Terra Lanteigne is only 17 years old and, among other things, she’s already:
- Represented Canada at the 2015 ISAF Youth Sailing Championship, after she…
- Won the U19 C420 Youth National Sailing Championship in 2015, just months after she was…
- Named the Top Goaltender at the 2015 Atlantic Region championship, not surprising since she was also…
- Named the Top Goaltender in the Nova Scotia Female Midget Hockey League AAA Hockey League for the 2014-15 season, fitting since two years earlier she…
- Won a gold medal at the 2012 Canada-Wide Science Fair for redesigning a hockey puck to reduce its bounce, an idea sprung from a love of science and
discovery, and what led to her being…
- Committed to play hockey at the Rochester Institute of Technology, where she will study aerospace engineering in the fall.
This past December, Lanteigne and her partner, Georgia Lewin-LaFrance, finished 13th out of 24 teams in the 420 class at the ISAF Youth Sailing
Championship in Langkawi, Malaysia, Canada’s best-ever showing in the event.
When Lanteigne was eight years old, her parents signed her up for a sailing camp, one of a long list of activities she was encouraged to try. Initially
indifferent to the sport, she gave it another go four years later, only this time with a competitive edge. She was hooked.
“I really like being out on the water and having complete control over the boat and the freedom of it,” she says. “I found it really blended well with my
hockey as an alternate sport.”
A 420 is a two-person dinghy, 420 centimetres long. Lanteigne is the lead position, the crew, and from her seat at the front of the boat makes all tactical
decisions during the race.
The focus and attention necessary in sailing – where races can last anywhere from 50 to 120 minutes – complements the concentration she needs as a
“As a crew, I view the entire race course and process that information,” says Lanteigne. “It’s important to keep focus because any one slip or missed wind
gust can be detrimental to the latter part of the race.” In hockey, breaks in play allow the goalie to refocus; in sailing, there are no whistles.
“Maintaining that focus for that long has really helped me in goaltending with staying focused on the ice.”
The unpredictable nature of racing, from factors both natural – wind – and external – other boats – has also helped her in net.
“It’s impossible to predict at 100 per cent,” says Lanteigne, “so it’s important to be able to adapt to those changes and overcome those adversities, which
has really helped me in hockey as well.”
The unpredictable nature of hockey, caused by bouncing pucks that often change course of direction and make a goaltender look bad, in turn, spurred her
Pucks are frozen to reduce their bounce during a game. Once they’re thawed, anything goes – often in the net.
Lanteigne wanted to find a way to keep pucks frozen longer.
“I wanted them to react the same as a normal frozen puck and to weigh the same, so that it wouldn’t actually change the way the players use the puck or
[things like ]rebounds,” she says. She cut pucks open and filled them with different coolants and insulators to keep the core of the puck cold. “It ended
up being successful in designing a puck. I believe it stayed colder 50 per cent longer than the official regulation puck, so that was pretty successful.”
And it won her a gold medal at the 2012 Canada-Wide Science Fair.
Lanteigne has no doubt seen many erratically moving pucks in her eight years as a goaltender. It’s a trade-off for the thrill of making the big save, what
drew her to the position in the first place.
“My parents bought me my first set of gear, which looked like it was from the ’70s,” she says. “But I loved it so much I refused to take it off and I wore
it in the house for an entire week.”
The position also allows her to indulge her creative side. She loves designing her own gear, and has custom-painted her helmet for big events. This week
she’s done something for the Esso Cup, including the event’s colours, the Hockey Canada logo and the Nova Scotia flag.
It was a design one year delayed in the making. Twelve months ago Metro lost the Atlantic Region championship game in a shootout to the Moncton Rockets.
“We realized it’s important to learn how to lose and to grow from those losses rather than let them break you,” says Lanteigne, who was named the league’s
top goaltender again this season. “When we did win, it made it feel even sweeter knowing that we’d grown as a team.” Metro’s goal is to be playing for a
medal at the end of the week.
In the fall, Lanteigne will return focus to her scholarly side. She’ll play hockey for RIT and be enrolled in a five-year aerospace engineering program, a
balance that means she sailed her last race in Malaysia.
“Ever since I was young I dreamed of becoming a rocket scientist,” she says.
As for hockey, one day making Canada’s National Women’s Team would be great, she says, but her long-term goal is to play professionally in the Canadian
Women’s Hockey League or National Women’s Hockey League.
Seasons may change, but for Lanteigne that just means opening another door to a new opportunity.