2 minutes in the penalty box with Adrenaline’s Sophie Gagnon

After a successful AA stint where she dominated as a goaltender with Rive-Sud, Sophie was drafted to the NRL by the Lac St. Louis Adrenaline. She instead chose to play Open A, where she won two provincial championships, followed by two eastern championships. Now at the age of 21, and first responder with Urgences-Santé in Montreal, she decided to take the leap into the NRL this season and I invited her to the penalty box for a few questions.

Why did you wait two years before joing the Adrenaline? When I got drafted, I was starting my third year of studies towards my profession, which was going to be very time consuming, so I chose to focus on that. Now, I’ve been working for a year already so I knew I’d be able to combine the two.

Do you believe you can continue to excel at this level? I think so! I had a good start. I had some adapting to do but in general, I think it’s going well and I will continue to work hard to be my best out there.

What are your first impressions of the NRL? In general, I like the league. The level of play is fast and intense. I really like my team, I can’t complain.

As a first year player, do you see yourself possibly winning the title of rookie of the year? I think it’s way too early to talk about that! I’m just concentrating on giving it my all in every game and working hard. I’m doing what I can and we’ll see at the end of the season.

Despite your small stature, you have had success at every level so far. Still today, some people have doubts about your ability to succeed in the NRL because of this. Does this frustrate you? I have no idea what you are talking about, I am six feet tall, I’m big for a goalie (five feet for real)! Kidding aside, in my head, I play nets as if I was tall. That’s why I’ve had success and I don’t believe this will change. So no, it doesn’t bother me at all.

What is it that you like the most being a goaltender? I chose this position at a very young age because I wanted to have some control over the game. A goaltender can really make a difference in a game. This implies a lot of pressure but I like the adrenaline rush that comes with it! I would never change that.

If ringette players were paid like NHL players, what would be your annual salary? I believe it would be $800,000 like any regular player in their first year. You have to prove yourself before earning a higher income.

If Team Canada were to show some interest, would you say yes? Sure! I love new challenges.

If you had to use one word to describe yourself, what would it be? Authentic.

Which player do you think would make a good figure skater? After having often practiced our moves together in front of out net, I’d say Alexandra Lanthier (currently with Rive-Sud NRL), my partner during our U16 and U19 years.

If you had to choose one, with which player would you like to be on a desert island? Amanda Leblanc from the Rive-Sud Revolution of course. A dear friend for many years! Mainly because no two days would be the same with her and we can’t stay mad at each other for more than two minutes.

If your team were to win the NRL Championship one day, what crazy thing would you do? I think I’d take Andy’s (LSL defense) pulse! She’s a fantastic player who plays with all her heart and great determination. I would want to make sure that her heart didn’t stop beating after such a rush.

If a restaurant were to approach you to create a sandwich in your name, what would be its name? I’ll never have a sandwich in my name! I’m not Brendan Gallagher.

Which celebrity would you love to have as coach? I’d love to have as a coach the one and only Anna Faris! Our team would be bad and she’d surely be the worst coach in the NRL, but we’d have a lot of fun! I’d always have a smile on my face which counts for a lot.

Thank you Sophie for taking two minutes in the penalty box. I wish you a great season and you can now go back on the ice, and don’t forget to always respect the refs.