Before she took home the Gold with Team Canada at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, Women’s Goaltender Geneviève Lacasse sat down with Gongshow’s content editor Amy Gist to talk hockey, the military and growing up Canadian. Check out her interview below and in our latest catalogue!
By: Amy Gist @AmySnow17
For years Geneviève Lacasse has watched her father and brother represent and defend their country as members of the Canadian Armed Forces. Now, as a member of Team Canada she also represents her country and will do whatever it takes to contribute to the rich history of hockey, Canada and her family.
The 24-year old goalie from Montreal, QC, CANADA shared her thoughts with Gongshow Gear on growing up goalie, representing her country and what it really means to have grace under pressure.
Q: How old were you when you really got into playing hockey and how did you decide to become a goalie?
A: I started playing hockey when I was eight, which is late for most Canadians! I have an older brother and I was a bit of a tomboy and always wanted to play hockey with him and his friends but they wouldn’t let me unless I was the goalie. We were playing road hockey outside and I got put in net and that’s kind of how it happened.
Q: What is your favorite childhood hockey memory?
A: Every day after school my brother and I would come home from school and drop our backpacks in the kitchen and go outside and play. I remember one winter it was just way too cold outside so we cleared out the garage and we used shop lights to light the garage and kept playing in there. I think that is where my reflexes came from because I was being shot on from close distances.
A: We still have my old road hockey helmet from when I was a kid so that is really cool. My last mask at Providence was done in the same style as that mask just in Providence colors. It’s an old Patrick Roy Montreal Canadiens helmet so it was kind of a throwback to my childhood days.
Q: You seem to play well under pressure, have you always performed that way?
A: No. It wasn’t until my senior year in college that I really bared down and that’s when I figured out how to really play under pressure. We won our quarter final – I had a shut out – we won our semi-final – I had a shut out – and then in the finals they scored on me with 7.6 seconds left in the game to tie it up 1-1 and we lost in double OT but I can honestly say I had one of the best games of my life that day.
Q: So you thrive under that pressure now?
A: Yeah! I really enjoy that pressure and rise to the occasion. I just like to get in my zone and be in there. When I’m confident and playing my game it’s really nice and once your teammates believe in you and you believe in yourself you play your best and build up your confidence. I love playing those big games and I love those butterflies! It’s when I play my best!
Q: How does it feel to be representing Canada as a member of the Olympic squad?
A: When I’m wearing that sweater it is an amazing feeling. When I’m representing Canada through sport, through hockey, it’s just a really amazing thing. My dad is in the Army and my brother and his wife are in the Air Force and my dad tells me that what they do and what I do are similar because we both wear uniforms with the Canada leaf on them and we do everything we can and give our best every day to make Canadians proud. My dad is actually deployed in Israel this whole year and is going to meet up with us in Sochi for the Olympics, which is going to be cool. I always keep it in the back of my mind that we get to go out and fight every day. It’s not like we have a chance to lose a life but we have a chance to make a huge impact on Canada.
Q: Do you feel like growing up in a military environment helped you in hockey?
A: Having that structure there and moving around a lot, making new friends and meeting new people really helped me to come onto new teams and make new friends more quickly.
Q: What makes hockey unique and special to you?
A: Some days are really stressful and you get to the rink at 830 AM and you aren’t getting home until 8 PM and you kind of look at your day like “What am I doing why don’t I have a normal life?” but once you get on the ice you forget about all of that and you really understand why you are doing it. Once you get that feeling after you win a game or are on a road trip with the girls, the memories make it all worth it…it’s definitely the best job in the world.