Every member of Canada’s National Women’s Team began their careers the same
way: by playing at the grassroots of our game. Along the way, they had
coaches that helped to shape their playing style and boost their love of
Here’s a look at two players, two coaches and two lasting impressions.
Kristen Campbell and Bill Brown
Bill Brown coached goaltender Kristen Campbell alongside his daughter
through the Brandon Minor Hockey Association. Brown noticed Campbell’s
talent early on and worked hard to grow the game in the province for her
and other girls coming through the program.
Hockey Canada (HC): You started coaching Kristen at a very young age.
What are some of your memories of her as a player back then?
Bill Brown (BB):
I can remember when we did our draft, the fellow I was volunteering with,
he said we have a girl and she wants to be goalie. It was perfect because
we were [rotating through] everybody at the time. But Kristen, right from
day one, she was a goalie and that’s what she wanted to be. Being the old
goalie that I was, I had someone in love with the sport who’s is in love
with the position. The first thing I saw with Kristen, even at that very,
very young age was just so much natural ability. It was things I was
showing her about stance and gloves and how to hold your stick. It was like
‘Oh, she’s already doing that.’ So, there’s just that natural ability.
HC: Is there anything that stood out to you about Kristen?
When she was playing U18 and then she went to a prep school in Winnipeg,
she initiated that change because she saw it as a way to make herself
better. And then when [the University of North Dakota] folded [its women’s
hockey program] and she was there, I remember messaging her at that time,
‘You’ll keep going kid.’ Of course, she found a home [at the University of
Wisconsin] and it turned out to be very, very good. But I think the one
thing that I tried to pass on to my kids is if you want something, go get
it. She’s a shining example of wanting something and having the support in
order to do it. All of us are so proud of her but she’s done so much of it
HC: Bill, what message would you give to Kristen?
Enjoy the moment. Live in the moment, keep working hard and have fun
because those moments, they’re here and then they’re gone. Enjoy the hard
work you put in and where it’s taken you and see how far it can take you
HC: Kristen, what message would you give to Bill?
I would just thank him for everything he did for me when I was younger. I
think he recognized potential in me from a young age, and he really pushed
me to be better and knew that I wanted to get to the highest level
Emma Maltais and Bradi Cochrane
After an injury during her NCAA hockey career, Bradi Cochrane transitioned
into coaching to stay connected with the game. Cochrane helped the Oakville
Hornets establish their high-performance program, where she coached forward
Emma Maltais from U15 AA through to the Provincial Women’s Hockey League
HC: Can you talk about how you started coaching Emma?
Bradi Cochrane (BC):
We were trying to develop this high-performance program with our U15, U18,
and U22 programs and Emma was playing U13 boys at the time and we knew
she’d be around the transition [age] to come over to girls. We got lucky
enough to have her in our U15 program. I’m coaching [in the PWHL] at the
time and she was so talented, she played 22 games with me as a U15. So
right from a young age when we first got her to the Hornets program, she
was [playing in the PWHL]. And then she was with me for three years.
HC: When you first began coaching Emma, what qualities stood out to
There’s a word that always jumps to my head when I think of Emma and it’s
the word relentless. She’s just relentless in everything she does. I
honestly can’t tell you that she’s ever had a bad practice. You fight the
puck and all that type of stuff, but her effort level and her intensity
never changes. And I think that’s a special piece; obviously it’s special
because she is where she is right now. But yeah, relentless. Her work ethic
on and off the ice. She’s a gym rat, she loves to be in the gym. She loves
hard workouts. She’s just so passionate about anything she does. I
personally feel blessed that I had an opportunity to help her develop.
HC: Bradi, what message would you give to Emma?
First and foremost, I’m just so proud of her. I’m proud of the person and
player that she’s become. But I see so much more for her in the future,
too. I feel like her national team career is really, truly just beginning.
If my little [son] can grow up to be like Emma, I’d be pretty happy.
HC: Emma, is there a message you would like to give Bradi?
She’s incredible. I still talk to her all the time. She’s such a good
hockey brain, just always watching the game. She really taught me not only
how to play the game, but how to think the game. And that’s really helped
me moving forward into college and into the national level. I think she saw
something in me and pushed me to look farther into the game, and look
farther into my own future, to believe in myself so I could make it one
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