Marie-Philip Poulin, 22, is a national hero after scoring two of Canada’s three goals in a 3-2 overtime win over USA in the women’s hockey gold medal game at Sochi.
Here’s what you should know about this Canadian national hero and her role in Canada’s fourth-straight women’s hockey gold medal.
1. Poulin Plays Her Hockey in Boston
She plays for the Boston University Terriers. Poulin’s been playing in Boston since 2010. In 2012, she was named as one of the captains of the team along with Jill Cardella.
In her fist season, 2010-11, Poulin helped her college to the NCAA Frozen Four and was nominated as the best female hockey player in the NCAA. During the 2011-12 season, Poulin suffered a couple of nasty injuries where she ruptured her spleen, and upon her return to the team, broke her wrist. Her overall record, prior to the start of the season, read as:
At BU, she majors in psychology.
2. She Was a Prodigy
— CBC Olympics (@CBCOlympics) February 20, 2014
In her homeland, she’s known as the Sidney Crosby of women’s hockey due to her prodigious achievements. According to CBC, she shares similarities with Crosby in “not being overly big.” She shoots left, weighs 159 pounds and stands at 5-7.
Before moving south to Boston, Poulin played for the Montreal Stars in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, in her first season, 2008-09, she was named rookie of the year.
Team Canada’s women’s hockey captain Hayley Wickenheiser said about Poulin back in 2010, “The thing with her is she plays with a lot of freedom and joy and brings that almost from the outdoor rink to the ice.”
Canada’s legendary goaltender Kim St. Pierre said about the up-and-coming Poulin, and the Crosby comparisons:
That’s what people are talking about, that she’s the Sidney Crosby of women’s hockey, I kind of believe it. She’s only 18 and she’s already making the TSN highlights and other highlights. I think she has the talent to become the best for sure.
3. Poulin Broke U.S. Hearts in 2010 Too
Back in 2010, she was the scourge of Team USA again when she scored twice in a 2-0 victory. If you’re Canadian, you can relive the glory of that moment above. If you’re American, eh, you might not want to. At the Vancouver games, Poulin was the youngest member of the Canadian women’s hockey team. Poulin says that her Olympic dream was created when when she watched the USA women’s gold medal game at the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002.
In addition to her gold successes, she also won the 2012 World Championships with Canada.
4. Poulin Has a Lucky Charm
— Marie-Philip Poulin (@pou29) May 29, 2013
Her lucky charm is a pearl necklace her mother, Danye (her father’s name is Robert), gave her, Poulin even wears it while playing. During a game, the play was stopped when Poulin snapped the necklace and the pearls went flying on to the ice. She has a motto too, “Fall seven times, stand up eight…”
5. Poulin Didn’t Learn English Until 2007
She’s a native of Quebec. In 2007, she moved from Quebec to Montreal with the goal of learning English. According to Canadian Coach Melody Davidson, Poulin was very quiet when she first joined up with Team Canada, partly down to Poulin’s lack of confidence in her English.
Poulin first began with hockey at that age of five, her parents first encouraged her to figure skate but she didn’t like it. Her mom and dad then had the bright idea to switch her to hockey, something Poulin was thrilled about because it meant she could be more like her brother, Pier-Alexandre.