Nicole Allison made her trek down to Ottawa, Ontario, to study criminology and criminal justice at Carleton University with the dream to become a police officer for the Ottawa Police Service (OPS) or the Ontario Provincial Police (OPP).
“I’m definitely going to apply for Ottawa Police or Ontario Provincial Police. I don’t know where I’m going to get in, but I definitely want to be a cop,” Allison said about her future passion.
During her four years at Carleton, Allison also played defense for the Carleton Ravens women’s hockey team.
“I wasn’t supposed to come here for hockey in the beginning. I was coming here for school, and then I emailed Pierre, and he’s like, you can come to May camp, and he signed me after May camp, which was really cool,” Allison said about how she ended up on the team.
“But I came here for the program, a university degree looks a lot better when you’re trying to apply for the police force,” she added.
Prior to coming to Carleton, and prior to playing hockey, Allison started out playing ringette, a similar sport to hockey, but primarily played by girls.
“It was cool. It definitely helped me with my skating,” Allison said.
“That’s where I learned a lot of my skating strides. I was defence. I actually played goalie for a bit, we would change, I’d go defence to goalie, goalie to defence, so that was really fun. But it just wasn’t competitive enough, it wasn’t rough enough.”
When she did begin her hockey career, Allison spent a few years playing for her region of Lac St. Louis, which is a suburb area of Montreal.
Following her time in Midget AA, Allison went over to CEGEP and played hockey over there.
“It was a cool team. It was definitely a lot different than out here. You know, playing on a French team, this is an English team, there’s a lot of different qualities that both teams bring. Especially for me, age wise, the age gap was a lot better when I played in CEGEP, just because out here I’m 24, and there’s girls coming in that are 17, so it’s a little hard for me to sometimes connect on that sort of level,” Allison said.
Following her time out at CEGEP, Allison joined the Ravens at the start of the 2015-16 season. While playing for the Ravens, Allison has played in 73 careers games, recording three goals and five assists for eight points, and making memories that will last a lifetime.
“I think, for me, just seeing the team grow as when I first started to now. It’s a whole different program, and I think the girls have really worked hard for it. Like, this is a team, we pushed ourselves to limits that we didn’t even know we could go do, and I think that its headed in the right direction,” Allison said about her most memorable moment as a Raven.
This year, Allison is graduating alongside forward Shannon Pearson and Jamie Wainman, and goaltender Katelyn Steele.
“Oh, awesome. They’re so nice. Our whole team, we all support one another, we’re always there for one another, it’s a family, so, playing with all of them has been a dream come true, and I’m very happy that I met them, and to leave on a good note, especially Jamie, Kate, and Shannon, I’m pretty close with every single one of them, so its nice to leave with people who you’re close with,” Allison said.
Like every athlete, Allison has faced many challenges and adversities to make her the player she is today.
“I was hurt for a while, so, my back was definitely one,” Allison said.
“And then just making sure you play to your best potential every single practice, and you know that you’re fighting for a spot and if you want to play, then you have to show up. You can’t have a bad practice, you can’t have a bad game. You are always pushing yourself to your limits, your own personal limits, and I think that that’s one of the things I struggled with at the beginning, but I’m good now,” she added.
Despite the challenges and adversities that Allison has faced, she has also grown on and off the ice due to the numerous lessons that hockey has taught her.
“I think I had a lot of anger before on the ice, and even off the ice, and I think, having to deal with my anger and be good about it, and calm and not so angry all the time on the ice, where I would penalize myself because I wouldn’t play because of my anger,” Allison said.
“So, now I think that I’ve learned to deal with it, take a few breaths, and understand, it happened, whatever, go out the next shift and pretend whatever bad thing happened that you’re mad about, just deal with it and move on,” she added.
As for her future, Allison’s passion for policing will be further bolstered due to the fact that she got the chance to work part time as a security guard on Carleton campus.
“Pretty good,” Allison said of her experience.
“I mean, they’re really understanding regarding that I play on a varsity team and that I have school, so they give me a few shifts, and then if I want to pick up more, than I can.”
“Great experience. I love doing public relations, I love PR work, its my favourite, I love talking to people, getting out there in the community, and connecting with others, helping others, so that really was cool. I liked it, it was good,” she added.