Gathered in Verdun on Saturday, on the sidelines of the Vitrine Quartexx women’s hockey event, Marie-Philip Poulin, Ann-Renée Desbiens and Mélodie Daoust, recent gold medalists with the Canadian team in Beijing, did not hide their pride against the historic victory obtained by goaltender Ève Gascon, the day before, in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League.
“I’m very happy for her, but I’m not surprised, commented Poulin, about the win signed by Gascon in the uniform of the Gatineau Olympiques, Friday evening. We saw by training with her during the summer how she puts effort into the gym.
Aged just 18, Gascon became the first woman in more than two decades and the second overall, after Charline Labonté in February 2000, to win a game in the QMJHL. In a 7-3 win over the Drummondville Voltigeurs, she stopped 23 shots.
As a goalkeeper, Desbiens, 27, was particularly happy for the young athlete from Terrebonne, whom she also met in training.
“I remember that when I met her, I saw myself in her at her age, said Desbiens. If I can make her journey easier by sharing my experience with her, I will. My advice, she can listen to it or not, but it is a duty for me to help her.
“Ann-Renée took her under her wing a bit and it was nice to see Ève ask her questions on the ice and off the ice,” added Poulin. When we see the new generation arrive, it’s good if we can serve as a model… In the case of Ève, we are really proud of her.
Immediately after Friday’s game, which took place in Gatineau, Daoust conveyed his congratulations directly to the interested principal.
“I immediately wrote to Eve and congratulated her on her achievement, revealed the forward. It is something exceptional. That she is recognized like that, she fully deserves it because she works super hard. She has an incredible future ahead of her.”
“She definitely has the potential to be on the national team, I hope that one day she will steal my place, added Desbiens, with a smile. Not tomorrow, I hope, but if she continues to put in the effort, I’m sure we’ll hear about her for a long time to come.”
“Learning about his victory, I was simply filled with pride,” added the goaltender. To see her forge her own path and push the limits is inspiring and Eve is already a great ambassador for our sport.”
A good work ethic
Having evolved alongside Labonté at the time, Daoust finally drew a nice parallel between her former teammate and Gascon.
“She reminds me a lot of Charline when I see her keep the goals with her style and her hard work,” said Daoust, who had played with Labonté at McGill University as well as on the Canadian team. Ève has a mentality similar to that of Charline in terms of work ethic. She will go far, she has a good head on her shoulders and she is also very humble.