Black History Month Spotlight - Whitney Dove
February is Black History Month! Here at the Toronto Six, we decided to honour some of the most prominent black women in hockey. We’ll be using this series of posts to celebrate their accomplishments, in the sport and beyond it.
For the next installment in this series, we took a look at the career and accomplishments of Whitney Dove. Despite signing with the NWHL’s Buffalo Beauts just under nine months ago, she has certainly made her mark on the hockey world and the world in general.
Dove began playing hockey at a young age, but the Port Moody, British Columbia, Canada native started her professional career with the NCAA’s Providence College Friars in 2016. In 36 games, she scored 23 points (five goals and 18 assists), the most of all Providence defenders.
Three of her goals were game-winners, including her first-ever collegiate goal, and her season included numerous point streaks, multi-point games, and streaks of multi-point games, as well as six power-play points made up of two goals and four assists. This campaign earned Dove a spot on the Hockey-East all-rookie team, as well as the titles of Hockey East Rookie of the Week (January 23rd) and Hockey East Rookie of the Year, the first defender to be given the award.
In her second year with Providence, she played in the same amount of games, notching six goals and seven assists for 13 points. The Canadian stood out on the team once again, being recognized by Hockey East multiple times once again, scoring the Mayor’s Cup-clinching goal, and leading the team’s defenders in goals scored; she landed second for points scored by defenders and second on the whole team for power-play goals.
Dove’s junior year saw her finally playing in all 37 games, notching 15 points on six goals and nine assists, once again being honoured by Hockey East and ranking high on the Friars in goals and assists like she had every year. Her senior year blew fans away, with her 28 points (nine goals and 19 assists) getting her tied for the team lead, as well as registering six multi-point games and two game-winning goals.
The 22-year-old signed with the National Women’s Hockey League’s Buffalo Beauts in June 2020, shortly after graduating. She recorded one point and 10 blocked shots in six games in the league’s shortened season this year.
Even though her first NWHL season was a short one, Dove has been extremely open about how positive that experience was, saying that she was “actually really happy” with how she played and that she felt welcomed in the league and on her team despite being one of the few black players. That positivity, managing to safely socialize with teammates (“you obviously were not allowed to be in other people's rooms, but we all had a porch and we were on the same level...so, we would go out in our big jackets and talk to each other from across the way”) and calling the blip of a season “awesome”, makes Dove an inspiration beyond her great accomplishments on the ice.