Although it is not yet officially recognized by the IIHF, the Triple Gold Club is quickly evolving into one of the special and rare milestones in women’s hockey. With Canada claiming the gold in dramatic fashion at the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, two of its members become the newest entrants of the exclusive Club; Genevieve Lacasse and Lauriane Rougeau.
Ironically, the pair were both making their debut in the Winter Games. Lauriane Rougeau, a Clarkson Cup champion in 2009 and the Stars first-round pick at the 2013 CWHL Draft, earned membership in the Club. Her IIHF Gold came in 2012, which was also the first IIHF Gold for Genevieve Lacasse.
Selected by the Boston Blades in the 2012 edition of the draft, Lacasse would be the first rookie goaltender to win the Clarkson Cup in the spring of 2013. In addition, Lacasse would be the first Canadian player that was not part of the Montreal Stars to become a member of the Club. Their gold medal win made them the eighth and ninth women part of the prestigious Club.
First conceived by famed hockey writer Andrew Podnieks, the Triple Gold Club for Women features the following three criteria: IIHF Women’s World Gold, Winter Games Gold and victory in the Clarkson Cup. Of note, the first members of the Club included Caroline Ouellette and Kim St. Pierre in 2009.
Jenny Potter would become the first American to gain membership into the club when she contributed to the Minnesota Whitecaps victory at the 2010 Clarkson Cup. As Potter and Ouellette also won the NCAA Frozen Four as teammates for the Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs, it encompasses a very unique Grand Slam in the sport.
The next four members of the Triple Gold Club would all have links to the Montreal Stars. Sarah Vaillancourt would become the fourth member with her Clarkson Cup triumph in 2011. One year later, the Club would welcome three new members, Meghan Agosta, Marie-Philip Poulin and Catherine Ward.
Canada’s other rookies on the Winter Games squad included the likes of Melodie Daoust, the first woman to win gold in the Under-18 IIHF Women’s Worlds and gold in the Winter Games. Other rookies included CWHL stars such as Natalie Spooner and Jenn Wakefield (Toronto Furies), along with Tara Watchorn and Jocelyne Larocque (Calgary Inferno).
As the competitiveness continues to develop in the sport, every event that follows has an added intrigue due to the historic possibilities. While Rougeau and Lacasse have just solidified their legacies with a golden triumph in Sochi, the fact that so many of the most recent entrants into said Club are under the age of 30, it guarantees that the future of women’s hockey is one paved with many bright roads ahead.
Photo credits: Hockey Canada Images