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Kassandra Lesieur-Michaud and the Ottawa Capitals golden goal

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As the Ottawa Capitals enjoyed the jubilation of their second straight CBHA Women’s A National Championship, a gathering of new faces proved essential in a return to the top. Including the likes of former Carleton Ravens captain Tawnya Guindon and longtime New Tecumseth luminary Giuliana Pallotta, a highly talented forward, originally from Sainte Sophie, Quebec, shone brightest in the gold medal game.

Enjoying a defining moment, scoring the game winning goal in the Finals versus the consistently competitive Newfoundland United squad, Kassandra Lesieur-Michaud became entrenched in Ottawa ball hockey mythology. As the city is legendary for its high quality of teams and players on the national and international stages, Lesieur-Michaud’s goal allows the Capitals one step closer towards becoming a dynasty.

“Honestly, I did not even realize that it was the game winning goal. For me, the work ethic that every player brought during the championship match was the most important element. We worked as a team and succeeded as a team. Every shift, every pass, every goal, in my opinion, contributed towards winning.”

Having enjoyed a handful of seasons on the ice at the CEGEP level, Lesieur-Michaud recently served as coach in the Etoiles des Laurentides Lanaudiere organization. Undeniably, her goal of elite competition ran parallel. Enjoying an extensive body of work in DEK Hockey, a 3v3 format highly popular in La Belle Province, it allowed Lesieur-Michaud a highly prestigious milestone, foreshadowing future glory.

Wearing the jersey of Team Quebec, she crossed the Atlantic for the 2021 World Ball & Dek Hockey Federation (WBDHF) in Orimattila, Finland, hosted from October 23 to November 2. Emerging victorious with the gold medal, a hard fought struggle to finish atop the podium saw Quebec topple the Czech Republic in a 5-4 final. 

“The world championship in Finland for Dek hockey brought me plenty of experience in terms of my overall game. Learning how to make good decisions, which applies to everyone on the team, in a championship setting is so important. During that event, I was younger and new to Dek hockey, therefore, I did not comprehend the magnitude of it.

Currently, having shifted towards the sport in 5v5 play, having seen the (ISBHF) World Championship last year at Place Bell in Laval, Quebec, it provided me with plenty of motivation to prove myself and gain a chance to play. 

I am still new to the 5v5 version of the game, as this was my first season, also my first national women’s championship. I hope to go further in this sport, as the opportunity to grow appear greater than Dek hockey. I appreciate the credibility and the professionalism of the organization, plus the association that proovides elite competition.”

Prior to the Women’s A Nationals, Lesieur-Michaud added to her competitive experience with another CBHA event. Contested in Mississauga, Ontario, July 2023 saw the Women’s B Nationals. Garbed in the jersey of the Outaouais Shamrocks, a Western Quebec based team across the bridge from Ottawa, Lesieur-Michaud finished as her team’s leading scorer. Registering five goals and three assists for a solid eight points, the Shamrocks appeared in the bronze medal game, finishing with a 2-3-1 mark. 

With the number 68 adorning the back of her Capitals jersey, Lesieur-Michaud made an immediate impression. As the opening match occurred versus the New Tecumseth X-Treme at Charles Gorman Arena in Saint John, New Brunswick, she recorded the Capitals first goal of the tournament, signifying a solid start in a 7-0 shutout final. Cassandra Langan, another pivotal figure in the path to gold, earned the assist. 

Coincidentally, the Capitals next game, a 3-1 win versus British Columbia saw Lesieur-Michaud also score her team’s first goal. Finishing the tournament with eight points, mirroring her performance at the Women’s B Nationals, provided another unique coincidence, also standing as testament to her dependability.

Fittingly, Lesieur-Michaud was involved in the Capitals first goal of the gold medal game. Along with Jessica Schroeder, both earned the assists on Langan’s ninth tournament goal. Finishing as scoring champion, Langan reciprocated, logging one of the assists on the golden goal versus Newfoundland United, putting the exclamation point on their strong synergy on offense throughout a tournament that established both as prime time players on a championship team consisting of world class talent.

“I tremendously appreciated the effort exerted by our team. The ambiance, the energy and positive atmosphere. Before and after every match, we were unified. For me, gaining the experience to play with teammates that appeared at previous Nationals, while competing at such a high caliber tournament, made a memorable impression, engraved in my mind.

The pride, the smiles from all the players standing at the blueline, raising the national championship trophy, provided plenty of emotion, an incredible sensation. It is difficult to express in words, but having a chance to be part of such a grandiose time meant so much.”

“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”

Editor’s Note: As the interview was originally conducted in French,

“C’est une très bonne question car je ne savais même pas que ce but était le but gagnant car pour moi le travail que chaque joueuse a apportés durant ce match de finale est le plus important.

Nous nous sommes présentés en équipe et remporté en équipe. Chaque shift, chaque passe, chaque but étaient selon moi un winning play.”

“Le championnat du monde en Finlande de dekhockey m’a apporté beaucoup de maturité dans mon jeu, prendre les bonnes décisions car chacune d’entre elle dans un championnat
comme cela est important. Cependant à ce championnat j’étais plus jeune, nouvelle dans le sport dek hckey 3vs3 donc je ne connaissais pas l’ampleur que signifiait le tournoi.”

“Maintenant je suis tournée vers le sport 5vs5 après voir vu le championnat du monde à la Place Bell, laval l’an dernier, ceci m’a donné toute une motivation de faire mes preuves et
tenté ma chance dans ce sport (5vs5).

Je suis une toute nouvelle joueuse de 5 vs 5 ceci était ma première saison, mon premier National A et j’espère aller plus loin dans ce sport car les possibilités d’avancement sont plus grandes qu’au Dekhockey. J’apprécie la crédibilité et le professionnalisme de l’organisation et les associations autour du hockey balle 5vs5.”

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