HALIFAX—M’Chigeeng’s Deidre Debassige is riding high this week, fresh off a gold medal win in Red Deer, Alberta where she and her fellow Sudbury Lady Wolves clinched the 2015 Esso Cup, the national midget female hockey championship, one week after her club’s provincial win.
This is Deidre’s last year with the Lady Wolves. She’s one of two vets on the team, is the Wolves seasoned defensewoman and she couldn’t be happier with the end result. Last year, Deidre and the Lady Wolves made it to the Esso Cup, but only secured a bronze.
Deidre’s mom Debbie Debassige was there to cheer her on and told The Expositor that the Lady Wolves played five games, winning four, which put them in first place entering round robin play.
In the semi-finals, the Lady Wolves faced off against the Central Plains Capitals, a team from Manitoba, winning the game handily at 3-0. It was then off to the championship game where the Wolves took to the ice against the hometown Red Deer Chiefs, who they beat earlier in the week with the Chiefs obviously looking for redemption.
“It took a whole team,” Ms. Debassige said of the win. “I think she, as a veteran, was a good teammate. She stood her ground as the veteran defensewoman on the team.”
The game was broadcast live on TSN5 and the girls were also mentioned during Sunday night’s Coach’s Corner.
“It’s very exciting,” Deidre told The Expositor during a Monday interview from Halifax where she’s playing for Team Ontario at the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships. “It feels so good to finish (her time in minor hockey) with a gold. It was worth the wait.”
Deidre said she is still at a loss for words from the big win.
“We had so many people watching us (on TSN5),” she said. “I literally had like 50 text messages and Facebook messages after the game. I am really thankful for all the support.”
Following provincials, then nationals, and now another national tournament, Deidre admitted that she is starting to feel exhaustion setting in and is opting for shorter shifts.
“The finals are on Saturday, then after that I’m done,” she said.
Deidre already has a tryout with the Carleton University team at the end of May and has been given an offer by a western university, but doesn’t want to jinx it by saying anything just yet.
Deidre has plenty of accomplishments under her belt, and at just 18, proves that hard work and dedication do pay off.
“I thank my parents and my family for supporting me through the years,” Deidre stressed. “Without them I wouldn’t be where I am today.”