Randy's Rookies: Deziray Desousa, Bantam hockey captain
Published Wednesday, February 1, 2012 3:12PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, June 7, 2012 3:01PM EDT
MONTREAL- Canada's gold medal-winning women's hockey team has proven beyond a doubt that hockey is not just for the men.
Now Deziray Desousa is proving that teenaged girls have just as much right to be on the ice as anyone else.
"She really, really works hard each shift, each practice," said coach Eric Simard. "She has this winning attitude that we are looking for in this team."
Deziray is a fast-moving defenceman who has had to continually fight to play in boys' leagues her entire career.
Even though she's played with the boys since day one many of her opponents are still surprised to face-off against a girl.
"It makes me prouder to be there, that they're surprised," said Deziray. "I can show them that girls can play with the guys too."
But not only does the 13-year-old play for the Bantam BB Ahunstic Braves... she's the team captain.
Teammates James Araujo and Symon Leblanc say she is a force to be reckoned with on the ice.
"She's got a good shot, she takes a few shots from the point, she's a pretty good passer and she can see the plays," said James.
Symon, goalkeeper, knows Deziray is always working to keep the puck away from his net.
"I can have confidence in her when there's shots from the blue line. She moves forward," said Symon.
Those who think a girl can't hit as hard as a boy... think again.
"I can get hit like any other player, so if they don't hit me they can be surprised if I hit them," said Deziray.
But being a girl playing against teenaged boys does come with one quirk that Deziray's mother has noticed from the stands.
"We've had some funny situations where a boy will stop mid-ice and say "Wow, tu est vraiment belle!" said Anne Desousa.
As for the future, like any skating-mad youth Deziray hopes to play at the highest levels.
"I'm hoping to get a scholarship with a University or better yet make the Canadian Team."