'Hard for us to sit': Olympic hockey player's parents say their gold-medal game seats won't get much use

'Hard for us to sit': Olympic hockey player's parents say their gold-medal game seats won't get much use

Some nervous Manitoba parents will be in the stands in Pyeongchang Wednesday night, watching their daughter play in the game of a lifetime.

Team Canada's women's hockey team will go for gold against team U.S.A. (live on CBC at 10:10 p.m. CST) and Brigette Lacquette will be patrolling the blue-line on defence.

In the stands will be Terance and Anita Lacquette, who travelled to South Korea from the rural community of Mallard — 150 people and 35 houses — to watch their daughter on the world's biggest stage.

"They have the seats for us, but it's really hard for us to sit when we're watching a game like this. We're probably going to be pacing more than anything else," Terance said.

"I think Brigette is handling it a lot better. She's been through these situations before. She's always been the type of player to step up in big games and I don't anticipate anything less than her best game going into the final."

Seeing his daughter on the podium, regardless of the colour of the medal hanging around her neck, will be another standout moment for Terance, who said the experience in Pyeongchang has been full of them.

"By far, the proudest moment so far was seeing her first shift at the Olympics, against Finland. It's something that I'll never forget," he said.

Blazing a trail

While Terance and Anita will be on hand cheering, their voices will be echoed throughout Mallard, about 330 kilometres northwest of Winnipeg.

"We've heard a lot from Brigitte's fans back home. They've been sending us messages on Facebook and text messages throughout the whole time," Terance said. "It's really a good feeling to have all that support from back home."

The Métis community will not only be celebrating a local hero but someone who is blazing a larger trail. Lacquette, 25, is the first First Nations woman chosen for the Canadian women's Olympic hockey team. Anita is from Cote First Nation in Saskatchewan and Terance is from the O-Chi-Chak Ko Sipi First Nation of Manitoba.

That has prompted other Indigenous athletes — including NHLers Theo Fleury and Jordin Tootoo — to also cheer her on. 

"It's a humbling feeling … to have your daughter be a pioneer for First Nations girls to dream and get to this level. It's definitely a huge honour, for sure," Terance said.

"Being from a small community, I don't think it allowed her to just walk into a dressing room and feel welcome. She had to prove herself and work hard to get there. So you definitely appreciate it more when you get here."