In her fourth season with the Carleton Ravens, Blaire MacDonald inherits the team’s captaincy from graduating player (and German national team member) Sara Seiler.
Speaking on her new role, the defender said, “It is exciting. I have had a letter on my jersey for a couple of years but being the captain is a huge difference.”
MacDonald observes her role as the team captain with great maturity and acumen. “We have a dynamic of many leaders on this team," she remarked. "You do not need to have a letter to be a leader on this team. That is a great thing.”
Like many of her Ravens teammates, MacDonald sharpened her skills in the Provincial Women’s Hockey League, the top level of junior hockey for girls in Ontario.
While in the PWHL, MacDonald competed for the Brampton Jr. Thunder, stating “It was a really great experience. It was good to get you ready for university hockey. There was a lot of speed and talent. I loved the girls on my team. I had played junior since I was 15.”
Just like fellow Ravens teammate Erin Beaver, MacDonald also played in the PWHL with current Ravens skater Victoria Gouge, “I played with Gouge in Brampton. When she joined Oakville, I played against them (Beaver and Gouge).”
Having joined the Ravens in 2009, MacDonald was part of a large recruiting class. In being among so many new faces, she had to humorously own up to a former play that ironically occurred with Gouge in the PWHL.
“We had a huge group (in 2009). There was one incident with each other. Gouge was on a breakaway and I blatantly tripped her. We still talk about it at Carleton, but I had to own up to it and admit it was me. At the time, it was a centre ice trip, and I did not even get called for a penalty,” joked MacDonald.
On the back of her helmet, one can find the Do It for Daron purple heart logo. The local foundation honors the memory of the late Daron Richardson, daughter of former Ottawa Senators defender Luke Richardson and sister of Cornell Big Red defender Morgan Richardson.
“We had a chance to go to her memorial service (at Scotiabank Place). We went as a team, to see the outpour of support for her family. We had an event here for her mom and dad (in a match against Concordia). To hear their story, I met her mom and she is a nice lady. It is great to see people stepping up to do something about it and join this cause.”
Another woman that has influenced MacDonald is Ravens head coach Shelley Coolidge. “Playing for her is an amazing experience," MacDonald said. "She is a passionate woman and a passionate coach. She focuses on the things you never realize. She really narrows down my game and can focus on the things you never realize. She is the most composed woman I have ever met.”
As the team captain, MacDonald feels that the Ravens are a family. “I do. In my four years, this is the most tight knit group that we have had. There is a great sense of humour and joking around. It is a lot of fun, and honestly, we are one of the luckiest group of girls.”
*All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated*