With an exceptional legacy of elite goaltenders, the presence of Tricia Deguire between the pipes maintained the status of the McGill Martlets as a nationally prominent program. Building on the legacy established by the likes of Kim St. Pierre, Charline Labonte and Taylor Hough, among others, Deguire made a remarkable impression in her inaugural season.
Taking on the starter’s role, Deguire excelled, appearing in a highly impressive 40 games. Leading the RSEQ in three statistical categories, including wins and Goals Against Average, her stellar play resulted in the conference Rookie of the Year Award.
Earning a place on the conference First Team All-Stars, her haul of hockey hardware included the U Sports Rookie of the Year, respectively. This triple of acclaim served as the foundation for a brilliant career, filled with many memorable moments.
Winning a pair of RSEQ postseason tournaments (2017, 2019), Deguire and her fellow Martlets enjoyed four trips to the U Sports Nationals. Among the highlights at Nationals included appearances in the gold medal game versus Alberta (2017) and Guelph (2019). Having also qualified for the 2020 Nationals, the opening round match versus the York Lions never occurred, the event cancelled over pandemic concerns.
Returning to Nationals in 2022, it brought Deguire’s career full circle, solidifying her standing as a program great. Just as important for the highly skilled goaltender involved recognition as a 2021-22 RSEQ First Team All Star, signifying a crowning achievement for the celebrated goaltender. Taking into account the quality of goaltending in the ultra competitive conference, the honour holds tremendous prestige for the very proud Deguire,
“It is always fun and rewarding to be named to the All Star teams. It gives you confidence and makes you happy, but it came by surprise. People who know our league also know that there is a ton of great goalies in our league that make the difference.
Therefore, having the chance to be named at the end of my career is just an incredible, unexpected surprise. It gives me the feeling that even if the ending were not what we expected, I still have something that I have done right this season.”
Among the impressive number of highlights, perhaps none tugs at the heartstrings more than an epic shutout triumph that provided a treasured brush with history. As a junior, Deguire recorded 31 saves versus the Ottawa Gee Gees in a 2-0 final, providing celebrated head coach Peter Smith the 500th win of his career.
Becoming only the third coach in USports women’s ice hockey history to reach the 500-win plateau, following Les Lawton and Howie Draper, it marked a tremendous point of pride for Deguire to play a part. Praising his impact in program lore, recognizing the positive influence on her career, earning the shutout accentuated the achievement, a celebrated on-ice tribute.
With Jade Downie-Landry scoring the game winning tally, it resulted in a unique coincidence. Worth noting, Downie-Landry also earned a place on the 21-22 RSEQ First Team All-Stars, subsequently winning the Brodrick Trophy.
“Peter is a fantastic coach and even a greater person. Being part of his journey and the 500th win in his career was amazing.
When you have been taught and coached by a person like Peter, who has just been through so much, and has a ton of experience, it is just as unique and gratifying. So, having a win for him was great, but having a shutout was even a better performance that I could deliver for him.”
Among the hallmarks of Martlets hockey involved the number of wondrous women that have worn the Canadian jersey. A privilege also enjoyed by Deguire, it complemented another significant milestone. Sharing goaltending duties with Marlene Boissoneault for Canada, part of the roster for the 2018 Nations Cup in Fussen, Germany, the fulfillment of a dream encompassed strong feelings of national pride. Reflecting on the honour, emulating fellow Martlets goaltenders such as Kim St. Pierre and Charline Labonte, the experience of international play provided a plethora of emotions.
“It was an intense and incredible experience that I would go through again any time. Every time you have the chance to put the jersey on and live an experience with Hockey Canada, it always turns out to be amazing. So I want to replicate this feeling as much as I can and will take the steps needed to do so since it is just an wonderful experience.”
In addition to the Team Canada experience, Deguire also represented the Martlets as a member of the 2019 U Sports All-Stars. Participating in Hockey Canada’s Summer Showcase during early August, as the U Sports All-Stars faced off against a split squad (Team Gold and Team Red) from the Canadian Under-22/Developmental roster, along with the national teams from France and Japan.
Having played for Canada at the 2018 edition, while Martlets teammate Jade Downie-Landry skated for the opposing U Sports All-Stars, Deguire also shone in 2019. Rising to the occasion, her first win for the U Sports All-Stars in August 2019 resulted in a 21-save performance, part of a 4-1 triumph versus Japan. Afterwards, contributing a solid 32 saves proved essential in a 2-1 final against the French contingent.
The successive season saw Deguire maintain her brilliance between the pipes, earning a First-Team RSEQ All-Star selection, essential towards the Martlets winning the conference title. Qualifying for Nationals, ready to challenge the York Lions in preliminary round play, the pandemic prevented the tournament from proceeding, bringing a collective frustration among teammates and competitors alike.
With a remarkable enthusiasm for Martlet hockey, the 2021-22 campaign marked an exciting return for Deguire. Enjoying a 15-8-1 mark, her final victory stood as one of her greatest. Recording an impressive 37 saves, blanking the Ottawa Gee Gees in a hard fought 1-0 playoff battle on March 6, the performance served as one more glorious reminder of her consistency and reliability guarding the Martlets crease.
Although the Golden Path Trophy eluded the highly talented Deguire in a stellar career, the narrative of her years in Martlets colors were just as relevant. Representing a strong point of pride, Deguire enjoyed over 125 appearances, a member of the 70-wins and 20-shutouts club.
Beyond the numbers, the privilege of belonging to the McGill Martlets was defined by unity. Collaborating in the drive for continued improvement, the core values involved not only developing the athlete, but the individual. Finding a tremendous inspiration in the thrill of wearing the jersey of a vaunted program, the experience is one that has left a highly positive impression.
“We have a different and unique culture that keep us accountable and make us grow as people and individuals. We have always had so much support from teammates and coaches that it always helped you become and be at your best. This will be miss me the most when I leave McGill.”
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”