With Ottawa hosting the 2013 IIHF Women’s World Hockey Championships, it is time for fans to recognize one of the city’s hometown heroes. Sue Scherer was more than just a member of the first Women’s World Championship team in 1990. Notably, she was also the team’s captain.
As the 1990 Women’s Worlds were contested in Ottawa, Scherer established herself as one of the city’s great sporting heroes. With the Canadian team of 1990 sporting the now-legendary pink jerseys, Scherer proudly donned the Captain’s C on her pink jersey.
As the first captain in the history of the Canadian national women’s team, her mark on Canadian women’s hockey history is assured. Canada was nothing short of dominant in the first Women’s Worlds. The squad recorded an astonishing 61 goals while allowing only eight. Statistically, Scherer logged two goals and five assists for a sparkling seven point performance in 1990.
Playing on a team that would feature future IIHF Hall of Fame inductees Angela James and Geraldine Heaney, along with France Saint-Louis, Scherer’s captaincy speaks volumes of her skill as a leader. She would make the hometown fans proud in leading an undefeated Canadian squad to golden glory.
Those 1990 Women’s Worlds helped to transform Ottawa into a women’s hockey hotbed. While the city went crazy for pink in 1990 as a remarkable show of support, Scherer would lay the foundation for the next generation of women’s hockey heroes to emanate from Ottawa.
Women’s hockey heroes from the Ottawa region, such as Erica Howe, Jamie Lee Rattray, Jaclyn Hawkins, Brianna Delaney, Mandi Duhamel and Stefanie McKeough, all owe a debt of gratitude to Scherer. She was part of the first generation of modern-day women to say that women’s hockey had arrived, and more importantly, that it was here to stay.
Of note, Scherer would return to the Canadian national team in 1992. This time, the Canadian squad featured a young women’s goaltender by the name of Manon Rheaume (who would make her own history by appearing with the Tampa Bay Lightning).
Playing alongside Rheaume, Scherer would enjoy a second consecutive gold medal. Scherer would accumulate two assists during the 1992 Women’s Worlds. In later years, a tribute was paid to Scherer. At the Team Canada Thanksgiving Festival in October 2003, one of the teams at the Festival was named Team Scherer.
Although many of the players from that by-gone era (Judy Diduck, Marianne Grnak, Heather Ginzel, Susana Yuen and Dawn McGuire) are long forgotten, the 2013 Women’s Worlds serve as an opportunity to educate the young women’s and men’s hockey players on the sacrifices that were made.
To pay tribute to those pink-clad players (such as Scherer) that helped to blaze the trail may be the ultimate accomplishment of this year’s Worlds. Should Canada be successful in claiming the gold at the 2013 Women’s Worlds (no Canadian team has ever lost the Worlds on home soil), it would only be fitting to dedicate the win in her honor.
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