Eve Gascon Starts for QMJHL’s GatineauOn April 1, 2022 by jmweb
While I was in Quebec in March, I found out that Eve Gascon would be the starting goalie for the Gatineau Olympiques against the Rimouski Océanic. Ève would be the third female to play in the QMJHL and the first in 20 years
I really wanted to cover this historic game so I emailed one of my clients asking them to assign it to me and that I was in Quebec. Five minutes later I got the reply saying “Go for it”. A couple of days later I was on my way to Gatineau.
Charline Labonté was the last female to play in the QMJHL and that was between 1999 and 2001 when she played 28 games for the Acadia-Bathurst Titan.
On Friday night, I stayed in downtown Ottawa after exploring Parliament Hill. I wanted to be close to Gatineau so I wouldn’t have much travel the next day. It was perfect. I popped over into Gatineau 3 hours prior to the 4pm game.
I roamed around the arena and got familiar with the layout as well as any access points. Some arenas have more closed/locked layouts (i.e. Moncton) whereas others are more open (i.e. Halifax) therefore becoming familiar with the layout helps you move around easier.
I ended up running into some people from the Gatineau team who were very friendly. After a brief chat, they advised I had full access to the arena except for the team bench area. I was set.
I didn’t expect to stay inside the building until game time however I did. I went out to my car, grabbed my equipment, and went back in to have everything ready. The press seat I was assigned was in a middle row with a good viewing area. I didn’t need it, I much rather be closer to the door so I can get in and out easier vs being trapped between people. The seat by the door was available so I took it instead.
While prepping for the game, some of the Gatineau players started to warm up by kicking a soccer ball around. They do this to improve reflexes and foot-eye coordination. By the time I got to the part of the arena where they were warming up at, I noticed Eve was leaning against the rail. As the other players continued to play, players would end up leaving the game after they failed to keep the ball in the air. It got down to two players. They ended up going behind the curtain so I went back up to the media booth to file these images.
I captioned and sent the images off. By this time fans were inside the arena. As I was filing, the players started to come out and sit on the bench. I captured some images hoping Eve would come out however in my experience goalies take a bit longer to get ready so I wasn’t sure if she would.
I sent the images off. As time went on, more and more fans began to enter the arena. At around 330, the arena had become more lively and the players were ready to come onto the ice for a warmup. I was already in the lower bowel ready. Out came the Gatineau team.
Eve was leading the pack. I knew this was historic and she had a smile on her face.
The team completed the warmup. After this, it was back to the locker room for them. Again I ran upstairs to the press room, captioned & filled the images. Things were ready to commence after another round of the arena by the Zamboni.
The ice is ready, the players are ready, and it is showtime.