Five at The IX: Kassidy Sauvé — Notable women’s hockey events, signings and rumors

The IX: Hockey Friday with The Ice Garden, Feb. 2, 2024

Welcome back to another edition of Hockey Friday. It’s Dan Rice with The Ice Garden, and I’ll be your pilot today — navigating you through a week’s worth of news, notable events, signings, rumors and more! 

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Five at The IX with Kassidy Sauvé

Earlier this week I chatted on the phone with goaltender Kassidy Sauvé, who is currently playing pro hockey in Finland after an unsuccessful attempt at making the roster of PWHL New York. The netminder played last season in the PHF for the Buffalo Beauts and was slated to tend goal in Boston in the 2023-24 season before the PHF ceased operations and the PWHL was formed.

As you’ll read in our Q&A, Sauvé is doing well after an off-season surgery, feels fortunate to have found a place to play at a high level in the middle of hockey season, and reveals her plans going forward. 

The 27-year-old is currently 1-2-2 with one shutout, a 2.96 GAA and a save percentage of .885 in five appearances for HPK in Naisten Liiga. Sauvé previously played for HPK in the 2021-22 season after two and a half seasons in the PWHPA.

The Ice Garden: You’ve been over there [in Finland] for almost a month now, how is the season going from your point of view?

Kassidy Sauvé: It’s been good so far. They had a really good start to their season prior to me getting here. It’s a really good group and the familiarity of it all has great [for me] as well.

TIG: How is the body feeling after a serious injury last season, subsequent surgery and a long road to recovery?

KS: Honestly I feel really good. That’s one of the biggest positives — getting back and playing and feeling good doing so. I’m 13 days shy of one year post-surgery, so it’s pretty exciting to feel this way and know that the surgery worked out and I feel really good. I have no limitations. I think the extra time [with no PHF camp starting in September] definitely helped me prepare for the PWHL camp in New York. I was feeling good then, and I’m feeling good now. No complaints from me — I had a very successful surgery.

TIG: You played over in Finland a few years ago for HPK. Is there anyone there now that you know or played with that has made the transition easier?

KS: Yeah. I wanna say that there are six or seven girls here that I played with before. When I was leaving last time they had hired the coach we have now, so I had met him before leaving to head back home to Canada. It’s a really great staff, and a really great team here, and the GM and the team president are the same. That all helps to make my transition easier. We get treated well — meals Monday through Friday —and we’re all very well taken care of.

TIG: We were able to schedule this call today — despite you being six hours ahead of me — because you have an off day. What does an off-day look like for Kassidy Sauvé in Finland?

KS: Woke up at 9 a.m., went for a walk. Usually on off-days our trainer will send us a program to go through — like an active recovery plan. So I did that, went to lunch and met up with some teammates. Came back to my place and — I actually just started working towards getting my real estate license in Ontario — so I worked on that for two, three hours. Then I had a meeting with my mindset coach, which has been super beneficial. Then I’ll have some dinner and just chill out for the rest of the night.

TIG: Obviously, it’s a ways away, but what do things look like for you when the season ends there in mid-March? I know you’ll be heading home to Ontario, but will you be trying to find a job playing here in North America?

KS: Playing in the PWHL is the ultimate goal. I feel like I had a really good camp in New York, so I think the biggest thing for me is to finish out this season with these girls and make a big push in the playoffs. I think we have a really good chance [to win a championship]. We’ll see what happens after that. I’m very fortunate to be here and have this opportunity — so I’m focusing most on that and then I’ll head home to spend time with my family and that’s where I’ll figure out my next steps from.

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Must-click links

Michigan is considered a hockey state, but is currently without a top-tier women’s college hockey program. Tyler Kuehl talked to a few players for the Daily Faceoff who are hoping to see that change in the near future.

Former Riveters head coach Ivo Mocek can call himself a champion. He guided HC Shenzhen to a perfect season over in China that culminated in his team lifting the trophy at the end of it all. Former Riveter and Finnish National Team member Minttu Tuominen was also on the team, and played a big role.

Four players from PWHL Ottawa — Brianne Jenner, Daryl Watts, Emily Clark, and Savannah Harmon — joined the Ottawa Senators for their Skills Showcase for fans on Jan. 28.

OG NWHLer and Riveter Amber Moore joined Dan Rice on the Around the Rink podcast (via The Ice Garden) on Monday night to talk about her hockey journey, which has led her to Washington, DC. These days she also works closely with a senator on Capitol Hill while helping to grow the game she loves so much.

The Ice Garden looks at the rosters of Team USA and Team Canada ahead of the final leg of the Rivalry Series.

A great story by Hailey Salvian from The Athletic about Japan National Team player Akane Shiga adjusting to a new country and playing in the PWHL in Ottawa at the same time.

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By: Annie Peterson, @AnnieMPeterson, AP Women’s Soccer
Tuesdays: Tennis
By: Joey Dillon, @JoeyDillon, Freelance Tennis Writer
Wednesdays: Basketball
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Thursdays: Golf
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Fridays: Hockey
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Saturdays: Gymnastics
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Written by The Ice Garden