IIHF Hall Of Fame Induction 2023

Caroline Ouellette


Born Montreal, Quebec, Canada, May 25, 1979

Ouellette was a dominant player in women’s hockey for more than 15 years, winning four Olympic gold medals. © International Ice Hockey Federation / Francois Laplante
One of the most successful and dominant women in the history of hockey, Caroline Ouellette won gold four times at the Olympics and six more at the IIHF Women’s World Championship. Big and strong, she was an imposing figure on the ice and a leader on a team that dominated the women’s game for more than a decade.
Ouellette was born in Montreal on 25 May 1979, four days after the Canadiens won their fourth consecutive Stanley Cup. She rose to prominence as early as 1995, representing Team Quebec at the Canada Winter Games. Soon after, she attended the National Police Academy in Quebec, during which time she played for the NWHL’s Montreal Wingstar and also in her first tournaments for Canada on the international stage. She made her debut at the 1999 IIHF Women’s Worlds, scoring two goals in five games, including the goal to tie the game mid- way through the second period of the victorious gold-medal game against the U.S.

After graduating from the Police Academy, Ouellette studied criminology and women’s studies at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, where she became one of NCAA’s top players, averaging a goal a game over three seasons and joining the Patty Kazmaier top-10 nominees twice. Additionally, she continued to play for Canada, notably the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake where she scored the opening goal of the gold-medal game, won by Canada, 3-2, despite a lengthy string of penalties.
After finishing at UMD, Ouellette returned to Montreal to play in the NWHL, winning the Clarkson Cup four times—2009, 2011, and 2012 with the Montreal Stars, and 2017 with the Canadiennes de Montreal. But it was while wearing number 13 with Canada that she achieved her greatest successes, helping her country win gold at three more Olympics and joining long-time teammates Hayley Wickenheiser and Jayna Hefford as the only four-time gold medallists in women’s hockey at the Games. In 2006, she scored the eventual game-winning goal in a 4-1 win over Sweden in the gold-medal game.

Ouellette’s greatest Women’s Worlds goal came in 2012 in the gold-medal game in Burlington, Vermont. Canada had gotten off to its worst start ever, losing to the Americans 9-2 in the opening game. They were a different team by the finals, but still trailed 4-3 as time wound down. Ouellette, however, imposed her will when it mattered, setting up Meghan Agosta for the late tying goal and then scoring the golden goal in overtime.

In all, Ouellette won four Olympic gold, six Women’s Worlds gold and another six silver, averaging better than a point a game over 12 IIHF Women’s Worlds events. Count that alongside her four Clarkson Cups, and she was without question one of the most successful women players of all time by the time her career came to an end in 2018. Imposing in a game without body-checking, she was rarely penalised but used her size to great effect all the same, especially around the net where she was most dangerous. Indeed, not many players had the power and touch around the blue ice as Ouellette.