The great wall of Le Ber

Coming off an impressive rookie season, Danielle Le Ber continues to be a steady force between the pipes for the women’s hockey team

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Mustangs' Danielle Le Ber

What would Mustangs goaltender Danielle Le Ber do without hockey?

“I have no idea what I’d do. I’d probably just sit at home and sleep. There’d be no purpose in life anymore.”

Le Ber, in her second year at King’s University College, made the 2005-2006 Ontario University Athletics All-Rookie Team and was named an OUA second team all-star. She has a 2.29 goals against average and .916 save percentage this season.

“She’s good at making sure the puck stays away from the front of the net, so with shots, she will direct [them] other places,” says Western head coach Paul Cook. “That is a huge plus for her and our defensive core as well as the rest of the team.”

According to Le Ber, the two mistakes a goalie can make are being a spastic player or blaming the team for anything that goes wrong.

“You have to be a teammate and not a separate entity,” she says.

A local resident, Le Ber says she always dreamed of attending Western. Coach Cook likes that she is a Londoner because it provides a local connection and draw to the team.

After her father signed her up for hockey when she was a child, Le Ber knew she wanted to be a goalie to parallel her brother’s success pitching for his baseball team.

Over the years, her enthusiasm for the game never waned " she was always up at 4 a.m. for practices that didn’t begin until six. She credits her love for hockey to the team atmosphere and the game’s competitive nature.

“Athletics have been my entire life,” Le Ber says. “If I’ve ever done anything, if I’ve ever met friends, it’s always been through sports. My weeks are devoted to my games at the end of the week.

“There’s a part of university that you can’t experience as much because you’re busy with sports, but at the same time, I would never trade it for anything.”

Coach Cook describes Le Ber as happy-go-lucky and confident, with the right kind of “I’m going to stop everyone” goalie attitude.

Teammate and assistant captain Melanie Harshaw says Le Ber is not only an awesome player who always comes to practice, but a positive person with a big heart.

Le Ber says her team is one of the closest around, that everything good that happens to the ’Stangs comes from team effort, and that no one player takes all the glory. She believes that, to be a good athlete, one must also be a good person, and being a good teammate is part of that.

“She’s a very big leader on the team, and a good role model for all the rookies,” Harshaw says.

Harshaw also says Le Ber isn’t afraid to speak her mind if anyone does anything wrong, and her view of the entire ice during games provides a fresh perspective.

Western sits seventh in the OUA at 4-7-1-1 this season. Le Ber says the year has been frustrating but she’s still optimistic.

“I think we’ve had nine one-goal games,” she says. “We usually turn it around in the second half of the season, which is always a better thing. We’re hovering [just] off a playoff spot right now.”

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