Julie Chu Is a Hockey Icon on Both Sides of the Border

Mark StaffieriContributor IIApril 2, 2013

Image obtained from: http://www.afterellen.com/content/2012/03/march-madness-comes-womens-hockey
Image obtained from: http://www.afterellen.com/content/2012/03/march-madness-comes-womens-hockey

As the captain of the United States squad that captured the silver medal at the 2012 IIHF Women’s World Championships, Julie Chu is one of the great leaders in the game. An iconic player, Chu has also carved her legacy in the early years of the Clarkson Cup.

Competing for the Minnesota Whitecaps, Chu competed in the first Clarkson Cup finals in 2009. While the squad was defeated by the Montreal Stars, the opportunity to participate in such a historic event was very meaningful to her.

“Kingston did a great job hosting. The environment was a special one. I remember Madame Clarkson came and presented the Cup. That first Cup really created a buzz. Playing for such a championship meant a lot to us. The Stars, my sister team now, were the better team that day. There is now a goal for post-graduate (CIS and NCAA) players to dream of winning the Cup.”  

In being named the Most Outstanding Player of the 2010 Cup Finals, Chu helped the Minnesota Whitecaps become the first American-based team to claim the Clarkson Cup in 2010. “Coming off an Olympic year, it was an exciting time. I had played with the Whitecaps for a couple of years. To play and win alongside them that year was a bonus.”

With Clarkson Cup victories in 2010, 2011 and 2012, Chu is the only player to have won the coveted Cup three years in a row. “I am very fortunate to have been part of two great clubs like the Stars and the Whitecaps.” While it is a unique accomplishment, it is one that Chu approaches with great humility, “It was not something that I accomplished myself. It is a testament to the people around me.”

Although Chu and the Montreal Stars were unable to claim their third consecutive Clarkson Cup in 2013, she became the only player to compete in five consecutive Clarkson Cup championship title games, a significant milestone. “It feels great to win at the end of the year. Working hard for your team pays off and I am really fortunate to have played with some great teams. I hope we can continue on our great season this year and finish strong.”

Following the Clarkson Cup, Chu will join the United States roster in the hopes of capturing their fifth ever gold medal in the history of the event. Of note, Chu was also part of the four other American contingents that claimed the gold (2005, 2008, 2009 and 2011).

Having been part of the first American team to have won the gold at the IIHF Women’s Worlds, the accomplishment is a cherished one for Chu. “The first of anything is always exciting. For me, 2005 will always be exciting.”

“The win was great for our veterans, Shelley Looney and Cammi Granato (the first American woman inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame). Having played with the US national team for 15 years, it was great to see them having won their first. To get the first one under our belts was important and a testament to our veteran leadership.”

The legacy of Chu’s career can be seen in the way she has contributed to women’s hockey north AND south of the border. A true builder of the game, Chu has emerged as one of the most accomplished and victorious players to have ever graced the ice.

“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”