By Craig Stein
SJHL CHAMP & FORMER TERRIER RETURNS FROM UNIVERSIADE IN RUSSIA
Dawson MacAuley spent his junior career between the SJHL and WHL. He spent part of his 17-year-old season in Yorkton, and had some time in the WHL with Regina and Medicine Hat, including the bulk of his 19-year-old season. When he was 18, he took the starting job in Yorkton late in the season and was instrumental in helping the Terriers to the SJHL Canalta Cup title in 2012-2013. He also returned to Yorkton for his 20-year-old season in 2014-2015. MacAuley, now through four seasons with the University of Regina Cougars, was one of two goalies named to Canada’s 2019 Universiade Men’s Hockey Team in Russia earlier this month, where Canada won Bronze.
First off Dawson, the Universiade likely doesn’t get the media exposure it deserves compared to events like the World Juniors and Olympics, etc. For those who aren’t aware, could you explain what it’s all about and also how you felt you played? It looked like the other goaltender (Sebastien Auger from University of Quebec-Trois Rivieres) got the nod in the Bronze Medal game, how much action did you see?
I was able to play in 2 out of our 5 round robin games, with Auger playing the rest – including the semi finals and the bronze medal game. I played well in my limited role, winning 12-0 and 11-1 vs Great Britain and Sweden. Universiade is the World University Games, and is the 2nd largest multi sport event in the world, next to the Olympics. It is held every second year, mostly in Europe, and this past event was the 29th edition. Canada’s hockey team was named essentially through a process where players were nominated earlier in the season, with a selection panel made the final decisions.
What was the experience like, heading across the world to represent not just your school but your country?
It was a first class experience through and through, and an honour being able to represent Canada on an international stage. We were able to spend some enjoying the experience, taking in the Russian culture while also putting in the work to earn our bronze medal.
How was the tournament and level of competition? Looked like you guys won a couple lopsided games early and dropped a couple at the end before capturing bronze.
The level of competition was very high with some countries but dropped off vs others. Teams like Kazakhstan and Russia had tonnes of professional experience, whereas some countries weren’t able to send their best players. The way our pool set up we had several easier games followed by some tough tests against Kazakhstan and Russia, where we were able to get the better of Kazakhstan in the end.
Take us through your University career so far, and do you expect to be back with the Cougars for a fifth and final year in the fall?
My university career has been an up and down experience so far, where I’ve enjoyed the process but we have fell short of our goals almost every year. I have nothing but good things to say about the University of Regina and the value that they have added to my experience as a whole, and I hope that next year, being my last year, we can finally break the barrier and make it into playoffs.
What did your time in the SJHL mean to you in developing you in your junior/USPORTS career? How awesome was your 18 year old season when you took over the starting job and led the Terriers to their first title in awhile?
The time I spent in the SJHL provided me with some of the best experiences and memories that I could have imagined. My teammates from the 2013 SJHL championship team will be lifelong friends and I will never forget what we went through that year together. It was a special group and I cannot thank the Yorkton Terrier organization enough for the opportunity that they provided me in being a part of it all!