Jacqueline Gaudet

Jacqueline Gaudet

For Jacqueline Gaudet, playing ringette with her sister Jennifer was always a highlight in a career that had many highlights.

Along the way Jackie became one of the most outstanding players in the world.

With her induction into the Cambridge Sports Hall of Fame, she and sister Jennifer join their father Glen as multiple-time inductees, having been previously inducted with Canadian Championship Cambridge Turbos teams.

Jackie Gaudet

Although Jackie wore number 14 her first time with the National Team, her number throughout most of her storied career was 18.

While Jenn was a centre forward, Jackie began at defense and then played forward and centre.

Roughly two years younger than her sister, she began skating at age two or three. Soon she too was playing ringette. 

She holds a lot of memories playing in local rinks like Karl Homuth, the Preston Memorial Arena and at the new Hespeler arena. As the Cambridge Ringette Association evolved, all the teams became known as Turbos, a name that would one day become synonymous with winning.

In 1996 she won gold at her first Canadian Ringette Championships, and has attended every CRC since. 

Jennifer’s age group and team became perennially successful, though Jackie’s age group was not always vying for the title.

“I got to go to a lot of Canadian championships,” says Jackie, “because I was picked by another team that won provincials to go to the nationals.”

She attended Woodland Park Elementary School, Jacob Hespeler Secondary School, and McMaster University

Until she reached age 18-plus, she and Jenn only played on the same team two or three times.

But that all changed when she reached that magic age. Aside from her many years with the National Team, her career has seen her represent the Cambridge Turbos regionally, provincially, nationally and internationally.

Cambridge won its first championship in 1996 (U16 age group). Jackie was a U14 athlete playing up, and played on that championship team with her sister.

Jacqueline married in 2010 and soon afterward moved to Waterdown.

In 2015, 2016 and 2017 she and Jennifer played on the three-time Canadian championship Cambridge Turbos teams that were subsequently inducted into the CSHF. “That was a really good run,” she says. “Very exciting and fun.” Jackie was pregnant (with daughter Emilia) during the last victory and after playing half the season, went behind the bench to coach.

Jackie Gaudet

The team came close the next year, finishing third, almost doing what those early Edmonton Oilers did—they won four Cups, though not consecutively. Those Oiler teams, with Gretzky, put on a ringette exhibition during intermission that prompted Jennifer to say she wanted to play the game.

The Turbos also played in the IRF-sponsored World Club Championships against the top Finnish club teams. “We won in 2008 at Sault Ste. Marie, and then finished fourth at the next one in Finland.”

What distinguished the World Club event from the Worlds with the national team was the familiarity amongst all the players; they knew each other far better than did most members of the national team, which drew from the best players across the country.

Like Jennifer, competing in the Canada Winter Games in Cornerbrook at age 17 was an early highlight. The team went undefeated and won gold. 

“It’s such a unique experience watching all sports at that level. I still remember Prime Minister Jean Chrétien giving a speech there at the opening ceremonies. That’s when I realized we were part of something big.”

In 2002 she tried out—-and was selected—for the National team, as was sister Jennifer. “What a great experience playing with such phenomenal people. That team made me better by pushing me to a new level.” 

Off the ice, people occasionally would mix up the sisters, sometimes approaching and talking to one when they thought it was the other.

Her father Glen would often be one of her coaches, but not always.

She was a member of the Cambridge Ringette Association for 34 years. She still plays, though for Waterloo’s NRL team; that came about when a friend asked her to come out. She also coaches as part of the National Team coaching staff. 

“It’s exercise, it’s social, and it’s fun.”

As a member of the Cambridge Turbos and/or Team Ontario, she competed in 26 consecutive championships, medalling 23 times; 10 gold, 5 silver, and 8 bronze. She was named a national All-Star 19 times.

She helped her club team, Cambridge Turbos, and Canada, win gold at the 2008 World Club Ringette Championships, where she was named to the All-Star line.

At home, she played in the National Ringette League (NRL) since its inception in 2003, captaining the Cambridge Turbos from 2009-2022. She has won many NRL awards in multiple categories: five-time MVP 2016, 2014, 2013, 2010, 2007; Forward/Centre-of-the-Year four times: 2015, 2014, 2012, 2011; three-time Defender-of-the-Year: 2007, 2006, 2005; top scorer 2014 (Scoring Champion 2014).

She captained the Womens National Team three times., winning her first world title in  2002, and is a six-time world ringette silver medalist.

She’s coached at the U16 and U19 AA levels for both Waterloo Region and the Cambridge Ringette Associations. In 2017, her U19 team finished second at CRCs. She was part of the U19 Team Canada East bench staff, finishing second in 2009 and winning gold in 2012.