We told Shannon we really enjoyed her Original Eight podcast segment with the amazing Erica Ayala. Among other things, Shannon mentioned that she liked seeing her teammates score their first goal. Shannon’s first goal was 11/29/15 vs Boston, a game in which Shannon also had an assist on the eventual game winner by our #9 Molly Engstrom. We asked her about that, and if she had any particular recollection about her own first goal. She replied enthusiastically
"Yes! I love seeing my teammates get their first goal! It is such a wonderful experience to be a part of and I’m luck to have been there to celebrate so many of my current and former teammates reaching that achievement! Well, my first goal was from the point (big surprise!) and I remember thinking how my forwards made a nice play to get it up top and then drive the net for a screen. They had Ott in net and she would stop any point shot she could see, so they did a great job of taking her eyes away and I hit the target! Sadly, about 2 shifts later I broke two of my fingers in that game. But it was worth it!” Spoken like a true warrior. Flash forward to this past season and Shannon picked up another pretty gruesome injury to her finger. We didn’t ask, but we’re pretty sure she would have said that one was worth it too.
Weirdly, as the pandemic continued, Season Five wasn’t over actually over, as the Isobel Cup Final between the Whitecaps and Pride was never contested. Eventually the postponed Championship was wisely, but painfully, cancelled by the league. We asked Shannon to comment about that from a players perspective, including how soon a player could get ready for that one game? She replied this way
"So regarding the isobel Cup final, my heart goes out to those two teams. Being stuck waiting like that must have been really difficult. With social distancing, you couldn’tb train like you’d need to for such a big game. I think if you are being realistic about how much time players would like to prep, I would say close to a month at that point. Players hadn’t been able to skate, hadn’t seen each other, and had traveled home if they don’t call Boston or Minnesota home already. A lot goes into prepping for a game of that magnitude so you want to prepare right.”
Previously Shannon had stated. “My parents supported my love of reading as a child and always purchased every book I requested. I can’t imagine a life without books – especially now that I am an English teacher and lucky to be surrounded by literature every day.”: That is pretty special in it’s own right, but even more so in the context of something else Shannon has become involved in. One of the many cool things about Season Five, was the work that many of the players did for particular charities and organzations. And the way the fans, their teammates and their opponents rallied to support their efforts. Shannon as you may know, was involved with a program called Room To Read, that she supported through her Blocks For Books initiative. Shannon donated money for each shot she blocked, which others matched or donated in support of. A pretty cool program, and as we just mentioned, Shannon led the league in blocked shots, so also a pretty successful one for the young readers. We wondered how Shannon got involved, and she explained
“I got involved with Room To Read through my school, GCDS, as they support them every year around Christmas time, with parent donations and faculty donations and try to volunteer with them too. They are a fabulous program.”
We wrapped up our conversation with Shannon by asking her what she thought was in store for the fans in the 2020-2021 season. She replied
“The momentum we have coming out of 2019-2020 is amazing, this was a tumultuous year for women’s ice hockey and the support we had was incredible. Next season is going to be even better! we (as a league) constantly learn as we go and notice what works and what needs work. So you can expect more of the things you loved (Twitch, interviews, social media... etc) and the players will continue to be ambassadors for the game and work hard to put a product on the ice you love to watch.”
Cetacean Nation thanks our amazing #6 Shannon Doyle for sharing her thoughts on these topics with us, and for leaving us even more excited for Season Six than we already were! Fins Up to that, and Fins Up Forever to Shannon!