Danielle Goyette was asked to list her top five moments of her career.
That’s no easy task when you consider that Goyette played in 172 games over a 15-year career with Canada’s National Women’s Team, had 219 points and became one of only three players to score 100 goals as a member of the national team.
Those are just a few of her individual statistics. Goyette, a native of St-Nazaire, QC, also won eight IIHF World Women’s Championship gold medals and two gold medals at the Olympic Winter Games.
She is well known throughout hockey circles and well respected among her peers – players, coaches and opponents alike.
On , Goyette said goodbye to her playing days when she announced her retirement. The Hall of Champions at Hockey Canada’s head office in Calgary was filled with Goyette’s former teammates, coaches and current members of the University of Calgary Dinos women’s team, of which Goyette is head coach.
“I am retiring with no regrets," Goyette says. "Hockey has given me everything in my life and now it's time to give back.”
Now, back to that Top 5 list. Goyette had a tough time narrowing down her top moments to only five. But she did and here they are:
5. Being named to the first-ever Olympic women's hockey team in 1998 – "History was being made and it was a dream come true."
4. All of the world championships held in Canada – “It's the BEST place to play for a world championship!”
3. Scoring her 100th career goal on vs. USA – “Getting it in Canada, playing with Vicky (Sunohara) and Cassie (Campbell) on a line was special.”
2. Being Canada’s flag bearer at the 2006 Winter Olympics – “This was a really special moment.”
1. The 2002 Olympic gold medal game – “I never experienced a team coming together for each other in the way we did that game.”
Her career began in 1992 and it didn’t take long for Goyette to make an impression, with three goals and 10 points in five games at the world championship that year. Along the way, Goyette piled up the medals, winning 20 gold and four silver medals with Canada’s National Women’s Team at major international competitions, including world championships, Olympics and 3 Nations/4 Nations Cups.
Goyette will not only be remembered for her skill and leadership though – her longevity will be talked about as well. Goyette finished second in team scoring at the 2007 IIHF World Women’s Championship with 11 points in five games, proving that she was still a force to be reckoned with in what ended up being her international goodbye.
Players saw her training methods as inspiration. Goyette worked out like few others do, all in the name of keeping her game at the highest level possible. And it obviously paid off.
Like anything, Goyette’s time on the ice couldn’t last forever. With a surge of young female hockey talent in Canada, she decided to step away on her terms.
“I was ready to retire," she says. "It was getting harder and harder for me to make that team. I knew I couldn't work out as much as I wanted and, with my new job, I wasn't able to do that. I didn't want to be just a member of the team; I wanted to be able to make an impact."
Goyette, 42, will now focus on coaching. As mentioned, she is the bench boss of the Dinos but is also active with Hockey Canada, having helped the National Women’s Under-18 Team win silver at the inaugural IIHF World Women’s Under-18 Championship in Calgary as an assistant coach.
"I can look back at many fond memories over the 16 years that I played on the national team and it will be difficult in some ways to not be on the ice any more with that group,” Goyette says. “I'm also excited to take a step forward in my career and have complete focus on coaching, both with Team Canada and the Dinos.”