Monday, 25 January 2016

Gold medal performance at Nations Cup gives Jamie Lee Rattray major championship for third straight year


Continuing to stake her claim as the next superstar in women’s ice hockey, Jamie Lee Rattray finds new ways to impress. Her two-goal performance in the gold medal game of the 2016 Nations Cup proved to be the difference maker as Canada’s U22-Development team prevailed over Finland.

With the gold medal proudly adorning her neck, it has now represented the third consecutive year in which Rattray has won at least one major hockey championship. This season continues a run of achievements that can be traced back to 2014, which also signified the end of a major chapter in her hockey career.

In her senior year with the Clarkson Golden Knights (based in Potsdam, New York), Rattray captured the prestigious Patty Kazmaier Award, the first in program history to do so. Followign it up with a 2014 Frozen Four championship (the first national title in Clarkson University history), such a glorious ending would only set the stage for the beginning of a sensational legacy.

Competing with a group of star players from the Ottawa Vanier Women’s Ball Hockey League, which included Canadian national ball hockey players such as Fannie Desforges and Nathalie Girouard, Rattray would also make her presence felt. The end result was a national ball hockey championship. Finishing as one of the tournament’s leading scorers, it represented the second championship of 2014 for Rattray. As a side note, she would end 2014 by competing in the inaugural CWHL All-Star Game at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre.  



From a ball hockey perspective, there were many more heroics left for Rattray. Although she was invited to compete with the Canadian national ball hockey team at the 2015 ISBHF Worlds, commitments to Canada’s national women’s ice hockey team superseded, as Rattray made her debut at the IIHF Women’s Worlds, competing in Malmo, Sweden. Despite a silver medal finish, Rattray was presented with another gold medal opportunity.

 

With the Canadian national ball hockey championships taking place in her hometown of Ottawa, Rattray returned to a heroes welcome. Recruited to compete with the Toronto Shamrocks, she emerged as one of the event’s leading scorers as the club battled Newfoundland United in the gold medal game.

 

Ironically, most of the Shamrocks were composed of Toronto Furies competitors, Rattray’s rivals in the CWHL. Earlier in the year, Natalie Spooner and Kelly Terry were loaned from the Furies to the Brampton Thunder to compete in a game against NHL alumni, therefore, Rattray’s presence with the Shamrocks was somewhat reciprocal. As Jenny Brine scored in overtime for the Shamrocks, it provided Rattray with her second straight national title, only adding to her growing legend.

 

Competing on a line with Natalie Spooner and Brianne Jenner at the 2016 CWHL All-Star Game, it could prove to be a preview of things to come. Considering that all three are a significant part of Hockey Canada’s future, it could result in more gold for Rattray, with the 2016 IIHF Women’s Worlds on the horizon.

 

Taking into account that the Brampton Thunder are one of the youngest, yet most exciting teams in the CWHL, the possibility of a Clarkson Cup in 2017 would come as no surprise, while 2018 offers the chance for Rattray to shine on the world’s biggest hockey stage, the Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. All golden opportunities, while allowing hockey fans to appreciate a future legend in the making.

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