Genevieve Lacasse – a Canadian among Americans
When the Boston Blades and Brampton Thunder dueled in round-robin action at the Clarkson Cup on Thursday, the teams had 5 American and 4 Canadian Olympians – past or present – on their respective rosters. But you wouldn’t have found any of the collective 16 gold or silver medals between the pipes.
In a bit of a twist, both team’s goaltenders represent countries other than those in which their club team is located. Boston’s Genevieve Lacasse is a Kingston, Ontario native who was named to Team Canada’s roster that will try to defend their IIHF Women’s World Championship in Ottawa in two weeks time.
Brampton Thunder netminder Florence Schelling has twice represented her native Switzerland at the Olympic games; 2006 in Torino and 2010 in Vancouver.
Both netminders have shone in the NCAA Hockey East region, with Lacasse stopping pucks for Providence College and Schelling backstopping her team at Northeastern University.
Lacasse finds it simple to differentiate between the internal friendships that she develops within her club team and the external rivalry that will be evident when Canada and their bitter rivals from the USA clash. “I train with the Blades all year along. and when I’m with Canada I train with those girls. We kind of leave everything in the locker room,” said Lacasse whose Boston teammates include American foes Gigi Marvin, Meghan Duggan and Canadian Women’s Hockey League most valuable player Hilary Knight.
As for Schelling, whose Swiss team is in the same pool as Canada (and the USA) at the forthcoming World Championships, she’ll be mortal enemies of club teammates Jayna Hefford, Gillian Apps, Courtney Birchard and Bailey Bram – for exactly 60 minutes. “Off the ice we’re friends, but on the ice it’s a battle. There’s no friendship on the ice,” said Schelling.
Schelling was Brampton’s best player in a tight 2-0 game against Boston Thursday. The result, coupled with Montreal’s victory over Toronto by an identical score, guaranteed a Boston and Montreal matchup for Saturday’s Clarkson Cup final. Friday’s 11 am between the finalists is effectively a tune-up game for bragging rights, while 7pm game between Toronto and Montreal will decide third place.
Rob Del Mundo is the author of Off The Post, and is a regular columnist at TMLfans.ca
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