The captains of the Bisons women’s hockey team have a straightforward, to-the-point goal for the season: Win the west, and head to nationals.
"We’ve got a big group of fourth- and fifth-year players, so a lot of older girls on our team. We’re very motivated to have a good season," said Amy Lee, 22, new captain of the team. "We kind of underachieved last year in that we got beat out in the first round of playoffs. Maybe we looked better on paper than we did on the ice. So we’re excited to prove that we are a really good team."
Lee and Caitlin MacDonald were reinstated as team captain and alternate captain on Oct. 7.
They previously served as alternates for the 2012-2013 season. Danielle Vigier, 22, and Maggie Litchfield-Medd, 21, were named first-time alternate captains.
Lee, a fifth-year centre in environmental studies who dreams of becoming a teacher, said this year’s games could go either way, as the league’s teams are pretty evenly matched.
"The league is very tight this year," said the Vincent Massey graduate. "Any team can beat any other team on any night. So just putting together a really consistent season and playing a defensive game, making sure we keep them tight games."
Lee said last year the team was out-shooting opponents, but not winning games. She said getting the puck in the back of the net will be something they will be focusing on this year. As for strengths, she credits practice and gym time.
"We’re very fast, we’re very fit. We’ll be, in my opinion, if not the most fit, one of the most fit teams in the league," said Lee. "So we’ll be able to grind out games and play strong in overtime.
MacDonald, a fifth-year defenceman enrolled in the Asper School of Business, is honoured to be reinstated.
"It’s a big honour to be picked by your teammates and I’m feeling super lucky to be recognized in that way by a group that I really respect and a team that I really like to play for," said MacDonald.
MacDonald also has another reason to be proud: this past summer, she was named to the 2013 Winter Universiade Canadian women’s hockey team that will compete in the biennial Winter Universiade games in Trentino, Italy from Dec. 11 to 21.
It’s a valuable second chance for the athlete: she was also invited to attend the 2011 games in Erzurum, Turkey, but she was injured while playing in a game before her flight out and couldn’t attend.
"It’s so crazy, and I’m so lucky to be recognized like that and have the opportunity to represent my country, and it’s not something that I take for granted for a second," said MacDonald. "I know that so many people, including girls on my team, deserve to go and could easily go too.
"It makes me appreciate it even more this time," added the Balmoral Hall graduate.
With the Bisons, MacDonald is excited to continue the season with her team, but after this year she will be finishing off her double major of finance and accounting.
"I just feel really lucky to be with a group of girls that I really like and have a lot of fun with," said MacDonald. "I couldn’t ask for a better group of girls to finish my hockey career with."