Assembling a season to remember, Saint Mary’s Huskies forward and leading scorer Shae Demale ascended to superstar status. Hailing from Red Deer, Alberta, the four-time Academic All-Canadian enjoyed a highlight filled season featuring international play, a double overtime playoff goal plus entry into the Huskies century club for career points.
Recording an astounding 34 points, on the strength of a superlative 19 goals, three game winners, Demale was the heartbeat of the Huskies offense. Along with a solid plus/minus ranking of +21, she started the season with a 12 game scoring streak.
Spanning from October 8 to November 18, 2022, Demale accumulated 18 points. Her best performance during the streak involved a hat trick versus the New Brunswick Reds on October 15, a valiant effort in a 5-3 loss.
By the end of the season, the Huskies enjoyed a tremendous 16-5 mark when Demale logged at least one point. Undoubtedly, her greatest performance took place on Senior Night.
Hosting the UPEI Panthers on February 4, the Huskies overcame a 3-0 deficit. Scoring twice in the third period, she scored in the shootout, providing a highly emotional 4-3 comeback. In addition to the Subway Player of the Game Award, Demale was recognized as the Huskies Athlete of the Week Award.
Earning the U Sports Female Hockey Player of the Week Award on December 7, 2022 and February 22, 2023, it was part of an impressive number of accolades. Fittingly recognized for her efforts with a place on the Atlantic University Sports (AUS) First Team All-Stars, she followed it up with a proud place among the U Sports All-Canadians.
“It is a complete honour to be recognized on the national level and to be considered one of the top 6 forwards in all of Canada. There is such great talent across Canada in female hockey at the Usports level. To be a part of growing the female game and being someone young girls can look up to is special.”
Named to the Canadian contingent for the 2023 Winter Universiade in Lake Placid, New York, the event marked a defining moment for Demale. Emerging as one of the top scorers for the undefeated Canadians she recorded a goal and an assist in her tournament debut, a 4-0 win versus Slovakia. Coincidentally, the shutout was earned by another star from the AUS, as New Brunswick Reds backstop Kendra Woodland needed only 13 saves.
During the medal round, Demale contributed an assist in each game. Worth noting, her assist in the final proved to be the game winning tally versus Japan, scored by Audrey Anne Veillette.
With Canada capturing its first gold medal in a decade, Demale and her teammates earned a proud place in both, U Sports and Hockey Canada lore. Reflecting on the gold medal triumph, the sense of accomplishment and the attainment of a cherished goal encompass the majesty of such an achievement.
“It was a dream come true to win a gold medal wearing the Maple Leaf for Team Canada. I always dreamt of representing my country. I am so lucky that I got the chance to play for Canada and even more lucky that we were able to bring home the Gold. It was an experience of a lifetime and an honour to play with such great players and people from across U Sports.”
This season, Demale’s many milestones included the statistical pinnacle of 50 career goals and 100 career points. Of note, her 50th career goal was the game winning tally in a 3-1 final versus the nationally ranked St. Francis Xavier X-Women. Also assisting on the Huskies other goals, it marked a seminal moment in her career.
Reaching such standards, a place of prominence among the program’s all-time greats assured, the majesty of such statistical feats only comprise part of the Huskies experience for Demale. Also recognized as a U Sports Top 8 Academic All-Canadian, earning an audience with Governor General Mary Simon, Demale also earned the Huskies President’s Award in 2020.
Dedicated towards the success of the Huskies, Demale always sets the positive example, constantly focused towards giving her team a chance to win. Representing the essence of the team culture, her prominence in the classroom equally inspiring, a landmark season and great career ended with a fitting honor. Rewarded for her efforts with the team MVP Award, it commemorates more than strong leadership and on-ice brilliance, it serves as the crowning touch for a gifted scorer and inspiring role model that made Huskies hockey great.
“I do not focus too much on my stats, but am rather more focused on team success. It is a testament to my teammates and coaches, without them, I would never have been able to reach those milestones.
Always, I have believed it is more important to focus on team goals and team success rather than individual success. Some of the real honours from my time at SMU were being ranked #1 in U Sports for a period of time, and some hard fought playoff wins that will always be memorable.”
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated“
Featured image obtained from: USPORTS – Women’s Hockey News