23 March, 2017

Backstop Brianna Quade An Essential Competitor for MSU Mavericks

Bouncing back from a freshman campaign where she did not appear in one game between the pipes for the Minnesota State Mavericks, the latter half of Brianna Quade’s goaltending career is one that represents an exceptional perseverance, driven by a dedication to succeed.

By Quade’s junior season, her career had evolved to one of tremendous prominence, emerging as a revelation. Bestowed the honor of Team MVP, the Newcastle, Ontario raised backstop would assemble a series of amazing performances, highlighted by a 52-save effort against the national powerhouse Wisconsin Badgers on February 26, 2016.
During Quade’s senior season, the most treasured aspect may have been the opportunity to serve as a mentor with the Mavericks’ younger goalies. Considering that Quade was red shirted during the 2012-13 campaign, followed by not appearing in any games during her freshman eligible season in 2013-14, the level of patience displayed by Quade was only surpassed by a graceful and most admirable maturity.

With a goaltending tandem that includes freshman Chloe Crosby, along with fellow PWHL alum Katie Bidulka, an alum of the Brampton Jr. Thunder, the future for the Mavericks remains a promising one, while providing Quade with a treasured opportunity to enjoy her role as a goaltending guru for these up and coming backstops,

"Working with the younger goalies during my senior year as a Maverick was a great experience for myself. Especially working with Katie Bidulka, we just clicked right away. We became close right from the start and I now consider her one of my closest friends.

Although being a goalie, you are all fighting for that one spot, and myself being a senior and seeing a lot of ice time, Katie and I always stayed positive towards one another. I loved watching Katie, as well as our freshman goalie Chloe Crosby; grow as individuals on and off the ice. These two girls made practices fun and I am excited to watch them play in the future.”

Having competed with the PWHL’s Whitby Wolves, the same program where the likes of Hanna Bunton, Hailey Noronha and Kassidy Sauve sharpened their skills, Quade would emulate their level of success. In addition to competing for Team Ontario Blue at the Canadian Under-18 Nationals, Quade would also achieve a proud milestone of standing between the pipes for Team Ontario at the 2011 Canada Winter Games.

Adding to her proud list of achievements would be a trio of titanic feats following her memorable 2015-16 campaign. In addition to Team MVP honors, she gained the prestige of being a co-recipient of the Mavericks Three-Star Award, along with a nod to the WCHA All-Academic Team, exemplifying the importance of success in the classroom for all student-athletes.

It was a season where Quade staked her claim as one of the most competitive goaltenders in WCHA conference play. Starting in 34 of 35 games, her determination was only outmatched by her durability. Perhaps more impressive was the fact that she accumulated an astounding 1031 saves, leading all WCHA goaltenders, while ranking third in the NCAA.

Facing 1147 shots during the season, Quade was one of the busiest goaltenders in college hockey, recording a respectable 3.43 goals against average. Earning WCHA Defensive Player of the Week honors for a suspenseful January 16-17 series against the eventual Frozen Four champion Minnesota Golden Gophers, recording a total of 80 saves in a pair of games decided by just one goal, she would sport a sparkling .941 save percentage. The first WCHA Weekly Award in her career was representative of her solid work ethic and constant effort to provide her team with a chance to remain competitive.  

“Having won the team MVP award, and leading the conference in saves, I was very honored to have gained these two accomplishments. Playing in this conference, I saw a lot of shots and a lot of ice time, and I was thankful that my teammates felt that I was valuable and a vital player on the ice.

Leading the conference in saves, I enjoyed facing all of these shots, and doing everything I can to keep my team in the game. Although we did not always get the outcome we hoped for, we always worked our hardest, gave it everything we had, and left it all out on the ice.”

During the 2016-17 season, Quade remained an essential competitor for the Mavericks. Appearing in 27 games, improving on her save and win percentages from the season prior, while Bidulka gained valuable experience through playing time (gaining three wins), Quade’s team-first approach represented a transition for the next generation of goaltending talent. With Crosby closing out the regular season as the WCHA Rookie of the Week, gaining her first career win on the road at Bemidji State, both goaltenders are definitely poised to build on her solid body of work

The final game in Quade’s career with the Mavericks took place against the Ohio State Buckeyes on February 11, with both clubs looking to make a strong push as the postseason approached. One day prior, she would record 39 saves against the Buckeyes in a 1-1 draw, which culminated in a hotly contested shootout that went 10 rounds, as Amanda Conway supplied the shootout heroics, while Quade denied Jessica Dunne.

Although Quade’s final victory in regulation time with the Mavericks took place two months earlier on December 10 at Verizon Wireless Centre. Said victory would be a notable one, making a significant statement about the potential of the Mavericks to compete in the WCHA. Allowing only one goal against the rival Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs, Quade assembled a solid 38 save performance in a 2-1 final, which saw Megan Hinze score twice on the power play, supplying head coach John Harrington with his first career win against a nationally ranked opponent.

Undoubtedly, the chance to play between the pipes, and give her team a chance to compete, is what Quade shall treasure most about her time with the Mavericks. With anticipation building towards game day, defined by preparation and practice, the game itself was the substance that definitely motivated Quade to continuously provide her best attempt, an element that resulted in providing a positive example for those who donned the Mavericks colors.

“Playing at MSU as a Maverick, I made a lot of great memories that I will always remember. First and foremost, I will miss playing games every weekend. Practices and preparation for the weekend was fun, but all that hard work was what led up to the weekend and I will truly miss that feeling of being in that game mentality.

The thing I will miss most about playing for the Mavericks will definitely be playing with all of my teammates. They were the ones who I got to see every day. They were the ones who I made so many great memories with, and although I will keep in touch with a lot of them, they were what made my experience at MSU an unforgettable one.”

“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated” 

Image obtained from: http://www.wcha.com/women/pres1617/201609/sep21wcw.php

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