Carley Porcellato Extols the Qualities of Leadership for the Ottawa Gee Gees

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Carley Porcellato Extols the Qualities of Leadership for the Ottawa Gee Gees
Donning number 23, Porcellato is in a huddle with her Gee Gees teammates devising strategy (Photo by Mark Staffieri)

In her second season as an alternate captain for the Ottawa Gee Gees, Carley Porcellato is one of the squad’s leaders. Bolstering the Ottawa Gee Gees' blue line, Porcellato is one of only six players on the squad with more than three seasons of experience.

Hailing from the southwestern Ontario city of Guelph, the region of the province had many different schools to choose from (Guelph Gryphons, Waterloo Warriors and Western Mustangs). Her first visit to Ottawa made the decision much easier. “When I first came to visit, the team seemed awesome. It felt like home and I loved the city. It has been an awesome four years.”

Prior to playing for the Gee Gees, Porcellato was a member of the Kitchener-Waterloo Rangers in the Provincial Women’s Hockey League. Her coach was Shaun Reagan, who had the opportunity to serve on the coaching staff of Team Ontario Red at the 2012 Under-18 Nationals.

“I played for Shaun Reagan. He was one of the best coaches I ever had.” In the autumn of 2012, Reagan’s Waterloo Warriors visited Ottawa for an exhibition match. “It was good to see him again. It was an exciting game. After the game, it was nice to talk to him.”

Her current head coach, Yanick Evola, is one of the people that she cites as an influence in her career. “For sure. He can be hard at times but I have learned so much since he came here. Another person is [former Gee Gees player] Kayla Hottot. In my first two years, she helped me overcome my sickness. She trains with me and she has always been there for me. She has had a huge impact on my time here.”

For the last two seasons, Porcellato has been an alternate captain with the Gee Gees. Donning the A on her sweater is a valued experience, but she is quick to acknowledge the role all her teammates play in being leaders, “My second year as alternate captain has been a good one. It is an honor. The A means something but everyone puts up when it is their time.”

Heading into the 2013-14 season, Porcellato will be in her fifth and final season with the Gee Gees. When asked if she was excited about her upcoming final season, she replied, “I do. I just cannot believe how fast it has gone. I tell the rookies to enjoy it because it goes fast. I am glad to have accomplished what I have.”

Along with Dominique Lefebvre and Lauren Coxon, the trio will comprise the only fifth-year players on the 2013-14 squad. As all three will be candidates to be team captain, Porcellato approaches the possibility of the team’s captaincy with humility, “Right now, there are many experienced girls that have what it takes to be the team captain. I am ready for anything.”

One aspect of playing for the Gee Gees is the strong alumni support. Alumni such as former captain Danika Smith are strong supporters of the squad. Said support is one that is not lost on Porcellato, “We talk about it. There are a lot of supporters and the pride is just amazing. Wherever I will be after I play, I will always have that Gee Gee pride. Everyone plays with that.”

“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”

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