Playing at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport level is no longer a dream for Alannah Jensen and Carling Chown. It’s reality.
The Okanagan Hockey Academy recently announced that both will play for the University of Ottawa Gee Gees and brings the total to three players from the new female midget squad joining college teams. Alexandra Chutskoff of Abbotsford was the first accepting a scholarship to Finlandia University in late May.
“It’s really exciting,” said Jensen, who scored two goals and 10 points in 53 games last season as a defenceman. “University of Ottawa will have a good team.”
Last season the Gee Gees won just seven of 20 games, and finished last in the RSEQ Conference four points behind Carleton. Jensen learned two months ago of the Gee Gees interest her then made a decision recently to go with them over York University.
During her lone season with OHA, Jensen said her biggest improvement came in her zone.
Jensen based her decision to join the Gee Gees as she likes the academic options available as she intends to become a lawyer. Also helping her was feedback from head coach Rebecca Russell and assistant coach Gina Kingsbury.
Chown, a Nelson minor hockey product, was a big contributor for the OHA offensively as she led the team in scoring with 30 goals and 60 points in 57 games. Chown credited her success from playing with a strong team and having good coaching.
“Definitely using my size (five-foot-10 ½) and keeping my head up and quick passes is something I improved on,” said Chown, who made her decision to join the Gee Gees because of the communication with coach Yanick Evola as well as liking the campus and city.
“Carling and Alannah were very important to our program this season,” said Russell, of the 18-year-olds. “They were two of our strongest and most influential players throughout the year. They stepped up for us when we needed them and were key players in starting OHA women’s hockey. We will miss them both and are certain they will continue to succeed at the next level. They both have the ability to not only play at the CIS level but to be key players for the University of Ottawa.”
“This is great news for our organization,” said Gee Gees coach Yanick Evola. “We are convinced that Carling and Alannah will develop as top players in the CIS. We are looking forward to welcoming both of them in our program and are more than enthusiastic about