This week I sat down with Ailish Forfar '16 on the women's hockey team to discuss the season, her life in Canada and this winter's weather.
How did it feel to receive consecutive Rookie of the Week honors and then be named ECAC Hockey Rookie of the Month?
AF: It was pretty awesome to be recognized for something. I was out for the first half of the season with injuries, so it was nice to get back into it and get recognized right away. It was also important to help the team out, especially coming back from an injury and being a freshman, and being able to contribute in big games.
How does the hockey here compare to what you were used to in Canada?
AF: It's a lot more competitive, obviously. It's a big step up, but I think I was well prepared in the league that I came from, where most of the Canadian girls come from. But I really enjoy it and you have to push yourself, and that's what I wanted. It's a challenge, but I definitely knew what I was getting into.
What has enabled you to be so successful as a freshman?
AF: I think I put in a lot of hard work in the summer and that's where you get the most benefit out of training. It is hard to really get better during the season, since you only get a couple times to work out and a couple times to practice. I have a lot of good teammates to play with as well, it's not just me going out there and doing stuff. I've been able to look up to our seniors as well, they are really good role models and I have tried to take aspects of their game and put them into mine.
What's your take on the season so far?
AF: We're doing pretty well but I know we have a lot more in us. We have looked back at the schedule and sometimes we tied games we should have won, or lost some close ones we could have won. I think that's promising because we know we can take on big teams in the league. As it gets to playoffs, we have that confidence that we were close in a game, or we could have beaten this team, and so I think that will help us.
What are your predictions for the rest of the season? Is there anything in particular you're looking forward to?
AF: Going to the playoffs will be really exciting because it will be my first time in NCAA playoffs and I know we can really bring it, so it will be pretty exciting going through all that.
Do you know what your matchup for playoffs may be like?
AF: Well, if we finish where we are today, we'll be playing either Quinnipiac [University] or Cornell [University]. The last stretch of our season we don't have any easy games, it is all the tough ones, so we will really see how we do in these games, depending on where we finish.
Being from Canada, how has the adjustment to Dartmouth been?
AF: The school system is a little different, obviously, with terms instead of where I went to school. I went to private school so I kind of feel a little more prepared. It's more just being away from home that has been an adjustment. I think that more than half the team is Canadian, so I'm not going through it alone. All six freshmen are Canadian, so we have each other for support.
What's your take on our winter so far?
AF: At home we get more snow where I live, but it's pretty cool since it reminds me of home. We always have snow and I always have to bundle up to go outside, so it's nice to see the same thing down here. But I want to hit the skiing up since I haven't had the chance. That should be pretty cool since it's supposed to be pretty good down here.
What's your favorite thing about Dartmouth outside of hockey?
AF: I would say the people I've met here, not even just teammates, but people I've met on my floor, in my classes and my professors. Everyone is just so nice and welcoming, especially when I think back to Trips and when I first got here. I haven't met someone that was not willing to help me and extend a hand or help me in class.
What are the best and worst parts about having such a long season?
AF: Well the best part is that you get to play your sport for so long. That's why I'm here and I love it. We start in August and will go probably to March. I guess the downfall would be that it takes a lot out of you playing hockey every day and trying to balance your schoolwork. When spring comes, we should have a little more free time because everyday we have at least one thing to do hockey-wise, but I think in the spring it cuts back a little bit so I'll have more time to excel in school and experience other aspects of Dartmouth.