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Kendra Dunlop puts college career on ice

Kendra Dunlop of Granum played four season with the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Engineers in central New York. Photo by Sara Melikian.

Kendra Dunlop is feeling a little down in the dumps lately.
The Granum hockey star who has played for the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Engineers in central New York for four years graduates in a month.
It would be time to celebrate . . . except for one thing.
Dunlop will be moving on from what she calls, “The best experience I’ve had thus far in my life.”
“It’s sad to be moving on, yes,” Dunlop said. “Spending pretty much every day with my teammates for nine months out of the year for four years is going to be hard to leave behind. I’ve made some of the best friends here I will have for life, so it will be sad for all of us to move on with our lives.”
Dunlop, a 2007 Team Alberta star and outstanding Warner Hockey School graduate, was her team’s senior captain this year, her last in U.S. college hockey — the 12-team Eastern College Athletic Conference.
Dunlop played centre for most of the season, sometimes playing wing. In 36 games (including playoffs) she notched four goals and four assists.
All told over her four years at Rensselaer Dunlop played 139 games tallying up 29 goals and 32 assists for a total of 61 points.
The RCI Engineers placed eighth in league play this season.
“We battled hard at the end of the season, but it was more of a building season for our team,” Dunlop said. “We lacked the experience and on-ice maturity we had in the past. But every team goes through seasons like that in order to build.”
“We got in the last playoff spot, and then had to play Cornell in the first round. They were number two in the country all year, so it was a challenging series. We were six seconds away from winning the first game, but they tied the game up and won in overtime.”
Dunlop graduates in May with a Bachelor of Science in management with minors in communication and sports psychology. She has no job lined up just yet, but has applied for some in Calgary, Toronto, and Lethbridge.
“So I’m waiting to hear back from those places. I’m not 100 per cent sure what is next for me. I’d like to continue playing somewhere . . . but I also would like to come back home to Alberta. But there aren’t many teams to play on that are close to home.”
Dunlop will be back in Granum in a couple of months, happy to see her parents Blaine and Jodi Dunlop again. But before she graduates she and some of her team friends have one last fling planned.
“I graduate May 28, then will be going on a trip with my roommates to the Dominican for a week before we all say goodbye to each other. I’ll be back home sometime in June.”
Meanwhile Dunlop is trying to get in as much hockey as she can — even if she’s not on the ice herself.
“We just got back from New Jersey to watch the New Jersey Devils,” she said. “They were playing the Toronto Maple Leafs. My roommate, the girl I went with, is from Toronto. So it’s her favourite team.”
That’s another thing Dunlop is going to miss when she moves.
“I’ve gone to other games before . . . down to Washington, D.C. to watch the Capitals play. They’re my favourite team. It’s nice to have lots of states pretty close to do things like that in.”

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