On this day last year, we had a chat with Dauphin’s Marley Quesnel who joined the Assiniboine Community College Cougar’s women’s hockey team for their second season in the American College Hockey Association Division Two conference.
And what a rookie season it turned out to be for Marley as she helped backstop her team to a National Championship gold medal. They took down the top division two teams from the United States en route to claiming the sports top prize.
The championship game came against Minot State where Marley and the rest of the Cougars won, 1-0.
“This is pretty cool. I don’t think there is a better feeling,” said Quesnel. “I don’t even know if words can describe it. It’s just an amazing feeling.”
“We had one goal at the beginning of the year and that was winning nationals,” she added. “So we went into the tournament with that goal in mind and we made it happen.”
The National Championship capped off what was a wonderful season for the team. They went 18-6-1 in conference play and ended their conference schedule with two straight wins and went 7-3 in their final 10 games before the nationals.
The 1-0 win gave Marley her second shutout of the tournament. She turned away 14 shots in what was a very defensive hockey game in which ACC had just 18 shots.
“The shutout makes it that much better,” said Quesnel. “I definitely couldn’t do it without my teammates, though. They help me out so much by blocking shots and keeping their shooters to the outside.
Being a first-year player, this was Marley’s first National Championship. The Dauphin rookie had no problems with any pressure that came her way.
“Nobody really knows what to expect going into the tournament,” said Quesnel. “We just went in and played our game.”
This year's team also featured Megan Quesnel, Marley's sister. They had a perfect record and were getting set to defend their national title before the season was cancelled.