Written by Kassia Skorzewska
Photo by James West/UNB Athletics
This past weekend, the Ravens women’s hockey team flew to New Brunswick to play three exhibition games in three days.
Over the course of the trip, the team won 2-1 in overtime against the University of New Brunswick Varsity Reds, they defeated the St. Thomas University Tommies 2-1 in regulation, and then they came back from being down 2-0 to defeat the Universite de Moncton Aigles Bleus 3-2 in a shootout.
The trip also allowed the Ravens to play teams that they usually don’t play against.
“It was a good adaptation, an experience. So, we got to adapt quickly to new things, new systems, and new teams,” Ravens forward Sandrine Hachez said.
With the three wins in New Brunswick, the Ravens are now sporting a 6-2 record in preseason action.
“It’s very positive, the team confidence is getting better. When you play those games and you win those battles with a lot of adversity, it makes the team better,” Ravens head coach Pierre Alain said.
“The team gets confident and they know they can come back, when you play as a team you work together, and it’s tough to beat,” he added.
In the game against Moncton, the Ravens were down 2-0 with five minutes to go. Two penalties to the Bleus resulted in Carleton being five-on-three, which made them pull their goalie to give them a six-on-three advantage. Jenna Mitchell and Annie-Pier Tremblay tied up the game, and Megan Wilson eventually scored the winning goal in the shootout.
“They just kept working. They just kept believing,” Alain said.
Aside from the wins, the road trip also allowed the team to bond.
“I thought our bonding was great. It was three days together. We’re kind of inseparable. We needed that chemistry, and we needed that bonding,” Mitchell said.
“I think it also helped our wins this weekend, we had lots of time to go over team plays, and things that we did wrong in the past,” she added.
The road trip was also an added benefit to help implement the nutrition side of things that sports nutrition intern Aja Gyimah has been helping the team with.
“She did a great job. She took care of all the meals, so, just making sure that the players eat properly, and also, they eat at the right time, and it was perfect. Everything went well on the nutrition side,” Alain said.
Gyimah is currently working as the Ravens sports nutrition intern for eight months as part of her Nutrition Communications program at Ryerson University.
“Aja’s amazing. I think everyone really loves Aja, and she’s giving us a lot of knowledge that we can take with us later on in life. I think that her meals are really fueling us up for these games, everyone believes in her, and all the knowledge that she comes with,” Mitchell said.
The road trip also allowed Ravens first-year goaltender Marie-Eve Cote to get some playing time in as she returned from injury.
“I thought she played amazing. She was really confident, she looked very strong in the net, and she was going out to play the puck, and this year our team will really enjoy her to be in the net for us,” Mitchell said.
Now being back in Ontario, the Ravens have two more preseason games against Ontario University Athletics (OUA) teams.
“I think we’re looking pretty confident going into these next two games. We’ve been playing really well in this preseason, and I’m really excited to play those games to get us ready to go into the regular season as those teams are pretty equally strengthed as the teams in our league,” Mitchell said about the Ravens upcoming games against the Queen’s University Gaels and the University of Western Mustangs.