With a sterling hockey resume, Giuliana Pallotta keeps adding to an already impressive list of achievements. Finishing atop the podium as a member of the Ottawa Capitals at the 2023 CBHA Nationals in Saint John, New Brunswick, the highly skilled forward brought big game experience to an impressive roster.
Rewarded for her efforts with the tournament’s Most Valuable Player Award, Pallotta, wearing her trademark number 94, contributed eight points. With at least one point in five of seven games played, Pallotta provided consistency throughout the tournament for the undefeated Capitals.
Having already enjoyed the jubilation of an ISBHF gold medal, the chance to win the CBHA National Championship once again in 2023 places Pallotta in rarified air. Among an exclusive, and celebrated, group of wondrous women to reach the pinnacle in both competitions, another unique brush with history took place.
Back in 2017, Pallotta, garbed in the jersey of the New Tecumseth X-Treme experienced a prestigious double. In addition to the OBHF Provincial title, the X-Treme went on to capture the CBHA National Championship.
Winning again six years later, as a member of the Capitals, Pallotta joins another distinguished group. Having enjoyed National Championships with two different teams, it adds a fascinating layer to her list of achievements. Reflecting on the feat, a tinge of coincidence encompasses her glorious thoughts, as both wins took place in the same host city.
“It is very meaningful to me to have won a CBHA National Championship. It is always an honour to represent your country and province and win a gold medal.
Funnily enough, I won a CBHA Championship back in 2017 in St. John, NB with the New Tecumseth Xtreme. Returning back to St. John this year, I won with the Ottawa Capitals.”
As a long-time member of New Tecumseth, playing against her former club this year, brought plenty of emotion. Scheduled as one of the first matches of the tournament on August 8, the feeling at Charles Gorman Arena was certainly unusual.
With a 7-0 shutout win that saw 13 different Capitals record at least one point, Pallotta earned an assist on the third goal of the game, scored by Marie-Philippe Lavoie. Seeing a number of familiar faces on the opposite end of the slab, absorbing the visceral fact that she was no longer garbed in the New Tecumseth colours represented an understandable adjustment.
“At first, it was definitely strange. I remember looking up the schedule prior to the tournament and accidentally looking at New Tec’s game times, it was just ingrained in me. New Tecumseth holds a very special place in my heart, it is where my love for ball hockey began.
Playing for Ottawa was an adjustment at first. Thankfully, I had truly amazing teammates and a coaching staff that made the transition much easier than I expected.”
On the path towards tournament MVP honors, Pallotta assembled a series of solid performances, her presence bringing an admirable dependability. Worth noting, a 7-2 final versus the Edmonton Cherry Pickers, resulting in the Capitals third win, saw Pallotta enjoy her first goal.
Scoring on goaltender Keeley Prockiw, a former gold medalist for Canada at the ISBHF Masters, a tinge of coincidence defined Pallotta’s goal. Lavoie earned the assist, reciprocating on Pallotta’s effort from the opening game.
As the Capitals fourth game of the tournament involved a convincing 6-2 win against the Manitoba Mayhem, Pallotta contributed her first multi point effort. Assisting on a third period goal by Cassandra Langan, the tournament scoring champion, she followed it up by placing her name on the scoresheet for the game’s final goal.
Also recording a goal and an assist in an 8-1 final against the Saskatoon Stingers, allowing the Capitals to clinch first place in their group, Pallotta’s playmaking skills shone in the semifinals. Facing off versus Edmonton once again, a scoreless first period indicated that victory would be hard-fought.
Recording a pair of assists in the second period on goals by Kassandra Michaud and Langan, the Capitals jumped out to a 3-0 advantage. Although the Capitals never relinquished the lead, Edmonton remained stingy, as indicated by a 4-3 final score. Undoubtedly, Pallotta’s efforts proved essential in allowing the Capitals to punch their ticket for Nationals, representing her finest hour in Saint John.
Bestowed the honour of Tournament MVP following an exciting 3-1 finals triumph against the highly competitive Newfoundland United, Pallotta’s humility rises to the surface. Despite the revelation providing a source of amazement, her sentiments embody standing as a highly admirable team player. Quickly recognizing that the efforts of other Capitals were just as integral, the effort constantly stood out, her presence making the others around her even better players.
“I was extremely surprised and honoured. There was a rich talent pool in this year’s tournament and I feel as though a handful of other players could have just as easily received the award.
The MVP award to me is just an illustration of how our team came together and brought the best out in each other, so truly, I attribute me winning the award to the rest of my team.”
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”