Longtime Jr. Sharks prodigy Blais-Savoie putting girls hockey on NorCal map
Evelyn Blais-Savoie has grown up in San Jose, not only helping her San Jose Jr. Sharks girls teams win state and national championships, but also developing her game to be NCAA Division I-ready in a couple years.
The soon-to-be 17-year-old forward was part of the Jr. Sharks’ 19U AA team that won a USA Hockey Pacific District and national title back in 2017 and has been a regular contributor to the program, on and off the ice.
She notched the overtime winner at the USA Hockey Pacific District tournament final and then tallied a natural hat trick in the Detroit suburb of Troy, Mich., leading the Jr. Sharks to a 4-0 win over the Ann Arbor (Mich.) Cougars to garner the USA Hockey Tier II national title two seasons ago.
“That was a fun game to be a part of,” said Blais-Savoie. “We all enjoyed the experience of being at Nationals and to cap it off with a championship is an incredible feeling.”
Former Jr. Sharks coach Amanda Long, now working with the NCAA Division I women’s team at Minnesota State University, said in 2017 that Blais-Savoie was the total package.
“She’s special,” said Long. “Her ability to go out there and get goals when we need them the most is incredible. She’s physical, she plays big, and it’s hard to explain what she brings to this team. What she brings and her ability to put the puck in the net is huge. She’s got stamina, speed – she’s got it all. And being so young on top of it – she’s got such a bright future.”
Blais-Savoie has grown up around the game – literally.
“I started playing hockey when I was 6,” explained Blais-Savoie. “I had done figure skating beforehand and with my dad (Robert Savoie) working at the rink, I was always there. Going to Sharks games with my dad was always a nice surprise after coming home from school.”
Playing for the Jr. Sharks youth program her entire career to this point, Blais-Savoie has made the move to Michigan this year to play for the Meijer Hockey 19U AAA association.
That said, her time in San Jose has been a ride Blais-Savoie wil not soon forget.
“Growing up at the rink with the same people really gave me friends for life,” said Blais-Savoie. “This season, our goal as a team is to make it to Nationals in April.”
This past summer, Blais-Savoie attended the USA Hockey National Camp for her third straight year, participating in both the Select 16 and Select 17 camps and 18U Select Camp at St. Cloud State University.
Blais-Savoie said she takes pride in helping to put girls hockey on the map not only in San Jose and Northern California, but in all of the Western United States.
“Playing girls hockey in California definitely has its difficulties,” Blais-Savoie said. “Only having two teams in the entire state makes it very difficult to play games close to home and to have good competition growing up. Most girls who want to develop more usually join the boys organizations. I’ve seen big events bring more hockey into California, though. With Nationals being in Irvine this past year and having Team USA and Canada play each other in San Jose, it drew a lot of attention to girls hockey in California.”
Down the line, Blais-Savoie has committed to play NCAA Division I hockey for the University of Vermont, a Hockey East school in Burlington, Vt. She is tentatively slated to enroll there in the fall of 2021 to play for the Catamounts.
After that, the sky is the limit for Blais-Savoie.
“My dream since I was a little kid has been to play for my country,” Blais-Savoie.
— Matt Mackinder
(Sept. 24, 2019)