Bruce Hallihan | The Daily Gleaner
January 29, 2022
Rothesay Netherwood School Riverhawks captain Livvy Dewar has a lot of positive attributes, her coach says, but one rises to the top.
“She will never be outworked, on or off the ice,” Kayla Blackmore said of the Fredericton right winger on the U18 prep girls’ hockey team.
“Livvy’s a pretty special player,” said Blackmore, the former St. Thomas University Tommies star. “When she arrived in Grade 10, she has just grown into her body. She was quite lanky, to say the least. The one thing that’s never been in question with her is her work ethic. She came in with this drive and focus to be the best player and best person she could be.
“She works her tail off in the gym every day and brings others along with her,” Blackmore said. “It’s not uncommon for her to be showing younger players the ropes and showing them how hard they need to work to get to where they want to be.”
“RNS has been such a great experience for me,” Dewar said. “It’s just a great place to be because everyone is like-minded – driven not only athletically but academically too. Everyone is always pushing each other, looking to get better.”
Blackmore “is a great coach,” Dewar said. “She’s super personable with all of us. She knows us all well and wants nothing but the best for us. She’s definitely given us everything we need to develop.”
Blackmore, who’s in her 10th season as head coach, says Dewar carries on the tradition of “special leaders” during her tenure.
“Her team-first belief makes her so special,” the coach said. “It’s not even just an attitude, she really lives it. She cares really deeply about her teammates.”
Most coaches would call the five-foot-10, 145-pound Dewar “a late bloomer,” Blackmore said.
The COVID-19 pandemic has prevented her from getting more exposure – at the cancelled Atlantic Challenge Cup and U18 nationals, for example – but she’s being recruited by U Sports and NCAA Division 1 schools.
“It’s an exciting process,” Dewar said. “It’s definitely been hard, with COVID, for all the 2004 class to get the exposure we wanted to have, but it’s nice to be drawing interest. I hope to make a decision in February.”
“Coaches tell me ‘We want her on our team because she’s hard to play against,’” Blackmore said. “She’s just an absolute beast, and I mean that in the most complimentary way. She’s powerful, she’s explosive, she’s offensive, she’s dynamic, she’s physical and she’s defensively responsible.”
“Growing up, I was quite small and skinny,” Dewar said, “but now that I have some size and strength, I definitely want to use that to my advantage.”
Dewar, 17, is one of four Riverhawks from the Fredericton area, including her Grade 9 linemate, Ava Wood of Oromocto, fellow forward Paige Price from Penniac and defender MJ English of Royal Road.
Dewar is second in team scoring with seven goals and 13 assists for 20 points in 14 games. Wood, on the other wing next to centre and McGill recruit Anika Cormier, is next with 17 points, including 10 goals, in 16 games.
“It’s a pretty fun line to watch,” Blackmore said. “Anytime they’re on the ice, there’s an opportunity to create offensive chances.”
“I love playing with those two,” Dewar said. “They’ve very unselfish players. Anika has always been a gifted player and we are constantly pushing each other to be the best we can be / Ava is crazy good. I can tell she has the IQ you need to get to the next level.”
Dewar, who’s maintaining a 93 average in the demanding International Baccalaureate Programme, began playing hockey when she was five years old.
“Hockey has always been such a big part of my life,” she said. “My dad [Kristian] grew up playing hockey, so we were always around the rink. What I like best is all the memories and great friendships I’ve made, plus having something to work towards. The constant goal of getting better. I just love that part of hockey too.”
“When I think of her graduating, it makes me sad,” Blackmore said. “But at the same time, I couldn’t be more proud of where she’s heading, and she’s not close to her ceiling yet.
“I wouldn’t be surprised to see her getting opportunities with teams at the national level or making a huge impact at the collegiate level,” she said.