Hailing from Winnipeg, Manitoba, one of Canada’s premier hockey cities, the last few years have seen Jasmine Levesque provide Ottawa’s Carleton Ravens with a solid presence on their blueline. As the province of Manitoba continues to develop more star players, Levesque was among the early years of this great time of growth.
Donning the Team Manitoba jersey, Levesque had the opportunity to compete at the Canadian Under-18 Nationals. Among her teammates were the likes of Shelby Bram and Christine Bestland, who would both go on to star at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania.
“It was an incredible experience, definitely one that I will cherish forever. I definitely played with a lot of talent. We were not as successful as we wanted to be (at the Nationals), but it was a great time.”
Prior to committing with the Carleton Ravens, Levesque was part of the famed Balmoral Hall Blazers program. Based out of Winnipeg, the Prepatory School for Girls competed in the JWHL. In the aftermath of the 2008-09 academic year, Levesque was recognized by Balmoral Hall with the award for highest overall average.
While a student there, Levesque also served as a sport camp instructor at the Jonathan Toews Community Centre. A true team player, many of her Blazers teammates were a source of admiration, another famous Manitoban is among Levesque’s favorite players,
“I definitely think that if it were not for Balmoral, I would not be here today. They made me a better player, on and off the ice. Jennifer Botterill was the player that I looked up to growing up. I also looked up to many of the players at Balmoral. There were some really talented players there, and I strived to be like them.”
Like so many of the Ravens who played during the early part of the decade, Levesque’s favorite moment harkens back to the time that the program clinched its losing streak to the McGill Martlets. Considering that All-World goaltender Charline Labonte was between the pipes, to have been able to defeat her in a dramatic shootout reflected a remarkable milestone for the Ravens.
“My favorite moment was when we won against McGill. It was during my second year and everyone was so happy that we finally beat them! We had broken the streak in the shootout, which was really exciting.”
During her years with the Carleton Ravens, Levesque immersed in the team custom of helping provide instruction for younger players. Providing a residual warmth, the chance to instruct younger players brought about feelings of innocence, a time when fun and enjoyment were more important than the final score.
Getting the opportunity to take part in the annual Scotiabank Girls Hockey Fest, the excitement of being on the ice at Canadian Tire Centre may have been superseded by the admiration she held for fellow instructors, including a pair of hockey legends,
“The Canadian Tire Centre was amazing. To see those young girls look up to you, it s a unique feeling. I have done it every year, and it has been a great experience. Even being amongst the likes of Cassie Campbell and Sami Jo Small (also from Manitoba) is great. I still look at them as role models myself.”
Recognized by Carleton Ravens athletics as the winner of their Alumni Award for Women’s Hockey in 2013, it represented one of the great achievements in her Canadian Interuniversity Sport career. It complemented a great career milestone that occurred during the 2014-15 season as Levesque was named as an alternate captain with the rebuilding Carleton Ravens. Joined by Emma Dahlgren, Ainslee Kent and Sadie Wegner, it only strengthened her love of the game.
On her senior night with the Ravens, she was joined at centre ice by the Ravens’ strength and conditioning coach, Nick Westcott. Graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Health Science, she appeared in 79 games.
Quite possibly the most treasured aspect of her Ravens career consisted of the strong friendships that were forged. Planning to attend the University of Manitoba to pursue a Master’s Degree program, those friendships shall be the element that defined her time with the Ravens,
“I will miss the friendships that I have made. Especially coming from Manitoba, it is a far place to go back to, but I want to keep in touch with everyone.”
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”