When you think women’s hockey, one of the first names that comes to mind is Cassie Campbell-Pascall. Her accomplishments are unsurpassed and she has become an icon for all players and fans alike.
Campbell-Pascall was raised in Brampton, Ont., and has always had a love for hockey. When she went off to university, she started getting noticed for her skill. As captain of her team, the University of Guelph Gryphons, Cassie began developing her leadership skills and her team won the OWIAA (Ontario Women’s Interuniversity Athletic Association) championship in 1995. This was the beginning of her brilliant career in the game.
Campbell-Pascall led Team Canada to back-to-back Olympic Winter Games gold medals, first in 2002 in Salt Lake City, Utah, and then in 2006 in Turin, Italy. She described the wins as the ultimate celebration after a lot of hard work and sacrifice, and said that watching her teammates celebrate was the best part of all.
Campbell-Pascall attributes much of her success to her two best friends in the game, Vicky Sunohara and Danielle Goyette. She jokes about their line being called the “Old Dogs” because as veterans on the team, their combined age was 110 years old. Her friendship with teammates exemplifies the camaraderie of women’s hockey and the long-lasting friendships it creates among players.
Campbell-Pascall marks the history books as the longest serving captain in Canadian hockey history, as she was the captain of the National Women’s team from 2001-2005. She remains the only captain, male or female, to lead Team Canada to two Olympic gold medals. These are two of Cassie’s greatest accomplishments. As captain, she led the team to a 129-26-2 record. She is also a six-time gold medal winner at the IIHF Women’s World Championship.
As such an iconic figure in the world of women’s hockey, it was no surprise when Campbell-Pascall received the Order of Hockey in Canada last June. Her contributions to the game of hockey have made her a positive role model for the next generation of girls coming up in the game.
Immediately following her retirement in 2006, Campbell-Pascall became the first woman in history to do colour commentary on Hockey Night in Canada. She can be seen on television regularly and watches 15 games a week, on average, to keep up to speed with the world of hockey.
Aside from her work with Hockey Night in Canada, she is doing promotional work, motivational speaking, as well as being a full-time mom and wife. Campbell-Pascall is married to Hockey Canada vice-president of hockey operations Brad Pascall. They welcomed daughter Brooke Violet to the world November 17, 2010. When asked if she hopes Brooke will follow in her footsteps and play hockey, she said that as long as she is healthy and happy she will support her in whatever hobbies she chooses.
Not only has Campbell-Pascall spent her life devoted to the game of hockey. She is also a humanitarian with all the volunteer work she has done. She has been working with the Ronald McDonald’s children charities for over 15 years and also does Hockey Night in Canada’s Chevrolet Safe & Fun Hockey program. Campbell-Pascall’s support for CARE Canada helps women and children assist those living in poverty.
Campbell-Pascall knows the future of women’s hockey is bright. She completely believes that there will be a professional league for women’s hockey and that it will happen within the next decade. As women’s hockey becomes more popular and more prominent in the media, it is bound to happen.
Campbell-Pascall will be attending 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship for some of her promotional work, so you may catch a glimpse of her around SBP Arena or the Nepean Sportsplex throughout the tournament.
Campbell-Pascall’s advice for women competing at women’s worlds? “Bring your best! Canadians expect good hockey!”
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