Port Perry’s Allison Carswell recently made the roster of the Kingston Jr. Ice Wolves of the Provincial Women’s Hockey League after a successful tryout.
After spending the 2015/16 season with the Midget AA Flames, the 17 year-old Port Perry High School student will be competing in a league that some say is comparable to the Ontario Hockey League for the 2016/17 season.
"I was really excited, I was looking forward to it just because it was a lot higher level than I was playing at before and the girls are very good,” Ms. Carswell said.
She also told The Standard that her new coach, Troy Sweet, had asked her to come to the tryouts after being at a few of her games last season and guaranteed her a spot early on.
“He e-mailed me saying that I had a spot, but he still wanted me to come to the tryouts, so I went and competed,” she said. “It was very flattering. It helped with my confidence just because he offered me a spot a couple months ago so I still had some playing time left with my old team so my play got better just because I felt more confident.”
Coach Sweet told The Standard that he was looking for “someone around the 17 to 18 age mark who could bring good leadership and was also a good puck moving defenceman.”
He added that there were many aspects about Ms. Carswell that impressed him.
"She is very positive, her work ethic is very strong and her compete level is very high,” Coach Sweet said. “She carries the puck well, she is a big strong defenceman and a great skater and that skill set is something that you definitely have to have to play in this league."
Ms. Carswell describes herself as a stay-at-home defenseman.
Ms. Carswell has been playing hockey since she was nine years-old. She said she first became interested in the game after being at the rink for figure skating.
"I used to figure skate, so I just remember being at the rink and I was watching a hockey practice and it looked fun and I wanted to try it, so they put me in just for house league and I really loved it, so I kept going with it,” she said.
Ms. Carswell said that as a leader, she tries to simply bring the team together and to help other players get better.
“In the warm up before games I will try and get the girls together and if I notice that a player could have done something better on the ice, I will point it out to them,” she said.
She said that she hopes that this opportunity in the PWHL will lead to scholarships for university. Off the ice, Ms. Carswell hopes to go to school to become a nurse, a dream that was inspired after she spent some time in Oshawa General Hospital.
"Last year I had a really bad injury in hockey and I had to have surgery on it. It was really scary, but just being around the hospital environment and having all the nurses there and the Doctors there, it made me realize that that was what I really wanted to do,” she said.
Ms. Carswell hopes that she has a future in hockey as well, and said that she will consider any opportunities to advance her game, but stated that “there are a lot of good female hockey players.”