In a season that saw the national powerhouse McGill Martlets not have the services of 2013 Brodrick Trophy winner Melodie Daoust (as she earned a spot at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games), other members picked up their game. For Katia Clement-Heydra, the effort culminated with a season to remember.
Just like Daoust, she would not only win the RSEQ Conference Scoring Title, but she would follow in her footsteps and grab the 2014 edition of the Brodrick Trophy. Prior to these glories, Clement-Heydra would earn the honor of representing her home country of Canada on an international level.
Getting the call to compete at the 2013 Winter Universiade, the experience would provide her with a lifetime of memories. Playing with the elite of Canadian Interuniversity Sport at the Universiade, she would help the Canadian contingent to its third consecutive gold medal in the event.
“It was an honor. A lot of fun and a great experience. It was my first time competing internationally. To put on the jersey, there was lots of pride.”
As a proud member of the McGill Martlets, Clement-Heydra has been surrounded by some of the greatest women to have competed in CIS play. Among them was Ann-Sophie Bettez, who graduated as the Martlets all-time leading scorer. She was one of several legendary Martlets that would help provide Clement-Heydra with inspiration and motivation,
“It was good for me to watch and learn. To keep their pace and watch them succeed.”
Having won the Angela James Bowl in 2014 as the top scorer in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, Bettez is definitely one of the positive influences for Clement-Heydra. During the 2012-13 Martlets season, Bettez was among several Martlets alumnae (including Cathy Chartrand and All-World backstop Charline Labonte) that donated their time in a consulting capacity. For Clement-Heydra, it was an invaluable resource,
“It was great to have them around, especially great for feedback. As coaches, they focused on the team and individual skills.”
During the past season, another Canadian-born player with strong credentials became part of the Martlets coaching staff. Ottawa-raised Chelsea Grills made her mark as a high-scoring player at the NCAA level with the St. Lawrence University Skating Saints. She would also serve a stint on the Vermont Catamounts coaching staff in Hockey East play. The presence of Grills certainly provided Clement-Heydra and her teammates with another strong positive influence,
“She helps a lot. She focuses on individual skills also. Having her on the team, she does a lot of one-on-one practice. She’s really good and friendly.”
The end result for Clement-Heydra was the opportunity to earn another national championship. Having already enjoyed the thrill of winning a title three years ago, she reflected on that experience, “Winning nationals in 2011. As a freshman, I got in and got to be on the first line. It was so good.”
As her season culminated with the chance to be part of the 2014 CIS National Championship squad, it was part of a remarkable chapter in her Martlets career. Considering that she has become the fourth Martlets player ever to capture the Brodrick Trophy, she is now in the same rarified air as those legendary players she emulated and admired. With one season of eligibility remaining, and the return of Daoust, there is no question that the thought of a third CIS title is highly possible.
”All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”
Photo by Keith Minchin, St. Thomas University http://www.mcgillathletics.ca/news/2014/3/12/WHOCKEY_0312141153.aspx?path=whockey