Returning to the Canadian contingent for a third time, the proud achievement saw Giuliana Pallotta take on a bigger role. Serving in the capacity of team captain for the defending world champions, the prestige enhanced her standing among the game’s greats. Part of a superlative leadership group that featured the likes of alternate captains, and Atlantic Canadian ball hockey icons, Dawn Tulk, Kristen Cooze and Jessie McCann, all were members of Canada’s gold medal team from 2019.
Reflecting on the milestone of the team captaincy for Canada, Pallotta’s humble likeability emerged, a demonstration of her qualities serving as testament to the C on her jersey. Praising the quality of talent on the roster, propelling Canada to a perfect record, outscoring opponents by a cumulative 38-7 mark, Pallotta observed how unity set the tone towards winning.
“It was an absolute honour to be wearing the C on my jersey. I was surrounded by a group of extremely talented individuals that made my job easy. I was also fortunate enough to have a very supportive female coaching staff and fantastic co-captains (Dawn Tulk, Kristen Cooze and Jessie McCann). Together, we were able to help lead our team to achieve our goal.”
After a three year absence, attributed to pandemic woes, the return of the ISBHF Worlds provided plenty of emotions for all involved. The thrill of international play, highly motivated to reach the top of the podium, June 21, 2022 signified an emotional day for Pallotta.
Paired with Corie Jacobson on defence, the Clarkson Golden Knights alumni making her ISBHF debut, Canada’s tournament debut versus eternal rival United States on the 21st provided Pallotta with perspective. Absorbing the sights, sharing in the privilege of wearing the Maple Leaf alongside some highly distinguished colleagues, the opening game served as a treasured highlight.
“I would have to say the very first game. Standing on the blue line, side by side with my teammates, gearing up to start the tournament off against Team USA. In that moment, I felt truly grateful for the opportunity to represent Team Canada as captain on the international stage.”
Emerging triumphant versus the United States in a hard-fought 2-1 final, the score tied at 1 for over 15 minutes of play before eventual Tournament MVP Carol-Ann Upshall recorded the game-winning tally, the following game proved equally eventful for Pallotta.
Dismantling the opposing squad from Great Britain in a 12-0 final, Pallotta recorded her only goal of the tournament at the 11:39 mark. Coincidentally, Upshall and Genevieve Bannon, another Golden Knights alumni, contributed the assists. Pallotta and Elysia Desmier, a 2022 CBHA Hall of Fame inductee, assisted on the final goal of the game, scored by Jessica McCann.
As a side note, Jacobson earned her first point of the tournament in the victory over Great Britain. Along with Reagan Fischer, the two collaborated on Canada’s ninth goal of the game, scored by Chelsea Karpenko. Akin to Pallotta, Fischer and Karpenko were also members of Canada’s gold medal team in 2019.
Capturing the gold once again in 2022, the achievement stirred strong feelings of national pride. Hosted in Laval, Quebec, as Canada enjoyed the role of host nation for the first occasion in nine years, the opportunity to wear the Maple Leaf on home soil energized Pallotta.
With a stellar career, including the captaincy of the famed Laurier Golden Hawks ice hockey team, plus celebrated standing as a mainstay with the New Tecumseh X-Treme, a constant contender at the CBHA Nationals, the magnitude of the 2022 ISBHF Worlds eclipsed such proud achievements.
Solidifying her ball hockey legacy with a second gold medal, the feat evoked a multitude of feelings. Perhaps none stronger than a jubilant sense of patriotism. From the final seconds of the highly emotional contest, to the majesty of the medal ceremony, it was prologue for another captivating highlight.
The realization that a summit reached for the host nation made the chance to sing the national anthem in the postgame celebration so much more meaningful. With friends, family and Canadian hockey enthusiasts on-hand, the ability to bounce back from an injury early in the tournament provided a glorious redemption, simultaneously demonstrating the quality of character that makes Pallotta synonymous with leadership.
“I do not know if I can truly put it into words. Winning back to back championships on home soil was the cherry on top of an incredible week. I think back to the final game. Although I faced an injury early on in the tournament, that final countdown of the clock to the game ending buzzer still brings me chills, it was an unforgettable moment.”
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”