Thursday, January 28, 2021

Cassie Shokar: Student Athlete Superstar

By Harjan Padda, 18 Jun, 2020
  • Cassie Shokar: Student Athlete Superstar

Shokar is 5-5 on the season with two shutouts and an outstanding 1.54 GAA and a .934 save percentage.

Cassie Shokar is a promising young goaltender for the Mount Royal University Cougars in the Canada West conference of U Sports Women’s Ice Hockey. Cassie is 5-5 on the season with two shutouts and an outstanding 1.54 GAA and a .934 save percentage.

Cassie watched hockey her entire childhood, watching Canucks game with her dad. She also enjoyed playing road hockey and indoor hockey with her brother, which further developed her passion for the sport. From this point on, she knew she wanted to play this at a competitive level, driven by her love of the game. The position of goaltender in hockey is arguably the toughest position to play on the ice. Cassie chose this path as a young kid, largely due to her admiration of former Vancouver Canucks legend Roberto Luongo. She shares how “he always looked like he was having fun in net, and this inspired me to want to reach that level.” After grade 12, Cassie made the decision to keep playing onto the next level. Her passion was strong and she had faith in herself to carry her play to the university stage.

Playing locally throughout her childhood, Cassie made a big decision to go play for the NCAA Division III Oswego State Lakers in New York. She made a lot of friends and memories as she learned what the competitive landscape of collegiate hockey was like. The key to success that Cassie learned abroad is that mental toughness is critical. “It is imperative to stay positive throughout your journey. There are little things which could throw you off, but you need to learn from any hardships and stay committed to your goals,” explains Cassie. The competition stiffened and the game moved a lot quicker once she started playing collegiately. Despite the challenges, Cassie has remained positive in her mindset and has thoroughly enjoyed her experience.

The life of a student athlete can be very taxing, but Cassie has taken it all in stride. It was a bit of a challenge at first for finding study and homework time between the hockey events. Time management was the main skill Cassie learned to master as a student athlete which has been essential in her adaptation. She recalls how “the best method for me was to get as much studying and homework done as early as possible to avoid tight deadlines with hockey time conflicts, this really eased any school stress from procrastinating.” This has helped Cassie to stay on top of her classes, do well in them, and keep her head clear for hockey.

Cassie grew up playing minor hockey with boys until her midget year, which was challenging. On top of that, being an Indo-Canadian female pushed her into an even smaller minority group leaving her to fight harder than anyone to make teams and be successful. Cassie hopes to be an influencer for young Indo-Canadian girls out there who may not think they can make it in the sport. Women’s hockey is starting to grow, and with this increased exposure, Cassie hopes to see more girls of our community embracing the sport and taking it to the next level. Her advice to the girls out there is “to not let anything get in your way, to be strong and confident. There will be hard times, but you need to push forward and keep working hard.” Her last piece of advice is to smile and believe in yourself.

Cassie Shokar’s next step after another few years of university is undetermined. Careerwise, her dream is to become a lawyer. “I want to make an impact on the world and help others, it is something I’ve always wanted to do,” declares Cassie. Given what we have seen from her in terms of hard work and perseverance, there is no doubt that Cassie will continue to hit her goals and make her mark on the world.

Photos: Adrian Shellard


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