Duffett’s defense shines at Carleton University
© Submitted photo
Happy Valley-Goose Bay’s Charlene Duffett recently made her university’s female hockey team, a great accomplishment in her freshman year.
By TREVOR PAINE
Special to The Labradorian
Very few young athletes succeed in cracking their respective University sport teams in their first year which makes the accomplishments of young Charlene Duffett all the more admirable.
The Happy Valley-Goose Bay hockey player has just been named to the Carleton University Ravens Female Hockey team.
The last few years have been very busy for the 18-year old, who has played on every All-Star Hockey team under the Lake Melville Extreme banner. She has successfully competed for numerous provincial hockey teams, attending events such as the U-15 NL Team Atlantics in Moncton (2009); the NL Aboriginal Championships in Manitoba (2009); the U-18 NL Team Atlantics in Moncton (2010); the Provincial NL Winter Games with Team Labrador (2010); and the Canada Games NL Ladies team in Halifax (2011).
Duffett’s active provincial playing schedule has been matched by her local achievements which have included many MVP and Most Dedicated Player awards, as well as officiating and coaching recognition from the Lake Melville Xtreme Minor Hockey Association.
The 5’ 7” defensemen has prides herself on her dedication and hard work over the years and that commitment is clearly paying off
“I was a nervous wreck when I first arrived. There were many girls trying out and many from Prep Schools,” said Duffett. “There were seasoned veterans and rookies who all seemed to know each other from playing in the Ontario leagues.”
Try-outs were held from August 31st until Sept 8th and they included on ice training and games as well as hard fitness and endurance sessions off the ice. Despite not being on the ice since March, Duffett spent the entire summer training at the base gymnasium.
“Circuits, running, weight training and exercise machines were the norm for two hours every day….along with my training partner, Alexandra Morrison, we managed to get in great shape,” noted Duffett.
The Raven’s coach commented he was very impressed with Duffett’s fitness level, considering that she had not been on the ice for such a long time.
“She certainly put the work in to get in shape and it has made a huge difference in her selection.”
Duffett said she really loves playing at Carleton.
“The team is seriously the best group of girls,” she said. “During try-outs I was so nervous about getting cut, I really didn’t know what I would have done without hockey. My day now consists of school all day and then hockey from 3 p.m. - 7 p.m. each evening. Hockey is a big factor as to why I don’t get homesick and to be honest, there is seriously no time to think of anything but hockey and school. I still try to make time to call home to my parents each night though…or Mom gets mad at me!”
The Carleton Ravens just completed exhibition games in Toronto and Guelph and although the girls didn’t win, the very young squad has the coaching staff excited. They are looking eagerly to the future of a team that is currently a work in progress.
“My defense coach says I have been improving consistently since try-outs and that was my goal from the beginning,” said Duffett. “I love being a part of the Raven’s organization and it means a great deal to wear the school jersey and say I play for Carleton. My coaches talk a lot about how we are representing the school now and I try to do my best on and off the ice to show how grateful and proud I am to be a Raven. I want to continue getting better and make sure I help my team to the best of my ability.”
So who has been Duffett’s greatest influence in her hockey career?
“Without a doubt, Mum and Dad (Amanda and Bill),” said Duffett. “They have always supported me and never missed a game. One time I was shooting pucks in the back yard and hit the neighbor’s truck…Dad knocked on the door with me to apologize and then proceeded to build a huge fence so that it wouldn’t happen again. I wouldn’t be this far in hockey without them!”