In the last three seasons, the Montreal Carabins have earned the opportunity to compete in the Canadian Interuniversity Sport national championship game. Playing for head coach Isabelle Leclaire, a key aspect in the offensive attack stems from Josiane Legault.
Her efforts and scoring prowess over the seasons resulted in an invitation to take part in Canada’s effort at the 2013 Winter Universiade in Trentino, Italy. It would prove to pay dividends for Canada, as the squad did not lose one game, on the way to a third consecutive gold medal.
“Our goal was to come back with the gold medal. We have worked hard all season and I am very proud that we were able to do it.”
Statistically, Leagult was nothing short of superlative. She would log a point in all of Canada’s seven victories. Her best performance came in the first game, a 21-0 whitewash of Spain on December 10, which resulted in two goals and two assists for four points.
After two points in a 5-0 win against Russia on December 12 and an assist on December 13, Legault followed it up in a crucial one. Playing against the eternal rival United States, Legault led all scorers with three points in a 4-0 win. The final three games would result in four points, as Legault finished in the top five in tournament scoring. The chance to don the Canadian jersey is one that she will cherish forever,
“It was an honor to wear the Canadian jersey. It had the feeling of the Olypmics and I was very proud to represent Canada.”
In the aftermath of the 2013-14 CIS regular season, Legault ranked 23rd in the nation in scoring. With 24 points in 20 games, it would place her sixth in conference scoring (RSEQ) and fourth on the Carabins roster, behind Ariane Barker, Kim Deschenes and Maude Gelinas. Of note, her best performance came on November 22 as she logged four points (two goals, two assists) in an 11-4 victory against the Carleton Ravens.
Hard-working and determined, Legault understands that the role of leadership plays. Employing maturity, she understands that as one gets older in the Carabins program, it is essential to engage in such a role. “On the ice, I see myself as a leader. As we mature in our careers, we definitely grow to be leaders.”
While the opportunity to claim the CIS National Championship in 2013 represented a significant milestone for the Carabins, the road towards it was equally rewarding. That season, Legault ranked 20th in the CIS scoring race and second on the Carabins behind Kim Deschenes.
Her coming-out party would come against the rival McGill Martlets in the RSEQ playoffs. Scoring two goals in the third and deciding game, including the game-winning tally, the native of Granby, Quebec, gave the Martlets their first series loss on home ice since 2005.
“For us, the CIS title is the highest level you can achieve. We achieved that by beating McGill (in the RSEQ Finals). I am so proud of that amazing event and it will always be considered an honor.”
While Legault has crafted a sterling hockey legacy that makes her a role modle for many young female players in Quebec, she shares an experience on what it was like to play against her favorite player. The 2012 CIS national championship game, which was also the first in program history, provided Legault with a lifetime of memories, as she explains,
“One of the players that I admired was Hayley Wickenheiser. To play against her (as a member of the Calgary Dinos) at the 2012 CIS Nationals was humbling. It was the first silver medal in the history of our program but it was unbelievable to be on the ice with her.”
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”
Photo credit: James Hajjar Photography