Aspiring for a spot on the Canadian Under-18 National Women’s Team, goaltender Kassidy Sauve has already logged some notable accomplishments in her young career. During the 2011-12 season, she made national news by becoming the first female to play in the OHL Cup.
She would make her historic appearance as a member of the Whitby Midget AAA boys’ team. Later in the season, she would help Whitby to an OMHA Championship. In the season prior, she was a competitor with the York Simcoe Bantam AAA boys’ team where she competed in the Silver Stick Tournament. That season, she won 25 games while compiling eight shutouts.
During her entire childhood, she would grace the rink as a member of boys’ teams. Her first time playing with boys also had some family ties, “I was really young. It was in Sudbury and I played against my brother (Brady). We are pretty close and every year we played together.”
The 2012-13 campaign would signify a change in her career. For the first time, Sauve was part of a competitive junior league exclusively for girls. Competing with Durham of the Provincial Women’s Hockey League in Ontario, she appeared in 20 contests, accumulating a 12-7-1 won-loss record. This was complemented by a sparkling 1.63 Goals Against Average and five shutouts, respectively. While she had a strong rookie season, she acknowledges it was a different game, “It was a bit of an adjustment. The girls pass a lot more. You need to work on foot movement. In boys’ hockey, you tend to go down on the ice right away. With girls, you need to wait; it’s not always right away.”
During the autumn of 2012, she had the chance to compete with the prestigious Team Ontario Red program. Competing at the Canadian Under-18 Nationals, Sauve was part of a bronze medal performance.
“It was my first year going there. At training camp, I worked hard, gave it my all. When I found out that I made the team, I was happy. Playing with the girls was excellent.”
One of the members of the Ontario Red coaching staff was former Dartmouth player Kim McCullough. As the head of Total Female Hockey, McCullough has coached and mentored thousands of young female hockey players to play at their peak. Her guidance made an impression on Sauve.
“Kim is an amazing coach. She and Dave Gwyn both did such a good job. Playing for them was a great experience and are both great people to meet.”
For Sauve, the summer of 2013 would prove to be one filled with hockey. She was one of 15 goalies invited to Hockey Canada’s National Women’s Program goaltending camp in Calgary. Among the goalies at said camp was Taylor Crosby, the younger sister of Sidney Crosby.
In August 2013, she would attend the training camp for the Canadian National Under-18 women’s team in Rockland, Ontario. Melanie Quinn, one of her teammates from Durham PWHL was also part of the prospects invited. “It is great to have her at the camp. Having her here makes me happy as it is nice to know someone.”
With the 2013-14 PWHL season approaching, Quinn will become one of Sauve’s rivals. Sauve has decided to join the defending PWHL champion Whitby Wolves. “It is just closer to home. Some players are gone so there have been a couple of changes this year. I am still happy with the team.”
While Sauve was not part of the Canadian squad that claimed gold at the 2013 IIHF Under-18 Women’s Worlds; she does have some experience with the national team. In August 2012, she joined Canada’s U18 squad to compete versus the US Under-18’s in Blaine, Minnesota. The opportunity to don the Maple Leaf on her sweater for the first time was a treasured one,
“It was the best experience of my life so far. Just being there and wearing the jersey was humbling. Living through that moment, it went by so fast. Being there, you want it more and more.
That desire may help bring Sauve one step closer to her golden dream. An opportunity to help Canada claim the gold at the 2014 IIHF U18 Women’s Worlds would bring with it great meaning to the promising netminder.
“It would mean everything to me. Being invited alone to the Worlds camp makes me really happy. To represent your country and win gold would be icing on the cake.”