Dal Tigers’ MacNeil sidelined with season-ending injury
Sarah MacNeil won’t suit up in a Tigers uniform again after crashing into the boards last Saturday
January 12, 2016, 3:13 pm ASTLast Updated: January 12, 2016, 9:09 pm
Sarah MacNeil was already dealing with her university hockey career coming to an end. But after an exhibition game against Laurentian on Jan. 2, she knew she wouldn’t go out on her own terms.
“I went feet first into the boards and was going too fast to absorb it,” MacNeil said. “I looked down and my foot was totally sideways.”
MacNeil suffered a broken ankle and underwent surgery on Thursday. The injury means MacNeil’s competitive hockey career is over. However, she isn’t sulking over it.
“For me, this would be the end of it. It kind of sucks because it ended a little earlier than I expected,” MacNeil says. “I’m just looking forward to recovering and playing again in any capacity.”
MacNeil was in her fifth and final year with the Dalhousie women’s hockey team. Over the years, she became a leader with the squad.
She was responsible for leading the team cheer before the games and was named an assistant captain last season.
For MacNeil, the hardest part of dealing with the injury so far hasn’t been pain, or dealing with never playing competitive hockey again, but depending on other people.
“I love doing my own thing and going and getting things for myself,” she said. “It’s been so hard because I can’t put weight on [the ankle] for four to six weeks, so I hate asking people to get food for me and different things.”
MacNeil was already preparing for her hockey career to finish and was handling it pretty well.
“I think I jinxed myself because I kept telling people that I was ready,” MacNeil said. “I don’t think it sets in until after you’re gone that you’re not going to do it again.”
MacNeil will now shift her focus from getting goals on the ice, to achieving goals off of the ice.
“I think it’ll probably sink in in a year or a few months when it’s gone and I’m not coming back to it,” MacNeil said. “But I think I have enough goals set up that I’m ready to move on and do other things.”
The Tigers’ forward looks to complete her joint degree of Bachelor of Science in recreation and Bachelor of Management.
When she is back to full health, MacNeil says she looks forward to staying active by training for and competing in triathlons.
For the rest of the season, MacNeil says she will continue to go to games and have a leadership role with the team.
The Tigers play their next game Wednesday at 7 p.m. against the Saint Mary’s Huskies.