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Cassandra Turner is a leader through and through. She was a two-time captain at Brown University and is in her fifth season as head coach of the women’s hockey team at Quinnipiac University in Connecticut. The Toronto, Ontario, native encourages her team to follow her lead in making a difference in the sport and hopes the next generation does as well.

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“I do think young girls need to see women in leadership positions from a young age because you can’t get there if they don’t see women in those roles. They need to feel that impact and know that it can be done.”

Through hours and hours of practice, Turner became an All-Ivy League hockey player at Brown University. She says the level of play and competition has increased dramatically over the years, but encourages the next wave of players to keep things in perspective.

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“I would tell young hockey players to just play the game and love it. Don’t get caught up in the results. Enjoy acquiring skills, enjoy competing, and enjoy all of the pieces of hockey that really help you to grow.”

Turner hopes there will be a successful women’s professional hockey league one day that gives players more exposure and better contracts. But for now, she wants to continue being a role model who helps players accomplish their dreams on and off the ice.

“We make it a point in our program to talk about how they are going to get there. There are going to hit barriers and it’s still a bit of a man’s world. We have to support other women and be sure we are doing the right things to get women in positions where they can lead and be successful.”

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