A golden friendship

Submitted by Jessie McCann

After 10 years of knowing each other on and off the ice, best friends and former teammates St. Thomas University student Danielle Ring and STU alumna, Jessie Mcann got to take their passion to the international stage.

The pair competed in the International Street and Ball Hockey Federation world championships in Slovakia this past June, earning a gold medal.

“It was like a fairy tale ending for best friends,” Mcann said.

Mcann and Ring have known each other for a decade. They played on the Saint John Metro Ball Hockey League and in the STU Women’s Hockey team.

This year wasn’t the players first invite to the championships, but it was their first time playing in the tournament together.

In 2015, Mcann represented Canada in Switzerland. That year, Canada brought home the gold.

In 2017, Ring and Mcann were both invited to Czech Republic to play for Canada in the tournament, but neither could attend as that was the weekend Mcann was getting married. Ring was her best man.

Two years later, the pair was invited to the 2019 tournament in Slovakia.

“This time around when I got asked, I accepted it right away,” Ring said.

“There was no questions. Hands down, I’m going.”

Mcann said that that she knew about Ring’s invitation before Ring knew herself.

“The general manager actually told me before she told [Ring] because she knows how close we are,” Mcann said.

“I just burst out crying. I didn’t even cry when I found out I made the [national] team.”

Ring said the experience was overwhelming, but having Mcann there made it easier.

“To do this, especially with [Mcann] felt a little more at home,” Ring said.

“Having her there really helped with the experience being more exciting.”

The tournament spanned over a week and a half.

Canada came in first with Great Britain, Czech Republic, Slovakia and the United States in their division.

“I had really high expectations for myself. I always do,” said Ring.

Ring said they started the tournament off slow.

“But I tried to be stronger on the mental side and I said, ‘You know, it’s going to come when it comes.’”

After seven games, Team Canada faced against the United States three times, defeating them in those games. Mcann scored two goals and Ring two assists.

Canada finished the tournament with a record of 6-1. Their sole loss was against the Czech Republic, which ended in a shootout 1-0.

Canada played against the United States one final time in the gold medal game, beating them 4-2.

“In the gold medal game, people got points when it mattered the most,” Ring said.

Mcann and Ring ended the tournament on a high note. They both had points in the gold medal game and Mcann made the all-star team.

“I had more confidence this time around. And it’s probably because I had [Ring] with me,” Mcann said.

“I think she was one of the main factors of my success this tournament.”