As the Toronto Jr. Aeros of the Provincial Women's Hockey League sent nine players to the Canadian Under-18 Nationals, Jordan McDonnell was one of four Jr. Aeros that suited up for Team Ontario Blue. The 5'7" forward was joined on the squad by Mackenzie MacNeil, Brooke Webster and Victoria Andreakos. Team Ontario Red featured five Jr. Aeros players, including team captain Emma Greco, and alternate captain Emma Korbs.
Like her teammate, Korbs, the two played together with the Jr. Aeros feeder team, the Toronto Aeros Midget AA squad. The two had the opportunity to compete with the Aeros Midget AA at the Esso Cup, a Canadian national hockey championship for AA hockey players. Both contributed to a bronze medal performance.
“Emma and I were on that team together. It was amazing. I had never experienced a national tournament before," McDonnell said. "It was unbelievable. I remember walking in the locker room and just seeing this Gatorade pyramid. The experience was awesome.”
A multi-talented athlete, she has also excelled in field hockey, soccer and lacrosse. Her older sisters, Amanda and Jaimie, also played hockey, with Jaimie having been a former teammate on the Aeros and their captain in 2011-12. Currently, Jaimie is in her freshman season with the Princeton Tigers.
In the history of the Canadian Under-18 nationals, the only Ontario contingent that claimed the gold medal was Team Ontario Red. The 2012 edition of the U18 tournament was historic, as Team Ontario Blue grabbed their first ever gold medal.
“It was awesome," McDonnell said. "A great experience. To have been part of that team the first time that happened, it was history.”
Although some of her Jr. Aeros teammates became opponents on the Red team, there was no awkwardness.
“At the same time, we are friends off the ice," McDonnell stated. "We are allowed to compete against each other.”
During the autumn of 2012, the Jr. Aeros had the opportunity to compete against Ivy League NCAA schools such as the Yale Bulldogs, Princeton Tigers and Brown Bears. McDonnell noticed the difference in their style of play.
“It is a lot faster and more physical," McDonnell claimed. "The girls are bigger and stronger. You see how they play, and although they are more physical, it helps to get yourself better. Playing them was really fun.”
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”