Lone captain Turnbull guides women’s hockey team

first_imgAs the lone captain of the Wisconsin women’s hockey team, senior forward Blayre Turnbull has chosen to lead by example.As the only captain and one of just five seniors on this season’s team, Turnbull knows that her actions on and off the ice are the ones that define her to her peers. If she cannot hold herself to a high standard, she knows her teammates may falter in their focus.“Even when nobody else is around, you’re still holding yourself accountable for everything you’re doing,” Turnbull said. “So leading by example on the ice and off the ice, in the classroom, whenever I get the chance to lead by example, I’m going to do that.”As the sole captain on the team, Turnbull has to take any opportunity she has to encourage her teammates during practices and games.So far this season, Turnbull’s play on the ice has been impressive, with three goals and five assists through the team’s first 10 games.Not only has Turnbull produced statiscally, but she has also been an indispensable leader for this team on the ice. Turnbull’s teammates see the value in her leadership, especially when they are down in games, like the Badgers were in their early season showdown against second-ranked Minnesota.“She takes the lead, and when we are down in between periods or if the attitude isn’t right, she will say something to get us ready and fired up to go out each and every game,” senior forward Karley Sylvester said.Off the ice, Turnbull’s leadership shows through her work ethic, which has gotten her to where she is today. Turnbull has been able to consistently get better over the years, leading her into the captain position and the opportunity to play in the Women’s Four Nations Cup for Canada this coming November.“A lot of it has to do with her work habits and her commitment to trying to become better,” Wisconsin head coach Mark Johnson said of Turnbull. “She’s done it for a long period, and certainly, the last year-and-a-half, her game has gotten much better, and she is getting rewarded with recognition. She got rewarded to being named team captain, and now she’s got a chance to play in the Four Nations, so a lot of credit goes to her and what she’s done with the opportunity that was given to her.”The recognition she has earned caused Johnson to make comparisons between Turnbull and former UW star Brianna Decker, an accomplished player who finished her career with the Badgers two seasons ago.One of the best: Decker prepares for last hurrah with Badgers An infectious leader. A fierce, intimidating competitor. A humbling character. And unimaginable success. That is what the Wisconsin women’s hockey Read…Not only did Decker earn the captain position with Wisconsin in her time on the team, but she was also a three time All-American and 2012 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Winner. Along with setting many records for the Wisconsin women’s hockey team, Decker was a key cog on the 2014 United States women’s hockey team in the Winter Olympics.Silver medalist Brianna Decker returns to Madison as OlympianA year after her collegiate hockey career at Wisconsin ended, Brianna Decker walked on the ice Friday night not wearing Read…Johnson believes the continued work ethic, which is something he said he’s seen in both Turnbull and Decker, is one trait that has allowed them to succeed, both on and off of the ice.“The tough thing is when you put a ‘C’ or an ‘A’ on somebody’s jersey, they tend to think that they have to act differently, and that’s not the case,” Johnson said. “They are chosen for a reason.”Turnbull knows that her strong leadership will play a huge factor in the success of the Wisconsin women’s hockey team going forward this season.Turnbull motivates the UW women’s hockey team through her expectations and expects herself to play at their best her coach said.“She’s very competitive,” Johnson said. “[She] wants to win and wants everybody to play at a high level. With your leader that does that, she sets a great example for younger players to follow along with.”For the rest of the season, Turnbull’s leadership will also be important in allowing the team to grow, especially after the two early losses to Minnesota.The early losses to Minnesota will not dampen the expectations they have for the season, so in keeping with the winning tradition of Wisconsin women’s hockey, Turnbull said she will not let any expectations fall.“I expect us to win. I expect us to go really far into late March,” Turnbull said. “Hopefully, we will be playing in the last game of the year for NCAA women’s ice hockey, and hopefully we win that game too.”last_img