Shortly after Blue and White faced off in intrasquad action Tuesday night
at the BFL National Women’s Under-18 Team Selection Camp, Kristina Bahl
received a text message from her older brother Kevin, who was tracking his
sister’s progress via live stream.
“He told me, ‘Keep your feet moving and you’re golden,’” says Bahl, a
Bahl is appreciative of any advice or tips that her older sibling can offer
considering Kevin is no stranger to success; a defenceman himself, he won
gold with Canada’s National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team at the 2017 Ivan
Hlinka Memorial Cup and was drafted 55th overall by the Arizona Coyotes at
the 2018 NHL Draft.
Bahl says her level of respect for her brother – who competed at Canada’s
National Junior Team Sport Chek Summer Development Camp in Plymouth, Mich.,
in July – is so high that she tries to model how the rearguard moves his
feet and positions himself in the defensive zone.
Dominique Cormier, a White blue-liner at U18 camp, is also heavily
influenced by her older brother – Lukas was a member of Canada’s
National Men’s Summer Under-18 Team that won a silver medal at the 2019
Hlinka Gretzky Cup.
“I always wanted to do everything like him,” says Cormier. “I play defence
because of him, and I would ask, ‘What number is Lukas?’ I started to wear
[No. 15] like him.
“He was always pushing me. We would always go to the basement and compete
against each other in one-on-one games. He has always been a big role model
Just like Bahl, Cormier says her style of play on the ice echoes how her
older brother likes to play the game. Dominique and Lukas – who played one
season together for the South Kent Flames in Atom AA – both like to play a
speedy, offensive game while still adhering to defensive responsibilities.
Bahl and Cormier descended upon Calgary from Mississauga, Ont., and
Sainte-Marie-de-Kent, N.B., on a mission to make a positive impression at
selection camp, just like Kevin and Lukas did in previous summers.
They each received some brotherly advice before embarking upon their first
Team Canada experience.
“I was just trying to ask him, ‘What’s it like?’” says Bahl. “He said to
make sure you get 10 hours of sleep and the rest you will figure out for
Bahl adds that Kevin did inform her that “the level of coaching would be
unreal” and that has undoubtedly been the case; coaches at camp include
Olympic gold medallists Haley Irwin and Tara Watchorn.
Cormier, on the other hand, was advised by Lukas about “the fast pace of
the camp” and that “her attitude would be evaluated at all times both on
and off the ice.”
The youngest player at selection camp – she won’t turn 16 until Oct. 11 –
says being immersed in Hockey Canada culture is a motivating experience.
“It is inspirational for me. It has been my dream since I was so young to
go to the Olympics and win a medal wearing the Maple Leaf. I am grateful to
Following life at selection camp – and hopefully a trip to Lake Placid,
N.Y., for a three-game Canada-U.S. series next week – Bahl and Cormier will
look to take lessons they have learned and utilize them with the Oakville
Hornets and Stanstead College, respectively.
Their futures in the game are already lined up: Bahl is committed to
playing for St. Lawrence University beginning in the fall of 2020, and
Cormier is slated to join Princeton University a year later.
Both defencemen will continue to heed the advice and follow the example of
their brothers as they each advance to a post-secondary career and possibly
more prestigious Hockey Canada opportunities.
And in Cormier’s case, she will continue to try and be a role model for her
brother when it comes to academics.
“I think I was the one helping him in the classroom,” she says with a
laugh. “Sometimes, he would tease me and say, ‘Dom, do my homework for me.’
I would say, ‘No, I won’t do it, but I’ll help you.’”