With the McGill Martlets having enjoyed an undefeated regular season in 2012-13, Bianca Della Porta continued her winning ways. Having competed for the Dawson College Blues and the Montreal Stars, her experience and team-first approach make her a valued teammate.
Like many of the elite women’s hockey players from Quebec, she honed her skills at the prep school level with the famed Dawson College program in Montreal. “I played for Dawson College and it was definitely a privilege. It was a great opportunity and I learned a lot. Things like internal character, dedication and hard work. I learned what it takes and they were great life lessons.”
Before she would join the McGill Martlets, she had the opportunity to compete in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League. With the famed Montreal Stars, Della Porta was a Clarkson Cup champion in 2012. “It was tremendous, a great experience. It is always an honor to play with any of those girls. They made such a great name for themselves and they made women’s hockey what it was.”
As a member of the Stars, Della Porta played with a venerable who’s who of women’s hockey, including Meghan Agosta, Julie Chu and Caroline Ouellette. “I looked up to all of them for different reasons. If there was one player, it had to be the captain Liz Breton. It is just her class and outlook on life. She is so outgoing and always smiles. There are always wonderful things to look forward to, and she always finds the silver lining.”
Having played for Patrick Rankine on the Stars, and Peter Smith at McGill, Della Porta is quick to recognize the importance of a good coach. “Absolutely. The coach organizes the practice and his level of organization for anything. Success is about the little details; being on time, having a schedule. They prepare players so they can do everything better on the ice.”
Another member of the McGill coaching staff that Della Porta looks up to is assistant coach (and former Martlets player) Amey Doyle: “She is someone we look up to. We have a lot of respect for her and she is a mentor.” Those types of influences are essential in Della Porta trying to be the best team player and leader that she can be. “I learn from all past experiences; school, jobs, family. I learned to have leadership by trying to be the best teammate that I can be.”
One of the values that she has learned at McGill is the essence of teamwork. “Definitely. Not only skills wise, but mentally, I learned a lot. You understand playing and the different mind set you need to have. You learned how to have a better attitude and set a good tone for everyone else.”
For Della Porta, the dream of a CIS title to complement her Clarkson Cup win is one she would like to see come true: “It would be overwhelming. Not many words could describe something like that. To see the hard work pay off is a show of greatness.”
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!