Former Carleton Ravens women’s hockey captain Tawnya Guindon has signed a contract to play professional hockey in Sweden for the Gothenburg Hockey Club in the Swedish Women’s Hockey League.
Guindon said she is looking forward to taking her game abroad.
“I really wanted to play abroad because it offers the chance to travel, have a new start, do something new. I’ve been playing university for the past five years for the same team, so getting a fresh start with a new team is what I wanted and doing it abroad was just making it better,” Guindon said.
“You get to meet new people and have a great life experience. Sweden has one of the top leagues for female athletes professionally so that’s why I chose Sweden.”
While at Carleton, Guindon was a forward with the team, appearing in 79 regular season games and wearing the ‘C’ on her jersey as the Ravens’ team captain for her final two seasons.
Guindon scored 18 goals and recorded 25 assists over her time at Carleton, and was always among the squad’s top performers.
She finished second in both points and goals for the team last season, her final one as a Raven.
Guindon said that the university provided her with valuable experience in preparing for a professional hockey career.
“I only had a few years’ experience competitively before I went to university, so it definitely showed me how to become an elite athlete as well as know how to work for what you want. Carleton provided me with a lot of help and I feel like going to Carleton was an important step before going to play professional hockey,” Guindon said.
In terms of her plans for her hockey life in Sweden and afterwards when her professional career has come to a close, Guindon said she is keeping her sights on the short term.
“I just hope that I have a few good years here professionally in Sweden—meet new people, have a great experience and then most likely hang up the skates and start a real career and family,” she said.
“But I definitely wanted to pursue a professional career after university, so that’s why I’m going to Sweden.”
Guindon is the second Ravens hockey star this summer to make the jump to professional hockey in Europe.
While she takes her puck talents to Sweden, former Carleton men’s hockey captain Michael McNamee is playing in Germany.
After a brief 12-game stint with the Tampa Bay Lightning’s American Hockey League affiliate, the Syracuse Crunch, McNamee is currently with EC Bad Nauheim of the DEL2 league. It is the second-level professional ice hockey league in Germany.
Guindon will start her professional hockey journey when she leaves for Sweden at the end of August.
Although her career at Carleton came to an end earlier this year, Guidon’s five-year Ravens’ adventure will not be soon forgotten.
“The league we played in at Carleton, it was one of the strongest for universities. We played against some Olympians and a lot of Team Canada girls, playing against the same five teams year-after-year. Playing under [former head coach] Shelley Coolidge and [current head coach] Pierre Alain, I learned a lot,” Guindon said.
Article also appears in The Charlatan