Kristin Gilmour Bolstering the Blue Line of the Oakville Hornets

Mark StaffieriContributor IIJanuary 30, 2013

Photo by Mark Staffieri
Photo by Mark Staffieri

Donning No. 26 with the Oakville Hornets of the PWHL, Kristen Gilmour proudly serves as alternate captain.

Her leadership and great skill made her a member of the Canadian Under-18 National Team that claimed the gold medal at the 2013 IIHF Under-18 Women’s World Championship.

The moment was a great point of pride for Gilmour. “I am still in shock,” she said.

Many of her teammates on the Canadian Under-18 squad were rivals from the PWHL. Despite the rivalries, representing Canada and donning the Maple Leaf made them instant friends.

“It was very easy coming together.”

Coming off the gold medal win, the return to the PWHL represented a slight adjustment. “Now we play against each other [again], and it feels like we are still part of the same team.”

With the Canadian team, she wore No. 93 in tribute to former Toronto Maple Leafs captain (and 1989 Stanley Cup champion) Doug Gilmour. Since they have the same surname, she is constantly asked if she is related to the Maple Leafs legend.

“We are not related. I get it all the time,” she said.

Gilmour also competed for Team Ontario Red in November 2012. With Oakville Hornets teammate Camille Leonard, she led the squad to a bronze medal at the 2012 Canadian Under-18 Nationals.

With Ontario icing two teams for the Under-18 Nationals, a familiar face was part of the other squad, Team Ontario Blue: Gilmour’s head coach with the Hornets, Bradi Cochrane

Playing against her mentor was a different experience. “It was hard. Actually it made me kind of nervous to play against her.”

One of Gilmour’s coaches on Team Ontario Red was another mentor whom she has known for many years. Former Dartmouth Big Green player and founder of Total Female Hockey, Kim McCullough served on the Ontario Red coaching staff.

“I have known Kim. She trained me since I was 14. I did not know any of the other people on the coaching staff [Dave Gwyn and Shaun Reagan], so it was comforting to have her there.”

Gilmour also discussed the impact of having Camille Leonard on the team as well. “It is always nice going in with one of the girls that you know. It is great having a good friend.”

As one of the veterans on the Hornets, Gilmour serves as a friend to many of the younger players. When asked if she considers herself a leader, Gilmour replied, “I would like to think so. I try my best. I have girls come up to me, and we can talk about anything.”

By playing for Bradi Cochrane with the Oakville Hornets, she is led by an accomplished coach who once competed at the NWHL and NCAA level. Cochrane’s career with the Beatrice Aeros and Niagara Purple Eagles has influenced Gilmour.

“She talks to us about her university career all the time. It is helpful because she really brings that to Oakville.”

“The way she sets up the locker room is like university. She tries to bring that atmosphere to the locker room.”

That attention to detail is helpful to Gilmour as she will be competing for the University of Maine Black Bears in the autumn of 2013. “I am so excited about Maine. I want it to come now.”

Another member of Cochrane’s coaching staff has influenced Gilmour. Having also played at Niagara (after Cochrane graduated), Shannon Moulson is currently a member of the Toronto Furies of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League.

Having Moulson as a coach has been another positive influence for Gilmour. “Oh definitely. I love having her on the ice. She will demonstrate a play, and you see it in front of you, right there. It is helpful for you to learn.”

All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise indicated.