When I first talked to Lisa-Marie Breton-Lebreux, I was writing a story on playoff predictions for the CWHL website last year. I was struck by her gracious manner. Her warmth radiated through the phone lines.
That’s why I was a bit surprised a few weeks later to see the Montreal Stars captain use her physical strength so aggressively to help her team clinch the first-ever Clarkson Cup at the inaugural Canadian Women’s National Hockey Championships.
But that’s the paradox of Breton-Lebreux. She’s one of the loveliest people you’ll ever meet off the ice. On the ice, not so much. At least not if you consider penalty minutes.
At 5’3”, she’s not tall but weight lifting makes her a powerful force. As the strength and conditioning coach at Concordia University, she specializes in the kind of workouts that enable her to fight for the puck and win.
“I love the physical play — sometimes too much as I am usually one of the leading players in penalty minutes on my team. But I get my penalties because of too much intensity, so they’re not a bad thing. They set the tone for the game,” says Breton-Lebreux.
She certainly set the tone at last year’s Clarkson Cup.
Breton-Lebreux isn’t just the captain, she’s also the general manger and public relations coordinator for the Montreal Stars. Given her work ethic, passion and leadership in the sport, it was only fitting that her team’s name was the first engraved on the cup.
“After working so hard all these years in the weight room, on the ice, practicing the same thing for hours and hours, helping to make the CWHL work and the Montreal Stars survive, I finally felt complete,” says Breton-Lebreux.
“I felt that all this work had a purpose and final destination.”
For a full profile on Breton-Lebreux, visit www.cwhl.ca.