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The UPEI Panthers will start the quest for a national title today without their captain.
Emma Weatherbie, the fifth-year forward from Frenchfort, was diagnosed Monday with pulmonary embolism and will miss the U Sports championship at MacLauchlan Arena.
“It would have been an amazing way to end an amazing career,” head coach Bruce Donaldson said.
He said Weatherbie plays a huge role for the Panthers.
“She’s our captain and she leads in all our aspects of the program,” he said, noting her second-to-none work ethic.
“Her leadership on the ice, her leadership on the bench, her leadership off the ice has just been invaluable,” he added.
“It’s really unfortunate that this has happened for her personally because she was working so hard to be playing her best hockey at this time of the year.”
The Panthers have been a close-knit squad all season and Donaldson said he is a believer that this could bring them even closer.
“It’s just another reason to try to go up against a team like Montreal that's heavily favoured and dig deep and play for everybody that's in that room.”