Eve Gascon has always been a pioneer.

After becoming the first female athlete to play midget triple A hockey in Quebec three years ago, the aspiring 18-year-old goaltender was back in the spotlight in August as she joined camp. training by invitation of the Gatineau Olympiques of the QMJHL.

“It is an honor for us that Eve has agreed to participate in the camp,” said Olympiques general manager and head coach Louis Robitaille in a statement. “She has shown in the past that she can compete at any level. His pedigree is incredible. She will have the chance to show all her talent during the camp.

Although it was a short stay with Gascon hired at the University of Minnesota-Duluth for 2022, the native of Terrebonne, Quebec, took advantage, following a success on the international scene highlighted by a performance four games with Team Canada at the IIHF World Women’s Under-18 Championship where she recorded three wins paired with a 1.39 goals-against average and .938 save percentage to help the Great White North to win the silver medal.

“We had it on our radar last year,” added Robitaille. “In terms of the training camp roster, we wanted to bring in another goalie to make sure we had good depth and good competition. I felt Eve would be a great choice. She had just finished an excellent camp with Hockey Canada. We were truly honored and delighted that she accepted our invitation and made Gatineau one of the stops in her hockey dream.

“In our first intra-team game, you could tell she was a little nervous at first, but after a few shots she seemed to calm down and keep her team in the game. I’m happy for her that she had a good first outing. Let’s face it, there was pressure there. She plays really well and shows that she deserves to be here.

Added Gascon, whose most recent game came in 25 appearances with Esther-Blondin Phénix College as a second-year midget in 2019-2020, “I had no idea (the Olympics were interested). I had just come back from Hockey Canada camp and didn’t really think about it, especially after not being drafted for the past two years. I was very happy to receive this invitation.

Gascon’s story comes after a historic offseason in the Canadian Hockey League where the Sarnia Sting called on goalie Taya Currie in the 2021 OHL priority selection, making her the first woman drafted into the NHL. OH.

While Gascon is attached to the college path, Currie aims to become the fourth woman to play in the Canadian Hockey League, following in the footsteps of former league goaltenders Manon Rhéaume (Trois-Rivières Draveurs, 1991), Charline Labonté (Acadie-Bathurst Titan, 1999-01) and Shannon Szabados (Tri-City Americans, 2002).

“Charlene was so great with me,” Gascon concluded. “She was very important in my life. She told me to enjoy the present moment, stay in the present, and keep working hard. She knows I should be here and not just for the (publicity).

Robitaille added: “We were hoping there would have been more in this period of time (since Labonté was in the QMJHL). With the increased visibility of women’s hockey lately, we may see more of it in the years to come. Eve is here proving that she can hang on with the guys on our team. Hope this opens up more opportunities.


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