The doctor isn’t in quite yet, but it shouldn’t be long before she is.
Roxane Desrochers is the No. 1 goaltender for Northern Stars. In 14 games this season, she had a 7-4-0 record with one shutout and a 2.91 goals against average. She has twice represented Manitoba at the National Aboriginal Hockey Championships and has a bronze medal for her efforts.
In fact, two of her three sisters also played for Team Manitoba at the NAHC. Her oldest sister Danielle was a volleyball player who went to North American Indigenous games and won a NAIG Legacy Scholarship. Her two other sisters, Julie and Gabrielle, both played for Manitoba. Julie won a gold medal. Roxane played on the team twice, both times at Kahnwake Mohawk Territory, outside Montreal.
However, it’s not so much what Roxane does on the ice that will define her future. It’s what she does off the ice.
Desrochers, 20, is a University of Manitoba Health Sciences student. She’ll complete her undergraduate degree next spring then it’s off to med school. “Doctor” Desrochers might still be a work in progress, but it’s a work that is definitely progressing.
“I just finished my third year at the U of M and I’ll graduate next spring,” she said. “Then I want to go into medicine. It’s definitely going to add up to a lot of work in my lifetime, but I’m ready for it.”
Desrochers is so typical of the players who dot every roster in the Manitoba Women’s Junior Hockey League: Skilled on the ice and gifted off it.
This past season, she helped the Northern Stars reach the MWJHL post-season and then went 1-1-0 in the playoffs with a 2.94 goals against average.
“This league is fun,” she said. “I like the fact that I have a whole new group of friends at hockey. It’s a different group than my school friends. It’s really enjoyable and a great team to play for.”
Desrochers began skating and playing shinny at age five and then started playing organized hockey with the Atom Stars out of Bertrand and Maginot Arenas.
“For the first few practices, I was a skater,” she said. “And then because we didn’t have a goalie, I heard the coaches talking about having one different player every game try playing in goal. Well, when I was younger I always told my parents I was going to be a goaltender and they didn’t pay that much attention, but when the coaches said they were going to alternate goalies, I just said, ‘Hey, I’ll be the goalie,’ and that’s how I started.”
She continued to play for the Stars until Peewee and then moved to boys hockey but after a year of Peewee, two years with the Bantam A1 Seals and a year of Midget, she went back to girls hockey at age 17.
“In my last year of midget I was playing in the adult league at Canlan and then I found this league (MWJHL),” she said. “I’ve played for the Northern Stars for two years and I have one more year of eligibility and then a year of overage. I’ll probably finish my last two years in this league and then I don’t know what I’ll do. I’d like to continue playing.”