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Playing the game of love

Though they're both Dalhousie athletes, Ben and Ashley also form a team of their own. (Photo by Amin Helal)
Though they’re both Dalhousie athletes, Ben and Ashley also form a team of their own. (Photo by Amin Helal)

Here at the Gazette, we know that if there’s one thing Valentine’s Day is good for, it’s testing your partner in a series of elaborate mental challenges. That’s why we sat down with Dalhousie Tigers hockey player Ben MacAskill and soccer player Ashley Donnelly—together for ten months—to put their knowledge of one another to the test. Turns out, they’re pretty good at this.


Ashley’s Moment of Truth (How Well Do You Know Ben?)

What is Ben’s favourite pro sports team?

Ashley Donnelly: Chicago Blackhawks.



Who is Ben’s favourite athlete?

AD: Ashley Donnelly.

Ben MacAskill: I thought it was pro athlete…

AD: It’s the hockey guy, it’s the hockey guy that can do all the stickhandling, isn’t it?

BM: … I thought it was pro athlete.

AD: Is it the hockey guy with the good hands? Last name with ‘L’? The one you showed me a YouTube video of?

BM: (shakes head) Duncan Keith. Plays for Chicago.

AD: Oh, OK. I don’t follow hockey.



What is Ben’s biggest pet peeve?

AD: Bad drivers.



What is Ben’s favourite food?

AD: Is it a meal, or just one thing? Steak and mushrooms?

BM: (shakes head)

AD: Why not? That’s my favourite.

BM: What? No, you make this.

AD: Oh… Quinoa salad.

BM: Yeah. She introduced me.

AD: I make a mean quinoa salad.



What is Ben’s favourite book?

BM: I don’t think you’ll know this one…

AD: Give me a hint.

BM: Uh… no, you wouldn’t know it.

AD: I wouldn’t know it.

BM: It’s The Alchemist.

AD: We’ve never seen him read.

BM: (laughs) Mostly just reading textbooks nowadays. Read that a long time ago.



If Ben could listen to only one musician for the rest of eternity, who would it be?

AD: Oh gosh, it’s probably a country one…

BM: Think of how many CDs are in my car.

AD: Oh… Jack Johnson!



According to Ben, who is the messy one in the relationship?

AD: (laughs) Him.

BM: Kind of.

AD: Who??

BM: I just said that you were more organized. We’re both pretty clean. But you’re more organized.

AD: That’s true, I am pretty organized.



What is Ben’s favourite movie?

BM: Did I answer that [on the question sheet]?

Dalhousie Gazette (DG): Oh yeah, not –

BM: I forgot about that one.

DG: What would be your favourite movie?

BM: I don’t know, I think I’d say –

AD: You’d say Friday Night Lights.

BM: – Friday Night Lights.



According to Ben, how did you two meet?

AD: You grabbed me at the Grawood. And we went to Starbucks together. Is that what you said?

BM: Yeah—what did I say?

DG: (reading back) ‘At the Grawood on St. Patrick’s Day. Grabbed her and said hello. I had her at hello.’

AD: (laughs) Real. That happened.



What is Ben’s favourite hangout spot in Halifax?

AD: Hmm… the water?

BM: The waterfront, yeah.



If Ben could be a movie star, who would it be?

AD: It’s a superhero, isn’t it?

BM: (laughs) Nope.

AD: Who is it? Who would you want to be?

BM: (pauses) Who was your man-crush before me? Lives in your town [Burlington, Ont.].

AD: Ryan Gosling? That’s who you’d want to be? (laughs) Oh my gosh.

DG: I would probably choose Ryan Gosling too.

INCORRECT (But we still learned about ourselves)


What does Ben consider the better sport: soccer or hockey?

AD: Hockey.

DG: Do you go to each other’s games?

AD: Mm-hm.

BM: Yup.

AD: He didn’t come to mine, but I went to his. (laughs) I go to every one of his. I’m very dedicated.



Who has been the most influential role model in Ben’s life?

AD: Your grandpa? Or your dad? Your dad.

BM: Dad, yeah.

DG: And why is that?

BM: He was just always there for me. He came to watch all my games, would always tell me how I could be better.



What does Ben consider to be his best quality? 

AD: I think Ben’s very humble and really nice and everyone loves him. I’ve never heard him say a bad thing about anybody in this world. He’s just one to love.

BM: I was going to say kindness, yeah.



And finally, of course, the necessary Twilight question: Team Edward or Team Jacob?

BM: I don’t like that vampire-looking guy.

AD: [Team] Jacob. (laughs)

BM: Yup.



DG: That was a pretty solid round.

BM: Set the bar real high here. I’m scared.

ASHLEY’S SCORE: 12/15 – 80%



Ben’s Moment of Truth (How Well Do You Know Ashley?)


What is Ashley’s favourite sports team, in any league?

BM: Toronto… FC? Toronto Maple Leafs?

AD: You watched one of the games. Maybe two. In Halifax.

BM: Dal Tigers? Soccer?

AD: Yeah. (laughs)



Who is Ashley’s favourite athlete?

BM: … Me?

AD: Yeah. (laughs)

BM: You always do better than me…



What is Ashley’s biggest pet peeve?

BM: When people chew really loud.

AD: Yeah.

DG: That’s impressive. That’s really good.

BM: Learn those ones pretty quick.



If Ashley could listen to only one musician for the rest of eternity, who would it be?

BM: Forever… Hm.

AD: This is a hard one, because it was hard to think of.

BM: Yeah, you like a lot of different stuff. Beyoncé.

AD: No! (laughs) Starts with a ‘B’ then an ‘E,’ though. And it rhymes with ten.

BM: Ben Howard, really? Yeah?

DG: I’ll have to figure out if that one actually counts.

BM: I don’t think so…



What is Ashley’s favourite hangout spot in Halifax?

BM: Waterfront.

AD: Yes.

BM: Yes!

DG: Back on track.



What personal athletic achievement is Ashley most proud of?

BM: (pauses) Coming to Dal and playing for Dal? AUS championships? CIS nationals? All those?

AD: Yeah. [Answer was: Winning Atlantic University Sport (AUS) championship two years in a row]



What is Ashley’s favourite movie?

BM: The Notebook.

AD: And something else.

BM: Uh, Paranormal Activity. (laughs)

AD: White Chicks! We literally talked about this.

BM: (laughs regretfully) White Chicks.



What makes Ashley laugh, every time?

BM: Oh… There’s a lot of different things. The turtle joke?

AD: Yeah. (they both laugh)

DG: What’s the turtle joke?

BM: It’s not even my joke. Two turtles are sitting by a pond, and one turtle and says (begins drawing out every syllable, like a turtle) ‘When it rains, do you get water in your mouth?’ And the other turtle says, (puts on turtle voice again) ‘no.’

AD: (laughing) That is a good one. I like it.

BM: You can’t really write it down. You need to see it happen.



According to Ashley, what’s the better sport: soccer or hockey?

BM: Soccer.

AD: (laughs) Tough one.

DG: It would have been really interesting if one of you had said the opposite.

AD: I already said I thought he was my favourite athlete. And he didn’t say I was.

DG: True.

BM: I’ll never live that one down. You *are* my favourite athlete.

AD: Thank you.



According to Ashley, where was your first kiss?

BM: In her room.

AD: Yeah. Good times.



What is Ashley’s favourite exercise routine?

BM: Squats.

AD: Yeah.

DG: What about least favourite?

AD: It’s conditioning…

BM: Running?

AD: Yeah, sprints. I hate them.



What is Ashley’s favourite book?

BM: Book… I can’t say. Really? (Ashley nods) Fifty Shades of Grey. (laughs) Can I really say that?



Who has been the most influential role model in Ashley’s life?

BM: Mama bear?

AD: Mama bear.

BM: Yeah, her mom’s awesome.



What does Ashley consider to be her best quality?

BM: She has so many amazing qualities, but… she makes me laugh all the time. Very funny. (turns to Ashley) What do you think?

AD: People think I’m funny.

BM: Is that what you think your best quality is?

AD: Yeah…

BM: That’s not what you were thinking of.

AD: No, I like that one. I also don’t take ‘no’ for an answer. That’s a big one, I’d say.

BM: That’s a good one. Most of the time.

AD: Most of the time, yeah. I’ve been working on that, though. (laughs) I’m opening my mind to different opinions. It’s crucial in a relationship.



And again, finally, the most important question: Team Edward or Team Jacob?

BM: You were Edward.

AD: Yep.



BEN’S SCORE: 12.5/15 – 83%

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Daniel Bergman
Daniel Bergman
Daniel was the Gazette's Assistant Sports Editor for Volume 146.

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