Hometown: Halifax, NS
Along with her teammate Blayre Turnbull, Saulnier was one of the first two Nova Scotia women to play for the Canadian women’s hockey team when she made her debut in 2014.
Saulnier started playing hockey at the age of five. She represented Nova Scotia at five Atlantic Challenge Cups from 2003-2008, winning three gold and two silver. She also represented her province at the 2007 Esso Women’s National Championships, finishing fourth.
She was captain and MVP of the Halifax Hawks (midget AAA) team in 2006-07 and won gold with the team at the Nova Scotia Provincial Championships in 2006.
Saulnier competed as a member of Team Atlantic at the National Women’s Under-18 Championship from 2007 to 2009. During the 2008 edition of the tournament, she was team captain and named Most Sporting Player.
She then made the trip to Ontario and won silver with Stoney Creek at the Ontario Women’s Hockey Association (OWHA) Provincial Championships in 2009. Saulnier joined the Toronto Eros the following season and won a gold and a silver medal at the OWHA Provincials (Intermediate AA) in 2010 and 2011, respectively.
As the team’s captain in 2011, she led Toronto to the Provincial Women’s Hockey League championship, avenging the team’s silver medal the previous season.
Saulnier first played for Canada in the Under-18s, winning silver and gold at the IIHF World Women’s Under-18 Championship in 2009 and 2010, respectively. In 2010, she was the tournament’s fourth-leading scorer with 10 points in five games and helped Canada win their first Under-18 World Title.
Saulnier played four seasons with Cornell University, reaching the Frozen Four as a rookie. That year, she was also named ECAC Rookie of the Year and Ivy League Rookie of the Year.
As a junior, she led Cornell in goals (28), assists (28) and points (56) and had the best points per game in the country at 1.65. She was among the three finalists for the Patty Kazmaier Prize, awarded each year to the best college player in female hockey. She won first-team All-American honors and was a co-recipient of the Ivy League Player of the Year award.
After spending time with the Canadian Under-22 team and the development team, Saulnier made his senior team debut at the 2014 4 Nations Cup, scoring in their inaugural game against Sweden. Canada would win gold in the tournament.
She has competed in three world championships, winning two silver medals and one bronze and also won silver at the 2018 Olympics.
Saulnier was selected 14th overall by the Calgary Inferno in the 2015 CHLF Draft. In her rookie year, she finished third in Calgary with 22 points and helped lead the Inferno to the Clarkson Cup. She would reach the Cup final again the following season, but lost to Montreal.
Saulnier missed the 2017-18 season while centralized for the Olympics. Ahead of the 2018-19 season, she was traded to Montreal, where she again reached the Cup final, but was beaten by her former team in Calgary. It was his last year in the LCHF after the league ceased operations in 2019.
She was named to the CHLF All-Star Team in all three seasons she played and scored a hat trick in the 2017 edition of the game.
After the league closed, Saulnier joined the PWHPA with the goal of forming a viable professional women’s hockey league in North America. She currently plays for the Bauer team in Montreal.
The 2021 IIHF World Women’s Championship was originally scheduled to take place in Saulnier’s hometown of Nova Scotia in May before the provincial government canceled the event just two weeks before the tournament began.
Saulnier was outspoken about the cancellation on social media, writing, in part:
“I wasn’t going to express how I felt this morning, but as female athletes we need to have a voice… I love this province, but I’m so disappointed in the decision to steal this dream from us.