Female Goalie Knows All the Angles

Photo: University of Maine

Genevieve Turgeon began skating at age seven and said there was "no doubt in my mind" she wanted to be a goalie.

But she first had to convince her dad to let her play hockey.

"It was funny. He didn't want me to play hockey because, when I was young, it was a man's sport. But I kept asking him and asking him, so he decided I could try it.

"He thought I wasn't going to like it, but I'm still here right now and he likes it a lot. He's always there [supporting me]," grinned Turgeon.

The University of Maine is certainly glad Jean Robitaille allowed his daughter to play.

Turgeon, a junior, is the two-time Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week this season thanks to a 62-save performance in a 4-0 loss to Mercyhurst College two weekends ago and a 40-save outing in a 2-2 overtime tie with Providence Sunday.

"She gives them a chance [to win] every game," said Providence coach and former Boston University goalie Bob Deraney. "She plays so far out of her net because she's so smart. She knows the position and her angles, and she knows how to play every situation."

Turgeon was 6-14-1 with a 3.47 goals-against average and a .903 save percentage a year ago after going 9-8-4, 2.31, .889 with four shutouts as a freshman.

Turgeon is an economical, butterfly-style goalie who is always in position to not only make the initial save but second and third saves as well.

"She plays very controlled," observed Maine first-year coach Dan Lichterman. "She has done everything we've asked her to do. She makes all the saves she should and a bunch of ones she's not supposed to. She has been fantastic."

"She gets herself in the right position and cuts down angles real well," noted Maine senior defenseman Kim Meagher of Hampden.

"I try to be aggressive because I go into the butterfly often and I need to cut down the angle and protect the top of the net. And I always try to follow the rebounds," said Turgeon, who feels she has significantly improved her glove hand.

"She is our backbone," said junior center Vanessa Vani.

Turgeon is your prototypical overachiever in all aspects of life.

When she came to Maine, the Lac Beauport, Quebec, native spoke very little English.

"My first year here was hard. I didn't know what was going on at all. But I learned a lot," said Turgeon, who mastered the English language by going to class and conversing in English with her teammates and friends.

The finance and international business major has been on the Hockey East All-Academic Team two years in a row.

"It's nice to be able to speak two languages now," said the 5- foot-4 Turgeon.

She downplayed her 62-save performance against Mercyhurst.

"I didn't really think about the number of shots during the game. It didn't matter to me," said Turgeon. "I just made sure I was ready, and the team did a great job defensively. I had to make the first save and the team did a great job clearing rebounds and stuff."

Turgeon said knowing the league and the opposing shooters helps a lot.

Turgeon is playing for her third coach in three years, but she said the transition this year has been an easy one.

She grew up watching Patrick Roy patrol the net and now enjoys seeing Marc-Andre Fleury of the Pittsburgh Penguins.

She said Maine has been a good fit for her.

"I really like it here," she said.

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