Cpl Nicol: A woman standing tall in goal
By Yves Bélanger – Servir
Corporal Maude Nicol of the Military Human Resources Centre is a very active woman. Among other things, she’s a devout hockey fan. For several years, she has tended goal for the women’s Patriotes and Trappeurs teams in the Montreal Region Intramural Hockey League (LHIRM), while in civilian life, she was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens.
Cpl Nicol has been passionate about hockey since childhood. “I played on girls’ teams up to bantam level,” she says. When she joined the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) four years ago, she returned to her first love.
Cpl Nicol says that what appeals most to her about this sport, and especially about being a goalie, is the idea of always having to push her boundaries. “I find it’s an excellent mental exercise. There’s a lot of pressure on me and I have to learn to work through all that. For me, there’s a direct connection with a soldier’s mission during an exercise or an operation,” she adds.
She has been able to distinguish herself on the Patriotes team. In 2017 and 2018, she was drafted by opposing teams to tend goal during the CAF National Hockey Championship.
“In 2018, the Valcartier team represented Quebec in the national championship. I was really proud to be their goalie, especially since the team won,” she recalls. The year before, it was the Ottawa team that called on her goaltending skills during the event.
Currently, Cpl Nicol is fourth goaltender for the Montreal Canadiens. Her main goal is to continue to improve her game so that she can at least reach the position of second goaltender.
Cpl Nicol is likely to be in goal for the Montreal Canadiens on February 16 and 17, when the team faces Boston. “I’m preparing myself so I can give my best during those two games,” she says.
She recently played with the Patriotes women’s hockey team in the CAF Regional Hockey Championship from January 21 to 25 in Ottawa. As for the Trappeurs, the Montreal Region Intramural Hockey League games continue until the end of March.
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