|Sauve Makes Her Mark|
|Friday, 15 June 2012 08:12|
MAKING HER MARK
by Jason La Rosem
Now that she’s accomplished one of her career goals, going where no female player had ever gone before, Kassidy Sauve is looking even higher.
The 16-year-old goaltender made history this season when she became the first female player to ever take part in the OHL Cup, one of the most prestigious minor hockey tournaments in Ontario, fulfilling a lifelong ambition.
“I always watched it on TV when I was little,” Sauve said, “so it just inspired me, playing in a guys’ program, to get there, because that’s the biggest tournament. I always said I was going to play in the OHL Cup.”
Sauve played more than half the games this season for the Whitby Wildcats Minor Midget AAA team, helping them win an OMHA championship and book their spot at the OHL Cup.
Playing in the same group as the eventual tournament champions, the Mississauga Rebels, the Wildcats finished preliminary round play with a 1-2-1 record, missing out on a berth in the quarter-finals by just a single point.
For her part, Sauve saw action in two games, going 0-1-1 with a 2.38 goals-against average.
“Being able to (play in the OHL Cup) was fulfilling one of my biggest goals as a little girl,” Sauve said. “It meant a lot going there and playing there with all the guys who are such hot prospects.”
With one goal in her rear-view mirror, Sauve is turning her attention to the next thing on her hockey to-do list – representing her country.
The first step came in May, when she earned an invite to the National Women’s Program strength and conditioning camp in Toronto, and the Whitby native is on the ice this weekend at the National Women’s Program goaltending camp in Calgary, one of just five under-18 hopefuls, and the lone 16-year-old, to get the call.
Up next, Sauve hopes, will be an invite to Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team selection camp in August, and a spot on the Team Canada roster for the annual summer series against the United States.
“It would mean everything,” Sauve says of wearing the red and white. “It’s been a goal of mine since I was a little girl – just to get there, you feel such pride, but you can never stop, because if you stop it’s all going to go away pretty fast.”
To help make her Team Canada dreams a reality, Sauve will make the switch to female hockey next season, joining the Durham West Lightning of the Provincial Women’s Hockey League.
After playing her entire minor hockey career in boys’ hockey, and playing last season at the highest level of Midget hockey in Ontario, Sauve says the key to her success with the Lightning will be adjusting to the pace of the game.
“The biggest thing is to slow down, but not be slow,” she said. “I need to slow down my play and beat the puck, beat the passes, but know not to get too ahead of the play, because you always need to know where the puck is.”
Judging by her success and the levels of the game she has reached in recent years, knowing where the puck is hasn’t been a real problem for Sauve, and it could take the goal-oriented goaltender right where she wants to be – on the ice with a Maple Leaf on her chest, and a gold medal around her neck.
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