In five seasons with the Carleton Ravens, Tamber Tisdale was more than just a solid presence between the pipes. A valued friend and teammate who arrived at the Carleton Ice House in the autumn of 2010, she would blossom into a key player for the program.
Graduating with a bachelor’s degree in commerce, Tisdale appeared in 51 career games for the Ravens. On her senior night, she was joined at centre ice by longtime Ravens goalie coach Tom Dempsey and her best friend from Alberta, Morgan Spencer-Lang.
Raised in Red Deer, Alberta, Tisdale had previously played alongside the likes of Brienna Gillanders, Olivia Howe and Taylor Woods for Notre Dame College. Coincidentally, her first season with the Carleton Ravens found her playing alongside fellow Red Deer native Olivia Sutter (who would win a CIS national title with McGill in 2014).
Although the last two seasons brought with it the frustration of not qualifying for postseason play, Tisdale never gave up, always providing her teammates with a chance to win. Her most valiant performance this season was a sparkling 61-save effort in a January 31 road game against McGill.
Of note, McGill also represents a special milestone in her career. Defeating Charline Labonte and the Martlets in a January 22, 2012 road win, it has proven to be the biggest victory in Ravens program history.
Among the remarkable young women that she played with, one element that stood out through her Ravens career was the friendship struck with fellow fifth year player Jasmine Levesque. Like Tisdale, Levesque’s hockey roots are from Western Canada. Raised in Winnipeg, Levesque once played for Manitoba’s U18 provincial team.
“She was my roommate and has been my best friend since my second year. Being a goalie can be hard sometimes and she always supported me.”
Throughout the most recent season, Tisdale had the chance to shine as a mentor, testament to her leadership. With two younger goalies on the rebuilding Ravens roster, including third-year player Hailey Perreault and freshman backstop Katelyn Steele, Tisdale became like a big sister, gaining pride in her role
“This was my first year where I had goalies that were younger than me. It was cool to have Hailey and Kate as my goalie partners. It was great to share my experiences with them.”
Such leadership skills shall prove to be crucial in the next stage of Tisdale’s hockey journey. Quickly emerging as an exciting trend in Canadian Interuniversity Sport hockey, Tisdale is following many other graduating players in going across the Atlantic to compete in Europe.
As North American players are highly valued for their experience, Tisdale brings the maturity to understand that she is more than a player or teammate. She will be relied upon to set an example and share in her hockey acumen.
“I signed a contract to play with Thun in Switzerland next year. I am going with one of my friends; she was a player at York University. I am very excited for the experience. We will use all the skills that we enjoy here and help them develop over there.”
During her final season with the Ravens, Tisdale had the opportunity to play in a series of unique exhibition games. A preseason series saw the Ravens compete against a pair of CWHL clubs, the Montreal Stars and the Toronto Furies. Although the CWHL represents professional women’s hockey, serving as a baptism of fire, it added a new dimension to the game. This was complemented by a holiday series against the Canadian and Swiss U18 National Teams.
“We played Montreal and it was pretty rough but it was fun to play against them. We also played the Furies in September and that was a really good experience. To play those girls, they are so talented; it was really good for us. They may not have been our best games, but it was a good experience overall.”
For Tisdale, such experiences add to an already impressive series of past events with the Ravens. Said experiences included games against the German and Norway national teams, along with preseason tilts against UBC and the Calgary Dinos from years past, composing a very proud body of work.
While the impact of senior night and graduation has not yet been fully absorbed, Tisdale acknowledges that there will be proud reflections. “It has not really hit me yet. Next year, I will be looking back and missing the place a lot.”
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”
Photo credit: Murray McComb Photography