Back from the brink

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Follow new Stinger Taylor Lambert as she chronicles the women’s hockey team’s path to the CIS

My name is Taylor Lambert, and I have dedicated my entire life to hockey. While attending a tryout for Team Saskatchewan, I suffered a life-changing injury that would inevitably bring me halfway across the country to the Ryerson women’s hockey team.

At age 13 I left city for Wilcox, Sask., a town of only 200 people with only four streets — and we played road hockey on every one.

After coming home from a teaching mission in Uganda, I was back on the ice for Team Saskatchewan tryouts. Because of extreme jetlag, I wasn’t able to play my best and had one last chance to prove myself. Warm-ups had just begun when I felt my entire chest tighten, my throat swell, and a sharp pain in my heart and stomach. Clutching my stomach, I felt all of my weight fall on my knees.

I remember waking up with my teammates offering me water and helping to wipe blood from my nose. My head was ringing and all I could do was cry. I knew my tryout was over.

At the hospital I was diagnosed with Malaria and Hepatitis A. My liver and kidneys were infected, but all I wanted was to play.

I didn’t make it to the national level that summer, but I did make the AAA Female team despite the doctor’s orders.

I was excited to play, but my health deteriorated quickly and I fell down the depth chart. The scholarships from Yale and Princeton I had received were hastily rescinded.

I decided to come to Ryerson to pursue not only my passion as a journalist, but rehabilitate my passion as a hockey player.

I’m excited to be part of the Ryerson Stingers. As a feisty five-foot winger, I hope to help the team reach the CIS for next season — a journey I will document for the Eyeopener this year.

The team’s talents range from beginning skaters to competitive players. It’s going to be an uphill battle.

It appears we’re the underdogs this season; stay tuned for our Cinderella finish.


  1. I find your psychic insights into the upcoming season remarkable! How is a team deemed underdogs before the start of the season? Are you an expert on the league ‘Golden Blades’? Have you been doing reconnaissance on other teams to make this underdog determination?-I seriously doubt it

    1. It’s no secret that the team hasn’t brought in any significant talent in the off-season, so it’s perfectly reasonable to assume they’ll be in for another tough season. Hopefully they really gel as a team and make some strides, but I’d question your “psychic insights” if you think this team is a favourite to do some damage in the standings. We’re all rooting for the team to succeed, but temper expectations. They have enough pressure as it is.

  2. As you don’t play sports, like many other sports writers, I cant expect you to understand that being pessimistic about a team you just made is a not the way to get the team behind you.

    1. You don’t know a thing about me, so I’m not sure where you get that I don’t play sports. I’m no OUA-level athlete, but I get by. I’ve been a part of many teams and I know the importance of believing in your team. I think you’re missing the difference between being pessimistic and being realistic. She isn’t putting the team down and saying they suck, because they don’t. All she’s saying is that it isn’t a powerhouse team by any stretch of the imagination and they’re really going to have to pull it together to stay competitive.

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