September, U of T’s Varsity Blues women’s hockey team played an exhibition game against Team China at Varsity Arena, which ended in a loss of 4-3. The two teams also staged a shootout, with two Varsity players and three Team China players scoring. One of these scorers was rookie Courtney Brind’Amour-McClure. Courtney and her sister, Alie, are identical twin forwards and first-year students, both recruited by the Blues this fall.
At the age of seven, the twins from Waterdown, Ontario, found their game: they switched from soccer to hockey, and have been on the ice together ever since. Courtney and Alie now play on the same line, left and right wing respectively. Like identical twins Henrik and Daniel Sedin of the Vancouver Canucks, their connection is an advantage. “A lot of people think we have the twin telepathy,” says Courtney. “We have a good sense of each other on the ice.”
In fact, Courtney and Alie have never skated separately. Before U of T, they played in the Lower Lakes Female Hockey League, where they helped propel the Brampton Canadettes midget AA team to a second-place finish in the north-central division. “We’ve been through the same camps, the same practices, we do everything together,” says Alie.
Doing things together just comes naturally to Courtney and Alie – they finish each other’s sentences, and when asked about their strengths and weaknesses on the ice, they can only formulate a collective answer. “We both have a good work ethic, we’re both really gritty and we hate to lose,” says Alie. “I think we’re good with the puck, we have a good sense of where everyone is. We have good vision.”
This season, the twins are working on better defensive zone coverage. Head coach Karen Hughes says that they have a lot of potential. “I think they compete hard. They play well together, they share the puck well with each other,” she says.
Courtney and Alie will go as far as they can with hockey – maybe even all the way to Team Canada. But the twins do have separate aspirations: Courtney is in the Concurrent Teacher Education Program, and wants to teach physical education in French immersion. Alie intends to major in political science and go to law school. And it’s not like they always get along. “We get angry at each other sometimes,” says Alie. “But we try to keep it under control, because the team doesn’t want to hear that.”