As a player, Kim St-Pierre always rose to meet the moment. Her time under the Hall of Fame spotlight was no different.
Standing at centre stage during Monday’s Hall induction ceremony, St-Pierre, the eighth woman and first female goaltender enshrined, delivered a speech that captured her history — and served as a call to action for where hockey can go next.
“We have the power to achieve anything,” St-Pierre said, speaking to the next generation of young women looking to leave a mark in the game. “Impossible is nothing and they can be the change. Hockey is for everyone. Write your own story and achieve your own version of greatness.”
Greatness is something St-Pierre knows well.
A star rookie for McGill’s women’s ice hockey team, St-Pierre became the first woman in Canadian U SPORTS history to win a men’s regular-season game, backstopping McGill to a 5-2 win over Ryerson in November of 2003.
“There are decisions that can change your life,” said the 42-year-old from Chateauguay, Que., who played boys hockey until the age of 18. “When I was eight years old, I asked my parents if I could play hockey. They were probably very, very surprised, but I’m so glad that they decided to let me play.
“The first time I put on my goalie pads, women’s hockey was far from being an Olympic sport.”
That wouldn’t last.
St-Pierre tended the net for Team Canada in the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympics, leading the country to a 3-2 victory over the United States in the gold medal final. The Games would prove to be a turning point that ushered in a golden age for the Canadian women’s team on the global stage, kickstarting a run that saw Olympic Gold won in 2006, 2010 and 2014.
St-Pierre player for the 2006 team in Turin, too, as well as the 2010 Games in Vancouver. She walked away from international play in 2013 as a giant, holding several records for international competition including most shutouts (15), most wins (24), and lowest goals-against average (0.84).
“It is our responsibility to make sure that women’s hockey and girls hockey will continue to grow,” St-Pierre said, as she concluded her speech before receiving a standing ovation. “We are all dreaming about our women’s professional hockey league — and now it is time to make it a reality. Never stop fighting for what you believe in. Your efforts will be rewarded.”