gendreau thibault esso cup feature

Double trouble

Close friends off the ice and a dynamic duo on it, Chloé Gendreau and Zoé Thibault hope their chemistry brings gold at Canada’s National Female Midget Championship

David Brien
April 27, 2017

Besides the name and number on the back of their jerseys, there aren’t many things that separate Chloé Gendreau and Zoé Thibault these days.

They’re both Sherbrooke, Que., natives, attend the same school, play on the same team – the Quebec Region champion Harfangs du Triolet – and share a common passion for hockey.

And for the past eight years, they they’ve been sharing one more thing … the puck.

From the moment their paths crossed when they shared the ice back in Atom, the two have been inseparable, skating almost every shift of their minor hockey careers on the same line.

“We actually met while playing soccer against each other when we were little,” says Thibault. “But it was when we both joined hockey that it really clicked. It’s pretty crazy to think that we’ve been playing on the same teams, more often than not as linemates, up until Midget.”

“We’ve also been playing together in sport-études since Grade 7, so we basically see each other every day,” adds Gendreau. “We were good friends before, but it certainly helped develop our friendship seeing her all the time.”

The off-ice bond has translated to on-ice success, and led the Harfangs to the Esso Cup for the first time.

“They’re just like Siamese twins out there,” says Triolet head coach Christian Thibault. “They don’t need to see each other, they don’t need to speak, they just instinctively know where the other one is going to be at all times.”

The duo topped the Harfangs in scoring during the regular season – Gendreau was third in the Ligue de hockey féminin de développement du Québec with 21 points (11G 10A), while Thibault was right behind her tied for fourth with 19 (9G 10A).

They were also 1-2 in the postseason, with Thibault racking up 14 points (8G 6A) in seven games, and Gendreau chipping in with 11 (2G 9A) as the Harfangs claimed the LHFDQ title.

“We definitely have a successful chemistry going; I’m more of a playmaker, and she scores all the goals,” says Thibault.

“I like to think of it as the other way around,” adds Gendreau with a laugh. “We don’t know what it is, or when it happened, but I understand her way of playing and she understands mine. Whatever it is, it’s working!”

It sure has. Success seems to have followed the duo; they have claimed a trio of Coupe Dodge provincial championships in recent years – in Peewee, Bantam and Midget.

While those successes have taught the girls a thing or two about the commitment and effort needed in order to win, they also realized that success doesn’t only come through them, but through the team.

“I remember times in the past where they’d be mad at me for splitting them up and placing them on different lines during a game where they were struggling to get going,” says their coach.

“We had to learn over time that it’s okay for us not to be playing together either,” adds Zoé Thibault.

Gendreau understands it’s a result-oriented move and never a personal one. “It happens that we have bad games, so splitting us up and then putting us back together can help give us and the team a boost. We usually see it as motivation.”

The frustration of being split may now be a thing of the past, but Gendreau and Thibault both admit that not knowing if they’ll be playing hockey together much longer is a little scary. They are entering their final years of Midget hockey and don’t yet know what the future holds.

“Right now we are taking it one game at time, but if we do end up playing together after Midget it’d be awesome. I definitely want to end my career with her,” says Thibault.

“We have so many great memories together that the idea of playing without or against her is very weird,” adds Gendreau. “Right now we’re focusing on the Esso Cup, but we might start thinking of our future a little more after it. I’ll definitely be sad if we don’t end up playing together.”

For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

[email protected] 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

[email protected]

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

[email protected]

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