It was a disappointing end to season last weekend for St. Francis Xavier University goalie Katie Harvieux, but there’s bound to be more hockey and more chances to excel for the Digby native.
On Saturday, the X-Women who were Canada’s fifth-ranked university women’s hockey team lost 5-1 to top-ranked McGill Martlets. The defending champion Martlets were undefeated through their season.
The X-Women, who were hosting the CIS women’s hockey championship in Antigonish, lost their first game 2-1 to the Manitoba Bisons in an overtime shootout Friday before 1,800 frenzied fans.
With the end of her hockey season, it’s decision time for Harvieux who is in her fourth year of studies at St. FX. The business major has the option of pursuing an honors degree, which would allow her to play one more year of university hockey.
She’s also been invited to try out for a professional team in Austria. “Right now I’m thinking I’ll be staying at St. FX,” said Harvieux. “The Austria offer will still be on the table for the next two or three years.”
Harvieux has come a long way since as a six-year-old she laced up her skates as a Digby Minor Hockey League player. She began as a forward, but at around age eight took a turn playing goalie and it stuck –for the past 14 years.
Harvieux was the only female on her team when she played minor and high school hockey in Digby. At 13, she also began playing with a girls’ hockey team out of Berwick and a year later was invited to join Team Atlantic and play in a major tournament in Connecticut.
It was there that she was recruited by Berkshire, a private New England prep school that prides itself on the academic and athletic achievements of its students. The school offered Harvieux a full scholarship, valued at $45,000 US per year, for grades 10 - 12.
Harvieux says she loved the experience but missed Canada. A couple of American universities offered her sizeable scholarships, but she opted for St. FX. “I wanted to come home to Canada and St. FX has both an excellent business program and an excellent hockey team.”
She says her first year at St. FX was her strongest as a hockey player—she was all-star goalie for Canada.
She’s still pretty strong: she is leading the league in shutouts, St. FX has won more titles than any other Atlantic University Sport teams, and is ranked fifth in Canada.