Carabins de Montreal in their home opener, Pearson would help turn the tide in eradicating a 2-1 deficit.
Capitalizing on an early third period power play, super rookie Delaney Ross fed Pearson the puck, which resulted in the unleashing of a laser-like slapshot in heavy traffic. Deflecting off the stick of Katia Boulianne past 2016 CIS Nationals MVP Marie-Pier Chabot, it provided the Ravens their second goal of the game, providing the team with the confidence that they compete against the league’s elites.
“I feel like it boosts my confidence even higher and it gives all of us a little boost. It shows we can do it and get one step closer to reaching our goals.”
Undoubtedly, said goal would prove to be the turning point of the game, proving that the Ravens were capable of competing against the likes of elite teams such as the Carabins. Emerging with a hard-fought 3-2 victory, such a victory served as an elixir of confidence, propelling Pearson and the Ravens towards an even more inspiring performance.
Hosting the nationally ranked McGill Martlets for their second home game, Pearson shone, as her ability to accelerate frustrated opposing defenders, continuously providing scoring chances for her teammates. Emerging with a 4-2 victory, Pearson’s display of heart certainly helped set the tone as the balance of power in the RSEQ conference shifts towards one of parity.
Such achievements have helped set the tone for Pearson’s second season with the Ravens. Compared to her first season, she finds herself experiencing an increased confidence while taking on the role of more responsibility, hoping to helpfully set the tone for a freshman class ready to succeed.
“I find that coming into this year, I am finding my place, and getting my rhythm back. I also feel the need to be more responsible in my second year, but I am still having lots of fun.”
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”
Photo credits: In action with the Rivulettes (Rob Massey), Skating on home-ice with Ravens (Mark Staffieri)