BY RANDY SCHULTZ –
When Kassidy Sauve signed her contract to play for the PHF’s Buffalo Beauts for the 2022-23 season the first thing that caught the eye of many older Buffalo Sabres fans was her last name: SAUVE.
Could she be related to the former Buffalo Sabres goaltender, Bob Sauve? Could it just be a coincidence that Kassidy just happened to also be a goalie?
“As far as I know, I don’t think I’m related to them,” answered the Beauts netminder, who is currently on the team’s injured reserve list. “I haven’t looked that deep into my family roots, but I don’t think so.”
But it doesn’t end there. She did find out a bit of information about her family roots from her grandmother.
“We were talking about our family, and she happened to mention that I’m related to the hockey player that the Vezina Trophy is named after,” recalled Sauve, a native of Whitby, Ontario, Canada.
Vezina? As in Georges Vezina, the Hockey Hall of Fame goaltender?
“According to my grandmother, I’m related to him,” stated Sauve. “Her maiden name is Vezina.
“She’s not sure exactly how we’re related, but we are related to him.
“We were having a conversation about it about five or six years ago.
No matter if Kassidy is related to Bob Sauve or Georges Vezina, she has had a pretty outstanding hockey career herself for someone who is only 26 years old.
Kassidy admits that she had a hockey play for herself as she was growing up.
“I honestly wanted to play in the NHL,” said Sauve. “It was my dream to play for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“But I’m doing something pretty cool here in Buffalo with the Beauts. If somebody would have told me 10 years ago that I would be playing women’s professional hockey today, I would have never believed it.
Kassidy, a native of Whitby, Ont., Canada, played for the Whitby Whildcats in the boys Eastern AAA Hockey League, making to the 2012 OHL Cup.
“There were some girl’s hockey teams around when I was growing up,” stated Sauve. “But I had played boys hockey with my brother and I was determined to continue playing boys hockey for as long as I could.
“I really enjoyed being on the team. We had a lot of fun. And we ultimately won it all.”
From there it was on to Ohio State University where she played for the women’s ice hockey program in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA). Unfortunately, she missed half the 2014-15 season and all of the 2015-16 season, recovering from surgery after suffering a number of hip and leg injuries.
Sauve commented on why she had the injuries and why other modern day goaltenders are suffering the same type of injuries.
“I think it’s how the game has transitioned into such a fast paced game,” remarked Sauve, who is currently on the injured reserve list for the Beauts. “The constant up and down makes for a lot of wear and tear on your hips.
“Just look at some of the positions that you find goalies in when making a save. They are not natural.”
In her three healthy seasons with the Buckeyes, Sauve recorded 22 shutouts, which is still an Ohio State record. She graduated from Ohio State, but her college hockey career was still not quite finished.
In a surprise move, Sauve moved on to Clarkson University with the Golden Knights women’s hockey program and played the 2018-19 campaign as a postgraduate player. In her one season at Clarkson she posted a .937 save percentage and set a university record for saves in one season.
To top it all off she was named to the ECAC Third Team All-Star team as well as twice being named ECAC goaltender of the month.
“It was a chance for me to continue my education, get my MBA and continue playing hockey,” remembered Sauve. “At that point women’s pro hockey wasn’t where it is now.
“My parents had always pushed education and I believed that myself. And to be able to get two college degrees during my five-year college career was ideal.”
From there it was on to the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association (PWHPA), representing the organization in showcases with the Calgary and Toronto chapters.
“Playing there was great, but I wasn’t getting enough volumn of games,” stated Sauve.
So it was off to Finland, where she played in the Finnish Naisten Liga (NSML).
“It was a really good opportunity for me,” said Sauve. “Honestly, going there really made me fall in love with hockey all over again.
“I was almost ready to call it quits just before going over to Finland.
“I love hockey,” remarked Sauve,” who coaches hockey during the summer months. “I literally eat, sleep and breath hockey.
“It’s been my passion ever since I was a kid. I enjoy doing other things on the side like graphic design.
“I currently have a part-time job in graphic design and really like it.”
How much longer would the young goaltender like to play?
“My goal is to make it until I’m 32,” answered “That’s my jersey number.
“But I wouldn’t mind going longer. I really enjoy being here in Buffalo and would like to play with the Beauts as long as I can.”
Of course Sauve’s grandmother knows best.
“My grandmother told me that being related to Georges Vezina is probably why I’m so good,” concluded Sauve. “All I ever wanted to do was be a goalie.
“Maybe somebody was looking down on me and made me a goalie. It’s pretty cool being related to someone who has a trophy named after them in the NHL.
“It would be so super cool to have my name on that trophy someday.”
(Photo’s by Janet Schultz Photography/NY Hockey OnLine and Clarkson University Women’s Hockey)