Canadian Sarah Fillier's hockey rise has everyone in awe — even her twin sister

canadian sarah fillier's hockey rise has everyone in awe — even her twin sister

Sarah Fillier, seen above celebrating Canada’s 2022 Olympic women’s hockey gold medal, appears to have all the makings of the team’s next big star.

“Are you serious?”

Few people, if anyone, know Canadian hockey star Sarah Fillier better than her twin sister, yet even Kayla Fillier couldn’t believe what was unfolding.

Sarah, just 21 at the 2022 Beijing Olympics, had scored twice mere minutes into her debut against Switzerland.

Kayla, who plays alongside Sarah at Princeton University, was watching the game with teammates on campus.

“[We] sat there and kind of laughed a bit,” Kayla recalled to CBC Sports. “Like your first game you’re going to score that many goals? And I remember going to practice the next day and everyone is kind of like, ‘Are you serious?’ We knew she was good, but like, that many points in your first Olympic game?”

Sarah finished her Olympic tournament with eight goals, second only behind teammate and MVP Brianne Jenner. Her Beijing breakthrough — and world championship follow-up, where she added seven points in four games as Canada won gold — brought her into focus as potentially Canada’s next great hockey player.

Just over one year after winning gold at those Olympics, Sarah is struggling to grapple with her accomplishments herself.

“I’ll look at pictures and it kind of seems surreal. You second guess that it actually happened and I still don’t really have words for it,” she told CBC Sports. “It was a dream come true, and to do it with people who I idolized, like Marie-Philip Poulin and [Natalie] Spooner and Jenner made it even more special.”

Spooner, who played on a line with Fillier and Mèlodie Daoust in Beijing, was equally awestruck.

“We would joke about it after,” she told CBC Sports. “We’re like, OK, we’re going to go out this game and score [on the] first shift again, huh?”

Spooner and Fillier could be reunited on the same line at the upcoming world championships in Brampton, Ont., which bring on April 5, though Daoust wasn’t named to Canada’s roster.

Spooner, 32, first got to know Fillier, now 22, in the year leading up to those Olympics through training together in the summer and then the Olympic centralization period in Calgary.

Spooner said it was their three separate playing styles that made their line mesh so well.

“Melo, she’s such a great passer and can really distribute pucks to people. For me, I picture myself as a power forward. So I get the pucks from the corners [and crash] the net front. So I think really if we can get the puck on either Melo or Filly’s stick, like if Filly gets a shot, I’ll be in front, either to pick up the garbage or to screen.”

It’s that Fillier shot that Spooner said is her single most impressive skill.

“She scores in all different scenarios, like she can shoot and score or she can pick up backdoor passes. She just seems to be in those right spots to get shots off.”

But Fillier’s poise in her first Olympics struck Spooner more than anything else.

“I remember my first Olympics and I was a nervous wreck, but she just seems to be super calm and cool and just was able to just play her game,” Spooner said.

‘I just wanted to play hockey’

That steely demeanour was formed in Georgetown, Ont., surrounded by hockey players and fans.

The Fillier twins first laced up skates when they were four years old. While Kayla spent her first three years in figure skating, Sarah knew right away that hockey was her calling.

Before she was even allowed to play, Sarah would dress in full uniform for open skates at a public rink.

“I just wanted to play hockey so bad. I remember my dad telling stories of us at public skates and I would just skate as fast as I could, as many laps as I could for the whole hour and I would just rip in between everyone,” she said.

The Filliers — parents David and Maureen, older sister Nicole, older brother Trevor, and the twins — were a hockey-crazed family in a hockey-crazed town.

Toronto Maple Leafs games were always on TV. Sarah skated in the junior Timbits program as soon as she was eligible. She played mini sticks in the basement against Trevor and Kayla in their downtime.

During holidays like Christmas or Thanksgiving, cousins would come to town and the Filliers would organize road hockey games of about 12 people.

Kayla recalls Trevor sticking Sarah in net and peppering her with shots.

“When he scored, or if he scored a lot, even though he’s eight years older, Sarah would always kind of be upset and my dad would have to come out and kind of settle the moment,” she said.

“But even though she knew he’s probably going to score, she always wanted to try and save it and try and still be better than him, even though she kind of knew it probably wouldn’t happen.”

Sarah said those experiences shaped the hockey player she is today.

“I think it taught me just to have fun. Those are my best memories growing up with playing hockey with my family and friends. So I’m always going back to that when I step on the ice,” she said.

Princeton connection

The twin rivalry was real too — in hockey, in school, in “everything,” according to Kayla.

When it came time to choose post-secondary education, Sarah and Kayla initially hoped to enrol in separate schools and forge their own identities.

Then they visited Princeton, the New Jersey-based Ivy League university, and the rest was history.

“When we first committed, people always were like, ‘Wow, that’s going to be such an unreal opportunity, going to school with your twin sister,'” Sarah said. “And it’s lived up to that.”

However, the past season marked their final one together. Sarah, the team captain, still has one year of eligibility remaining after missing the past two seasons due to the pandemic and Olympic centralization. Kayla’s eligibility, having not been in Olympic camp, is done.

The sisters got to play on a line together during their final season.

“You don’t have to do much when you’re on a line with Sarah,” Kayla said. “Just kind of sit there and just watch what she does. It’s a pretty cool experience.”

Diverging paths

Now their paths will finally part. Sarah’s future, despite her psychology major, is fully pointed toward hockey. She’s not exactly sure what’s in store after graduating Princeton next year, though she is already a member of the Professional Women’s Hockey Players’ Association, which hopes to form a professional league by next season.

Spooner said Sarah’s future is bright.

“She has to keep using her shot and her strength and just keep pushing to get better every day, and I think that she’ll be a threat for a long time to come,” Spooner said.

Meanwhile, Kayla said her career is done. She has an economics degree and would be open to coaching if she were to stay in the hockey world.

Her senior thesis is due on April 13, the day of the world championship quarterfinals. Brampton’s CAA Centre, host of the tournament, sits about 30 minutes east of Georgetown.

Kayla said that before she enters “the real world,” she’ll hope to return home in time to watch Canada’s title defence in person.

Sarah said before she was officially named to the team that she was already fielding multiple ticket requests for the 5,000-seat arena.

“I think that would be probably one of the coolest experience in my life, to play [near] my hometown, representing Canada on the world stage.”

News Related


Pence Reacts to Trump Criminal Targeting With Hopes DOJ Won't Indict

Former Vice President Mike Pence speaks to supporters as he formally announces his intention to seek the Republican nomination for president on June 7, 2023, in Ankeny, Iowa. Pence said ... Read more »

LIV Golf-PGA Tour merger winners and losers: Phil Mickelson wins big, Tiger Woods & PGA Tour lose out

LIV Golf-PGA Tour merger winners and losers: Phil Mickelson wins big, Tiger Woods & PGA Tour lose out LIV Golf and the PGA Tour will be entering the clubhouse together. ... Read more »

Federal prosecutors notify Trump he is target of investigation: reports

Federal prosecutors notify Trump he is target of investigation: reports The Justice Department has notified former President Trump that he is the target of an investigation, signaling that prosecutors may ... Read more »

Phillies-Tigers game postponed to Thursday due to smoke from Canadian wildfires

Phillies-Tigers game postponed to Thursday due to smoke from Canadian wildfires PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Philadelphia Phillies’ series finale against the Detroit Tigers on Wednesday night was postponed due to ... Read more »

Biden speaks with Trudeau about Canadian wildfires as air quality issues persist in US

Biden speaks with Trudeau about Canadian wildfires as air quality issues persist in US President Biden on Wednesday spoke with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and offered federal support to ... Read more »

NFL world reacts to Tyreek Hill injury news

Tyreek Hill Dolphins As the Miami Dolphins begin their mandatory minicamp this week, star wide receiver Tyreek Hill is in attendance, but he’s not participating in any drills, leading to ... Read more »

Burleson homers in Cardinals' 1-0 win over Rangers, Semien's hitting streak ends at 25 games

Burleson homers in Cardinals’ 1-0 win over Rangers, Semien’s hitting streak ends at 25 games ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Rookie Alec Burleson pulled a first-pitch homer to right field in ... Read more »

Chicago Bears Pro Football Hall of Fame watch

Chicago Bears linebacker Tremaine Edmunds. The Pro Football Hall of Fame will induct the class of 2023 on Aug. 5. Here are players from the 2023 Bears who could join ... Read more »

Trump informed he is target of special counsel criminal probe

Trump Indictment Former President Donald Trump’s lawyers have been informed that he is a target of the federal criminal investigation into possible mishandling of classified information after he left office, ... Read more »

Comer presses pause on Wray contempt vote after full panel gets access to document

Comer presses pause on Wray contempt vote after full panel gets access to document House Oversight Chair James Comer (R-Ky.) pressed pause on Wednesday night on his push to hold ... Read more »

Darren Pang nears return to Blackhawks

At 5-foot-5, Darren Pang was one of the shortest goalies in NHL history. The joke was there was a “6-Hole” above his head. Pang’s career wasn’t long either. A knee ... Read more »

Flames facing tough decisions sooner than later

The off-ice changes for the Calgary Flames are nearing completion. The most-pressing issue of a new head coach is being worked through, with all kinds of reports that the quest ... Read more »

Pest or Stanley Cup champion: Florida Panthers star Matthew Tkachuk can't be both

Matthew Tkachuk of the Florida Panthers is escorted off the ice by linesman Kiel Murchison. So much for the heated debate over whether Matthew Tkachuk or Sergei Bobrovsky should win ... Read more »

Fans Stunned By Christian Braun's Performance During Game 3

MIAMI, FLORIDA – JUNE 07: Christian Braun #0 of the Denver Nuggets reacts after a dunk during the third quarter against the Miami Heat in Game Three of the 2023 ... Read more »

Four directors step down from Indigo board, Reisman also leaving in August

Four directors step down from Indigo board, Reisman also leaving in August Nearly half the board of Indigo Books and Music Inc. is stepping down — including founder and executive ... Read more »

Barcelona respond to Lionel Messi transfer snub

Barcelona released a statement on Lionel Messi | Paolo Blocco/GettyImages Barcelona have issued a statement in response to Camp Nou legend Lionel Messi opting not to return to the club ... Read more »

Ukrainians face homelessness, disease risk as floods crest from burst dam

Local residents are seen during an evacuation from a flooded area after the Nova Kakhovka dam breached in Kherson By Viktoriia Lakezina and Max Hunder KHERSON, Ukraine (Reuters) – Ukrainians ... Read more »

Canadian smoke bathes U.S.; climate change 'only getting worse,' says White House

Canadian smoke bathes U.S.; climate change ‘only getting worse,’ says White House WASHINGTON — A hazy, acrid shroud lingered over some of America’s largest cities Wednesday as Canadian wildfire smoke ... Read more »

Delta Opens New Delta One Check-In at LAX

Delta One Check-In at LAX Delta and Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) have wrapped-up another phase in the Delta Sky Way at LAX project with the completion of a new ... Read more »

CITY ISSUES: The latest from some of Toronto’s top mayoral candidates

Josh Matlow, left, applauds a comment from Mitzie Hunter, centre left, as they are joined on stage by Olivia Chow, second left, Brad Bradford, centre right, Mark Saunders, second right, ... Read more »

Calgary Flames prospect Cade Littler has swapped college commitments

Calgary Flames prospect Cade Littler has swapped college commitments In the seventh round of the 2022 NHL Draft, the Calgary Flames selected centre Cade Littler of the BCHL’s Wenatchee Wild. ... Read more »

Hands-on with the new 15-inch MacBook Air

Hands-on with the new 15-inch MacBook Air Apple just announced the new MacBook Air 15, a 15-inch version of the most popular laptop in the world. I just saw it ... Read more »

Cowboy country in British Columbia: a taste of pioneer days with a ranch stay

In British Columbia, the area around the Cariboo Chilcotin Coast is home to large numbers of guest ranches such as Echo Valley, where wrangler Mike Christensen leads horse experiences between ... Read more »

Louisiana Senate passes bill banning gender-affirming car for transgender youths

Louisiana Senate passes bill banning gender-affirming car for transgender youths BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — A controversial bill — that at one point had been presumed dead — banning gender-affirming ... Read more »

Ukrainian offensive is ‘taking place in several directions,’ says official

A Ukrainian offensive is “taking place in several directions,” Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar told Ukrainian television on Monday, as speculation mounted that Kyiv would soon launch a summer counteroffensive ... Read more »

New teams emerge as potential buyers for DeAndre Hopkins

DeAndre Hopkins As teams around the league begin minicamp, the DeAndre Hopkins free agency watch continues. The list of potential suitors for the veteran wideout has fluctuated in recent days, ... Read more »

'It was tough': World War II veterans return to Utah Beach to mark D-Day's 79th anniversary

‘It was tough’: World War II veterans return to Utah Beach to mark D-Day’s 79th anniversary ON UTAH BEACH, France (AP) — World War II veterans shared vivid memories of ... Read more »

Hovland goes from winning Memorial to caddying in US Open qualifier

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Viktor Hovland didn’t have much time to celebrate the biggest win of his career. One day after winning the Memorial, he went 36 holes as a ... Read more »

Apple announces new VR headset Vision Pro, to launch next year

“It’s the first Apple product you look through, not at,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said while introducing the Apple Vision Pro, the company’s new virtual reality headset that will allow users ... Read more »

Northeast wildfire now the third largest in B.C's history: BC Wildfire Service

The BC Wildfire Service says the Donnie Creek wildfire has grown into one of the largest blazes over the last century in the province. The fire, which is burning north ... Read more »
Kênh kiến thức kỹ năng, phát triển bản thân, hướng nghiệp, blog nhân sự