New Kids On The Block – Our “Russian” D

The Ottawa Ice are very excited this season to have two 19 year old rookie Defence join the team – Emilie Laviolette and Sarah Gross.

Although they are both newbies to the NRL, Sarah and Emilie are veteran ringette players, having started playing over 12 years ago in the U8 – Novice Rec Division of the National Capital Region Ringette League. This is their first season as team-mates, though, because Emilie has played her whole career with the Nepean Ravens, while Sarah has competed for the rival Ottawa Ice Association.

Emilie loved skating and joined the Nepean Ringette Association on the recommendation of a family friend at the ripe old age of 6. She has played for the Ravens ever since and brings to the Ottawa Ice not only a passion for the game, but a wealth of experience. Emilie has competed at the Canadian Ringette Championships and the Ontario Winter Games, winning medals at both, including the Gold Medal at the Ontario Winter Games last March while playing for the Eastern Ontario AAA Team. Emilie loves playing in the NRL for her new team, the Ottawa Ice. She says it’s a big jump from Belle because of the speed of the game and also because mistakes are so costly. It also takes a lot of dedication and time management. Emilie is in second year at the University of Ottawa and has also made “Team Russia”. She will be competing at the U19 World Championships in London, Ontario this week.

Sarah Gross has had a similar path to the National Ringette League. Sarah started playing for the Ottawa Ice in the Novice Rec Division of the National Capital Region Ringette League when she was only 7 years old. Sarah got her start in ringette by following the in footsteps of her neighbourhood babysitters – Katie and Carrie Lugg – who are now her team-mates on the Ottawa Ice NRL team! Sarah also brings a wealth of experience to her new team. She has competed at the Eastern Canadian (U14) Tween Championships, the CRC’s, the Ontario Winter Games and the Canada Games. Sarah has not only won medals at all 4 events, but amazingly has won Gold at all 4 of those competitions. Like Emilie, Sarah is also a second year university student, and is taking a Bachelor of Commerce at Queens University in Kingston. Sarah is so passionate about playing ringette that she has taken on the added challenge of the 2 hour commute from Kingston to Ottawa for games and practices.

Next step for Sarah and Emilie is to play for Team Russia at the U19 World Championships where their passion for the game and their wealth of experience will no doubt help their “Russian” team-mates compete and achieve new goals !