Cool under pressure with Cougars' Women's Hockey goalie Marley Quesnel

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Marley Goalie

Not adverse to stressful moments, one of three Assiniboine Cougars' goalies, Marley Quesnel is looking forward to the challenge of high-stakes hockey and all that it entails.

Our Assiniboine Cougars are about to embark upon their 2019-20 Finals Campaign to defend their American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Championship title and Marley will be vying for time in the net.

Marley, currently studying Business Administration at Assiniboine, enjoys the challenge of balancing both academic and hockey demands. Not alone in this situation, Marley's twin and teammate, Megan Quesnel, is on a similar journey.

Marley's skills in the net have improved exponentially over the past two seasons with the Cougars. In the 2018-19 season, Marley was the sole keeper for the team, which provided the advantage of ice time and invaluable experience managing high-intensity situations.

"It definitely helped me improve as I was the only goalie last year so I had so many shots and games to build my skills", said Marley.

As her second season with the team draws to a close, Marley has had some competition from fellow goalies Elisha Oswald and Sadie McIntosh for ice time during the upcoming ACHA Championship.

All I can do is continue to give it my best shot and enjoy each game".

The skillset for a goalie is slightly different from other positions, with the ability to remain calm and focused in high-pressure situations crucial to the success of the team.

You need to have fast hand-eye coordination to see the puck coming, and if it's deflected, the mobility to move between the pipes and cover the area quickly

A local Manitoban, Marley grew up in Dauphin and started playing at the age of five on the local boy's team with her twin sister, Megan. As time went by and there were enough girls to form a team of their own, a goalie was needed.

"If no one was going to volunteer to be goalie, we weren't going to be able to play, so I stepped up and took the position. I've liked it ever since, so I've stayed playing it."

It's not all about stopping goals, Marley is in a strong position to view the whole ice, to observe plays and provide feedback and direction to the team so strategies can be adjusted to build stronger defenses or exploit opposition weaknesses.

"You see Team Canada and the people who you want to be like and the level you want to achieve. So, it's really exciting to be able to play at the level I want to with the Cougars." said Marley.

With only a five league games left in the regular season, the Cougars have cemented their finals berth travelling through the regular ACHA season with an almost perfect scorecard of 16-0-0.

Don't miss your chance to cheer on the Cougars at their next home game at 8 p.m. on Saturday, February 29, against North Dakota State University at the Brandon Sportsplex.