It may be a few months away, but Josie Chisholm easily predicts her reaction when she dons a St. F.X. X-Women hockey jersey for the first time.
“I will, definitely, have a big smile on my face,” the native of St. Andrews, Antigonish County said, as one crossed her face.
“I am going to be really proud and, I know, my family and friends will be as well.”
Last fall, the 17-year-old defender committed to the Blue and White for the 2017-18 campaign.
“She will be a great fit with our program,” X-Women head coach Ben Berthiaume said.
This season, the Antigonish Minor Hockey Association (AMHA) product is skating with the Nepean Jr. Wildcats of the Provincial Women’s Hockey League (PWHL).
“It is an amazing league,” she said.
Chisholm, who started in the sport as a four-year-old, has also played with the Subway Selects before one campaign with the Rothesay Netherwood School Riverhawks in New Brunswick.
The 5’7” left-shooting defender has also represented Team Atlantic for the past two seasons in the Canadian U18 national championships.
“It was a hard decision,” Chisholm said, noting it has been something on her mind, practically every day, for quite some time.
A pre-Thanksgiving campus visit, which included a tour of the athletic and academic facilities at St. F.X., basically, sealed the deal for her.
“I loved it,” Chisholm said.
She noted she also toured some other schools.
“It didn’t have the same vibe [as St. F.X.], that’s for sure,” Chisholm said.
When asked about what she brings to the ice, she thinks she is “known for her work ethic,” both in practice and games.
“I think I can bring some leadership aspects as well, which I want to grow – both as an individual and for my team,” Chisholm added.
As for the appeal of playing defense, she said she enjoys “protecting the net.”
“I love being part of the ‘D’ corps,” Chisholm added, noting she is “really close” with her current group with the Wildcats.
Berthiaume said Chisholm has been “high on our list of prospects for years.”
“She is defensive-minded ‘D,’ who also moves the puck very well and has a hard shot from the blue-line,” Berthiaume said, adding she also “competes hard.”
He added Chisholm will also provide “great leadership qualities.”
Berthiaume noted her game will translate well to the university level.
“It always good to have [local] players who can be key contributors to our program,” Berthiaume said, when asked about adding an Antigonish product.
Chisholm is the daughter of Jamie and Charlene Chisholm.
She noted, with a laugh, not the Jamie and Charlene whose son, Logan, captured a Telus Cup as a member of the Cape Breton West Islanders.
It has been a busy few months, as far as recruiting, for the X-Women program.
Along with Chisholm, the Blue and White have added Kaya Brossard, Lea MacLeod, Emma Thomas, Hannah MacDonald and Tyra Meropoulis.
“We went after players for some key spots and, I think, we have addressed them,” Berthiaume said, adding the X-Women coaching staff is “very happy” with the class.
Brossard, of Richmond, B.C., is a 5’5” left-shooting forward who plays for the Pacific Steelers.
Lea MacLeod, a 5’6” left-shooting forward from Dartmouth plays for King’s Edgehill of Windsor which plays in the North American Prep High School Association.
Thomas, a 5’4” right-shooting defender from Red Deer, Alberta, plays midget ‘AAA’ with the Red Deer Sutter Fund Chiefs.
MacDonald, a 5’5” left-shooting defender from Westaskiwin, Alberta also plays with the Chiefs. She is the younger sister of former X-Women player Molly MacDonald and cousin of sophomore X-Men defenseman Cole MacDonald.
Meropoulis, a 5’6” forward from Edson, Alberta, plays with the St. Albert Slash.
“We have added more skill and speed,” Berthiaume said.
“We think this is one of the strongest recruiting classes in our program’s history.”
Berthiaume credited veteran assistant coach Willie Jo Sofan for his continuing key contributions and leadership when it comes to bringing quality people – on and off the ice – into the X-Women program.
“We would not have been as successful as we have been in recruiting, including with this class, without Willie Jo,” Berthiaume said.