According to the Team Canada website “The players – six goaltenders, 14 defence and 26 forwards – will be split into two teams and will participate in practices, skills sessions and intrasquad games during camp.” This determined and talented goaltender has played on many different teams along her path to earning this opportunity. Mari also made an instant impact as goalie on CDS’s Senior Girls’ Hockey team, backstopping the squad to a semi-final finish in 2020.
She first took the ice in house league at the age of seven. At that level, players switch in and out of net as they are rarely keen to lace up the big pads and play goalie. But Mari discovered she loved playing in net and this realization encouraged her to step it up a level.
The following season Mari tried out for her local Markham Girls’ team, but did not make the final roster and had to suit up for the lower B level team. “It hurt not to make that BB level team,” she said. “I remember finding out in the parking lot and being really upset. I had high hopes but quickly learned these things can happen.” The minor setback turned into a massive motivator for Mari, as the following season she tried out for the Markham-Stouffville Stars ‘A’ team and earned the starting goalie spot.
The competition between Goalies is unique in hockey. There is only one goalie on the ice at a time, which creates an interesting dynamic. “Sometimes it’s very hard to fight for the same spot, but you do become friends and you want to be a good sport – never put someone else down. At the end of the day, I have confidence in who I am, and in my own game.”
This competition encouraged Mari to move onto another team in following seasons, joining a Peewee team in Scarborough. It was here that she realized she could pursue her hockey dreams. While training with a fellow goalie and friend destined to play at Cornell, Mari realized she too could do that too. “While training with her, I realized that I’m good at this too and I have something here.”
Mari is currently backstopping the Etobicoke Jr. Dolphins in the PWHL (Provincial Women’s Hockey League). Her journey to that level took her through Markham, Scarborough, Durham and Aurora. All of that hard work has culminated into a call up to the National Women’s Hockey U18 Team Summer Camp Showcase this month. She is ecstatic and realizes the significance of the camp, with the goal of making the Jr. World Championships this winter. “It wasn’t to just get out there and do my best, but also to try and take in every moment and experience; remind myself of that and be grateful.”
Mari is also a proud CDS student-athlete who, with the help of her father, had a custom goalie helmet made up for her matches in the Green and Blue. “I love this goalie helmet, it’s a little piece of creativity.” The helmet is spectacular, featuring the CDS crest, Cyclone and colours. She even has personal nods to every hockey team that helped her along the way.
Our CDS Goalie is excited for her upcoming opportunity to play with Team Canada. While she is focused on the present, her future is also bright as she recently committed to play NCAA D1 ice hockey for the women’s program at Boston University in the Fall of 2022.
We wish Mari all the best at the Summer Showcase!