Andrew Sykes • LaSalle Vipers
July 6, 2022
Madison Faucher broke boundaries as soon as she stepped onto the ice at the recent LaSalle Vipers Prospects Camp, but it was her play that caught the attention of everyone watching on those two days in June.
Becoming the first female to compete at a Vipers camp, Faucher quickly put nerves aside and impressed with her poise and technical skill in the net. “I was nervous at first. Being the only female goalie attending a hockey camp wasn’t unique, but knowing I was the first female in the history of the Vipers Prospect Camp to have been invited, that was unique,” the Amherstburg native said. “When I arrived at the arena, I didn’t let anything on the outside get into my head.”
Not unlike most goalies and goalie coaches who emphasize the mental side of the position, Faucher credits her success at the camp to having the right mindset going in. “Performing to the best of my ability as a goalie is not just about mastering puck control or having good hand-eye coordination. I have learned that it is as much about my mindset—what’s going on in my head—as it is technique.”
A late 2004 birth-year, Faucher, 17, was the same age as many of the male counterparts shooting on her and felt she achieved what she had set out to do when when she accepted the invitation to camp. “I wanted to test my ability to compete against others with the same skill level and/or higher. Not only was I able to compete at the camp, it solidified my confidence going into next season and helped me establish new goals as an athlete, train for those goals this summer, and begin to accomplish them next season.” And that next season that Faucher speaks to will see her take a big step in her hockey and academic career, as she is set to attend Bemidji State University, an NCAA Division 1 school in Minnesota on an athletic scholarship.
Seeking to get a better idea of the higher level of competition she will be facing, Faucher felt that the camp did exactly that. “Having the opportunity to attend a LaSalle Vipers Jr. B Prospects Camp, experience the speed, the quality of shots, the playmaking, the momentum shifts, those were all aspects of the game that I needed to experience to prepare myself for Division I hockey next season.”
A graduate of the Southwest Wildcats program, Faucher credits her success to her family and former coaches and trainers who have helped her along the way. “The commitment and dedication of my parents, both financially and emotionally, and the support from my siblings, were essential to my success in hockey. It was a sacrifice made by my entire family to help me try to achive my dreams and they are my biggest fans. Every one of my coaches have given me tools at the right time in my development to play my game. Francois LeMay helped me achieve my goal of playing in the Provincial Women’s Hockey League (PWHL) and Andrew Corchis trained me throughout my last season in the PWHL.
She also gives much credit for her on-ice performance to former NHLer and current Windsor Spitfires goalie coach Michael Leighton. “He trained me for the last three years and brought my level of play to the next level. His experience, expertise, and dedication to his craft have helped me be the goalie I am today.”
A LaSalle native and a former NCAA standout herself, Jennifer Hitchcock also played a big role in Faucher’s journey. “I also want to acknowledge Jennifer Soulliere (Hitchcock), who gave me the opportunity at the age of 14 to play in the Provincial Women’s U22 Division for Southwest Wildcats. She guided, supported and helped me throughout my journey to a D1 Scholarship.”
This off-season, Faucher is focused on getting herself physically ready for the upcoming season. “With the guidance of my goalie coach, trainer, and my coaches at Bemidji, I am training hard on and off the ice this summer. The off-season allows me time to dedicate the necessary resources to improve my movements in the net, build muscle, improve my fitness, and work on mobility and power training. This is the groundwork for improving my performance and excelling in the net once competition season returns.”
Although it wasn’t necessarily what she set out to do, the adage of being a ground-breaker isn’t lost on Faucher, who encourages anyone – girl or boy – to go after what they want.
“It was an incredible experience and one that I am extremely grateful to have had with the LaSalle Vipers. The commitment and sacrifice, it’s all worth it. You have to give up a lot, work hard, train hard, and it will take time and dedication to realize your goals. I missed family celebrations, school events, and hanging with friends on weekends. The usual teenage activities, I didn’t have the time. It was hard, and at times I did struggle, but my dream was to play the game of hockey at the highest level possible. That’s what it takes and I would do it all over again to get to where I am today and where I will be tomorrow. I encourage anyone who wants to play the game of hockey to believe in yourself and go for it! Stay committed to your goals, enjoy the journey, and have fun.”