Guarding the net during the Huskies women’s hockey team’s run to their first-ever Canada West banner and bronze medal at the Canadian Interuniversity Sport national championship, Cassidy Hendricks has had a stellar season on the ice.
“It was a good year for our team,” she said. “A lot of firsts.”
Hendricks made 124 saves through the three-game Canada West championship series, which needed 17 periods to be decided.
The final game saw the Huskies battle the University of Regina Cougars for four hours and 53 minutes, setting a record for the longest-ever Canada West women’s hockey game. When the Huskies finally won in the second overtime, Hendricks was glad her team’s efforts had been rewarded.
“It was a huge sigh of relief,” Hendricks said. “I couldn’t even believe it.”
The Rutherford Arena was packed with fans cheering on the Huskies during the championship series. Hendricks appreciated the support the team received and was spurred on to play hard even when she was fatigued.
“It was really exciting,” she said. “The cheers we’d get when they were announcing our names for the starting lineup almost brought me to tears.”
Hailing from Vancouver, B.C. Hendricks decided to make the move to the University of Saskatchewan for academics and sports. Hendricks is currently in her second year studying biology with hopes of pursuing veterinary medicine in the future.
“I’ve always had a passion for animals,” she said.
In coming to the U of S, Hendricks was also able to fill a gap on the Huskies’ roster.
“I had a great opportunity because their goalies were moving on,” she said.
Hendricks immediately began making an impact on the ice and was named the Huskie Athletics Female Rookie of the year after her first season with the Dogs. Now in her second year, Hendricks continues to be an integral part of the team and is glad to be able to contribute to the Huskies’ success.
“I like the team atmosphere,” she said. “We all are driving towards this one goal. It’s nice to support each other; it’s a good feeling. Everyone’s there to help each other.”
Hendricks originally began her hockey career as a defenceman, but after her team’s goalie wasn’t able to make a game Hendricks offered to strap on the pads and eventually made the switch to playing in net full time.
Now one of the top goalies in the country, the move has definitely paid off. During the regular season she made 387 saves and recorded a 1.77 goals against average and a .924 save percentage. Throughout her career, Hendricks has played in many high-stakes games but she still feels the pressure of the occasion.
“I’ve heard that I’m cool and confident on the ice,” she said. “I feel like I can panic from time to time but I guess that’s what I look like on the ice.”
Hendricks tries not to overthink things, but instead concentrates on making one save at a time.
“I get pretty nervous but I try not to think about what’s on the line,” she said. “I just keep it simple. That usually helps my nerves.”
With three years of eligibility left, Hendricks intends to keep playing for the Huskies. Her goals for the future include winning another Canada West banner and bringing home a national championship.
Looking back over this landmark year for the Dogs, Hendricks sees a few reasons for the team’s success which could help them to future titles.
“We were just a really solid team and we supported each other,” she said. “We worked hard and that got the result for us.”
Photo: Jordan Dumba/Photo Editor