Originally from Bathurst, New Brunswick, Isabelle Aube has carved a proud legacy as an elite women’s hockey competitor in Ottawa, Ontario. At the NWHL and CWHL levels, Aube was a member of various incarnations of clubs in the nation’s capital, including the Ottawa Raiders, Capital Canucks and Lady Senators, spanning a remarkable decade.
Even though Aube established a personal and professional life in the city of Ottawa, she found time to tap into her Atlantic roots, competing with Team New Brunswick at the 2005 Esso Women’s Nationals. Named as the top forward in Pool B play, it was a proud milestone in Aube’s career.
During her ice hockey career, Aube also established herself as an elite ball hockey competitor. The leading scorer at the 2002 CBHA Nationals, she was also part of the Tournament All-Star Team. She was also part of the Canadian women’s hockey team that competed at the 2014 ISBHF Masters in Tampa, Florida. Joined by fellow OVWBHL legendary backstop Nathalie Girouard, Aube scored a goal in the gold medal game, as both Canadian men’s and women’s teams emerged with the gold medal.
One of the greatest to have graced the court in the Ottawa Vanier Women’s Ball Hockey League (OVWBHL), the 2015 edition of the CBHA Nationals was a unique experience for Aube.
With the 2015 CBHA Nationals hosted in Ottawa, it was a superlative showcase of the elite talent that the OVWBHL had to offer. In addition to the Vanier Mooseheads (who captured the 2014 CBHA Nationals) competing, Aube was among a venerable who’s who of ball hockey competing with the Ottawa Rebels.
In addition to Aube, she was joined on the Rebels by Ashley Burrill, who works in a managerial capacity with CARHA and Chelsea Grills, a former star player and coach at the NCAA level. Two members of last year’s Mooseheads team were also part of the Rebels, Fannie Desforges, a Red Bull Crashed Ice world champion, and Jessica O’Grady, who both played with Canada in a gold medal effort at the 2013 ISBHF Worlds.
Although both Ottawa-based clubs were hoping for the chance to clash for the gold medal, the elimination round saw them battling for the bronze. Although the Rebels claimed the bronze medal, ensuring that an Ottawa club enjoyed a podium finish, Aube and her teammates experienced a visceral loss in the first match of the medal round,
“I guess it was not as satisfying as it could be as I wish we could have played for gold. We had lost to Newfoundland in overtime by a 2-1 score. We had beaten them 5-0 in the preliminaries. I really wanted to be in this game.”
One area of great consolation for Aube was the opportunity to see her husband, Jason Prevost, compete in the Masters Final with the Ottawa Blues. Of note, he was a support mechanism as he gave his team to assist the Rebels.
“I am totally proud of him. He helped us coach too. We have both been here all week. He has been amazing as a player and a coach and it is fun to have him around. If his team wins, they will play next June in the Master’s World Ball Hockey Championships.”
In the aftermath of the Masters Final, Prevost had experienced the jubilation of a gold medal victory. With said victory, the Ottawa Blues earned the privilege of adding to the Masters World Championships in June 2016. Prevost joins his wife in the chance to compete on one of ball hockey’s biggest stages. Of note, Aube was also a member of the Canadian national team that captured the gold medal at the 2007 ISBHF World Championships.
“It was amazing and so much fun. I was very proud to be able to wear the Maple Leaf.”
Of note, this did not reflect her first experience donning the Maple Leaf on her sweater. Having also suited up for Hockey Canada as a member of its U22 National Team from 1998 to 2000, she was part of an exciting period of growth for the game.
Proudly serving as team captain during the 1999-2000 season, Aube led the U22 team to the 4 Nations Tournament in Fussen, Germany. She was joined on the team by fellow Ottawa Raiders player Lyne Landry, who would go on to a significant hockey career in the nation’s capital as well.
The U22 squad from 1999-2000 would be a remarkable window into the future. Of note, some of Aube’s teammates included Kelly Bechard, Gillian Ferrari, Gina Kingsbury, Carla MacLeod, Caroline Ouellette, Cherie Piper, Colleen Sostorics and Kim St. Pierre.
Having worked as a physiotherapist for over a decade, Aube served in such a capacity with the University of Ottawa Gee-Gees varsity athletics staff. Among the other accomplished women of hockey that was part of the Gee-Gees staff was Erika Pouliot.
Serving on Yanick Evola’s coaching staff on the women’s ice hockey team, Pouliot has more in common with Aube than just a proud playing and coaching connection with the Gee-Gees. Not only were the two teammates on the Rebels, the two were also members of the now-defunct Ottawa Lady Senators in the CWHL.
Taking into account that Desforges and O’Grady have also experienced the opportunity to compete in the CWHL (Desforges with the Montreal Stars, O’Grady with the Calgary Inferno), they were part of a remarkable group of women with ties to the CWHL competing at the CBHA Nationals.
Although she was inactive due to injury, Rebels star Danika Smith also played with the Gee-Gees and the Lady Senators. It was a great sense of pride for Aube to see so many women from the CWHL involved in the growing sport of ball hockey,
“I am totally proud to see more CWHL players involved in ball hockey. The players are getting more and more talented. Although the best ice hockey players do not always make the best ball hockey players, at the same time, it is great to have such players help promote the game. The better the game can become, the better it can be for everyone.”
Although the CBHA Nationals did not provide the golden outcome that Aube had aspired to, there was a bigger victory. The chance to be part of such a prestigious event on home soil reflected a great milestone in her playing career. As she has worked tirelessly to help the sport grow in Canada’s capital region, the sport and the region have been better for her involvement,
“As one of the older crop of players that compete in Ottawa, I have tried to help recruit and see more younger kids come in. It is great to have that type of event come here and I feel very proud to be able to showcase this game in Ottawa. It has been a great experience, and I really do hope to be able to keep playing in the top division for many, many years.”
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”
Photo details: Nathalie Girouard and Isabelle Aube with the Canadian team at the 2014 ISBHF Masters. Photo credit: Clarissa Arseneault