Stellarton natives enjoying first year with Ridley College
STELLARTON – Both Emilly and Lena MacDonald want to eventually play hockey at the highest level when their reach college. Playing at the Ridley College is just another step in that process according to the 15-year-old twins.
The pair, from Stellarton, are in their first season with the Ridley College Tigers at the prep school based in St. Catharines, Ont. They said after playing a tournament in Montreal with their spring hockey team that the opportunity to go to a prep school came up. They toured a few different campuses in late May, but felt this was the best one for them to adjust to. Knowing a few girls attending the school from N.B. and P.E.I. helped as well.
“I found it easy to adjust to being away from home, but we definitely missed our friends a lot,” said Emilly. “We miss our friends a lot, but having us both there probably helped adjust to being away from home. Knowing some girls from playing each other before was good for us too because we had some friends there already.
“We’ve always wanted to go to a school like this, but never thought we would. I’m still in shock, but can’t imagine not going now.”
On the ice there has been some adjustments not only with their play, but who they’re playing with. The pair played with the Stellarton Royals novice and atom B teams before playing five years with the Subway Selects organization from atom to bantam. During those years they played with the same girls and were coached by Troy Reid, which is something they miss.
“A lot of the reason why we got the opportunity to play with Ridley College was because of our coach, Troy Reid,” said Lena. “We learned a lot from the way he taught the game to us, both mentally and technically. He always motivated us to get better each year and I think we have.”
Both girls said the team they’re with now seems to be more dedicated than those they’ve played on in the past. They said the main reason they think that is true is because that’s why everyone is at the school.
“Instead of part of the team being dedicated I think the whole team is,” said Emilly. “That’s why we’re all there and all have the same goal. It’s definitely different not playing with the same girls from the past five years, but we’ve got a lot of great teammates and have a lot of fun. We’re on the ice a lot too so we’re starting to come together as a group.”
A defenceman, Lena currently has two goals and four points in 12 games, while Emilly, a forward, has six goals and seven points in 12 games.
“It definitely takes some time to get used to playing at this level, but I think the team is getting better,” said Lena. “I think I’ve become faster with my play and am making quicker decisions. It’s a faster pace so I’ve had to get faster myself.”
Both girls are home for Thanksgiving weekend, with Emilly joining Nova Scotia’s U-17 team at the Atlantic Challenge Cup in Moncton, N.B. She said it’s a great opportunity and is looking forward to playing with her friends and family around.
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