Forward Jordan Finnie and the rest of the Mount Royal women’s hockey team have had a slow start to the season but they’re looking to bounce back and make a strong push for the playoffs.
Playing for a university hockey team requires years of experience in the sport, and Finnie is no exception. The 21-year-old has been playing hockey since she was seven years old, citing her father as the reason why.
“My dad always tried to push me on it and I never really wanted to,” said Finnie. “Then one day I saw him play hockey for the first time, and I loved watching him play.”
With the season in its final stretch, Finnie hopes to make a run for the playoffs, but knows the challenges of getting there.
“This year the top team, University of British Columbia (UBC), will be way ahead of everybody, but the last four spots will come down to a battle between most of the teams. I think we have a good chance,” Finnie said.
Growing up, Finnie played in many junior hockey leagues in her hometown of Kamloops, but she moved to Calgary for the sports and physical education program offered at MRU. Her old coach recommended playing hockey in Canadian Interuniversity Sports [CIS], now known as U SPORTS.
“I never expected to make CIS,” Finnie said. “I was thinking maybe I’ll play for SAIT [Southern Alberta Institute of Technology] because I got offers there, but my coach encouraged me to reach higher and apply to Mount Royal.”
With coaching experience in both CIS and Canadian College hockey, MRU head coach Scott Rivett personally knows the benefit of playing in CIS.
“The calibre of the student athletes that we’re recruiting both from an academic and athletic standpoint is quite a bit higher,” Rivett said. “The kids that come in here are high-performance athletes, and they come from provincial and national team level backgrounds.”
Rivett has been coaching Finnie for four years, and considers her a key part of the Mount Royal Cougars team, adding depth and a leadership role to their young roster.
“I think first and foremost, she leads by example,” Rivett said. “Every single day she brings her best and pushes other people to do the same.”
One of the things Finnie had to get used to was the higher levels of publicity Calgary junior hockey receives than Kamloops.
“It was hard to get noticed in Kamloops, and I feel like I got lucky coming to Mount Royal because I learned to network really well,” Finnie said.
The Cougars have had a tough start to the season, winning only five of their first 16 games. They currently sit third last in the Canada West division, however, Finnie remains optimistic.
“We have a really young team again this year, but we’ve won the majority of our recent games and that’s put us in a good spot to keep us moving for the year,” Finnie said.
With six games remaining, the Mount Royal Cougars have plenty of time to get into the playoffs, which is something that they’ve been eagerly awaiting ever since they joined the CIS league in the 2012/13 season.
The editor responsible for this article is Brandon Tucker and can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org