Creating her identity – Taylor Crosby

It wasn’t until this summer that Taylor Crosby put on her goalie pads and stood between the pipes as her brother fired shots at her.

So as Sidney, an Olympic gold medalist and Stanley Cup winner, sent hockey pucks flying at his younger sister, Taylor stood tough.

“I was so nervous,” she said. “We didn’t keep count, but I did stop a couple. I was happy with that.”

Perhaps her big brother was preparing her for life at Shattuck-St. Mary’s. Taylor is now a freshman goaltender on the SSM girls U16 team. Sidney attended Shattuck for a year, leading the boys prep team to a national title in 2002-03.

Just over a month into the season, Taylor Crosby is already loving her time at SSM.

“It’s been amazing here,” said Crosby, a native of Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia. “It’s a great atmosphere. The hockey’s amazing. Just overall really fun.”

Crosby was just six years old when her brother attended SSM, so she admitted she didn’t know a whole lot about the school before attending. But like many other students who leave home to attend Shattuck, she and her family felt it was the best fit.

“I wanted to pursue hockey, so we just said that after looking at all the choices, Shattuck was probably the best hockey-wise,” Crosby said.

While her brother receives national attention as an elite center for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Taylor decided to instead follow in her father’s footsteps and put on the goalie pads. Troy Crosby played goaltender and was drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in 1987. While he never played in the National Hockey League, he passed on his love of goaltending to his daughter.

“It just kind of happened one day. I was like, ‘I want to play goalie,’” Taylor Crosby said. “It was just kind of a spur of the moment kind of thing.”

Crosby isn’t the first SSM student with a strong hockey lineage. New Jersey goaltender Martin Brodeur’s son, Anthony, is a goalie on the boys U16 team. Hall of Famer Mario Lemieux’s daughter, Stephanie, played at Shattuck last year.

Much like those two, Taylor Crosby has found SSM to be a place where she can be just like any other high school student.

“Obviously that’s going to happen everywhere,” she said about being asked about her brother. “But it’s probably the best place so far. Just going and meeting people is really easy, just to get around and be bothered very much.”

 “She can come here and create her own identity,” said Dan Koch, coach of the U16 girls team. “It’s probably a lot more difficult to be in Nova Scotia and be a Crosby. Here she can come and be herself.”

While she’s seen limited action through the Sabres’ first 15 games — Taylor has played just 170 minutes this season while splitting time with sophomore Mia Becker — she has thrived when she’s been on the ice. Crosby has already recorded three shutouts and allowed three goals on 49 shots faced.

“She’s brought a lot of talent to our goaltending position,” Koch said. “She’s given us a chance to win every game she’s been in.”

“I think she’s got a very good skill set,” SSM goalie coach Des Christopher said. “She’s big and athletic. She covers a lot of the net.”

Sidney Crosby was one-and-done at SSM, playing for just a single season before moving on to play junior hockey in Canada. His sister plans to stick around a little longer.

“I plan to graduate here,” Taylor Crosby said. “I’m going to stay a little bit longer than he did.”

— Sports reporter Tyler Mason may be reached at 333-3119.

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