MINNESOTA (KDKA) –Sidney Crosby is highly regarded as the best at what he does and the resume certainly supports that claim.
From individual awards to a gold medal and a Stanley Cup, Crosby has certainly made a name for himself.
However, his sister is also in the family business and is setting her sights on gold.
Taylor Crosby, 17, is a goaltender currently playing for Shattuck Saint Mary’s in Minnesota.
So, while her brother is making a living torturing goalies in the NHL, why did Taylor decide to jump between the pipes?
“I’ve been asked the question a lot, but there’s no real reason why actually. I mean, my dad was a goalie and maybe it was just kind of a runs in the family type thing, but I just literally was thinking one day and decided I wanted to be a goalie. My parents didn’t believe me at first. They [said], ‘Are you sure?’ and I said, ‘Yeah.’ It took a little convincing, but I just loved it from the start,” Taylor said.
It takes a special combination of physical and mental attributes to be a goaltender at any level. On any given night, the goalie can be the hero or the scapegoat, but Taylor enjoys the challenge.
“I think it’s kind of a hard thing and a good thing because sometimes you can be the hero and sometimes people point fingers at you. But, I think when you’re the hero, you look over the hard parts of it and that feeling that you get when you make a big save or are the one that saves the team, it’s really cool and I think nothing really compares to that,” Taylor said. “I’ve learned to like the pressure. I like having that responsibility of helping the team or to save the puck and I never really got that excitement from scoring a goal. I tried to [be a] player once, but I never got that feeling. When I make a save, it’s awesome.”
While her immediate goal is to win nationals this season, Taylor’s ultimate goal is to lead Team Canada to a gold medal. This past summer, she was invited to take part in a goalie camp with Team Canada and got an up-close look at what it takes to play at that level.
“It was really cool. It was the first time I was part of the Team Canada program and it was really eye-opening because you got to see the top eight goalies compete, not just in the under-18, but the under-22 and you kind of got a real sense of what you have to do to be one of those goalies,” Taylor said. “It was really cool just to see the work ethic and what it really takes. The facilities are unbelievable and just to be treated like part of the Team Canada program was unique.”
She was also in attendance for the 2010 gold medal game in Vancouver to see her brother score the “Golden Goal.”
“I think it wasn’t so much just the goal. I think it was just the fact they won and he won the Olympic gold. I think it was kind of just like the Stanley Cup, that was a goal that I knew he’s been striving for since he was little. So, I think the Olympics definitely just tops it all off. And he deserved it and I was really happy for him. I could feel almost the relief or the excitement that he felt and I think that was what was really cool about it,” Taylor said.
While fans pack NHL arenas to watch Sidney play, Taylor still sees him as her protective older brother.
“Obviously, people know him and he’s done a lot of good things, but I still think of him as that brother on the boat with me and my mom or the one that was teasing me when I was little. So, that’s what I think about him. He’s my big brother,” Taylor said.
So, how exactly did Sidney tease his little sister while growing up?
“There’s so many things. I used to watch ‘The Lion King’ and he used to tease me about that. He used to chase me around, used to pretend he was ‘Jaws’ in the pool and tickle me crazy, just like any normal brother. But, those are the best memories. When I’m looking back on my childhood, that’s what I think about,” Taylor said.
Sidney spent one year at Shattuck Saint Mary’s before he jumped into the QMJHL. Taylor said it was hard on her to not have her big brother around. However, they have remained close despite their lives in hockey.
“When I turned six, he left to come to Shattuck and that was kind of when he moved out, basically. So, I saw him in the summers and on breaks just like I do now when I go home to see my parents, but that was definitely a hard time for me when he left. But, we managed to stay really close and still to this day, we don’t talk all the time, but when we do, it’s good. We’re still really close,” Taylor said. “He’s still the older brother figure. He’s very overprotective and he’s making sure that I’m staying up to speed with my schoolwork. So, he very much looks out for me.”
While Sidney is protective of his sister, she’s also very protective of him and has been from an early age.
“It’s worn off now since he’s gotten older and I’ve gotten older, but when I was younger at the games, I’d get mad if anyone ever hit him, or if he was in the corner, my eyes would be glued on him like ‘You don’t touch my brother,’ kind of thing. Still to this day, when I watch him, I yell at the TV or something, but obviously, I don’t want anyone to hurt him or to be mean to him for lack of a better term,” Taylor said.
That’s what made it hard for Taylor initially after seeing Sidney get hit in the mouth with a puck in a game against the Islanders last season.
“I didn’t see it live. We actually had a game. My mom was here. She said Sidney had gotten hurt. Then, some of the girls said, ‘Did you see it?’ and I said, ‘No.’ I just thought he got hit in the face. People get hit in the face sometimes. It wasn’t my initial thought about how bad it was. Then, I saw it and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ It was very emotional because I’ve never seen him in so much agony or pain. It was hard on me for that, but I knew he’d be fine,” Taylor said.
Like her brother, Taylor admitted she’s very competitive and her coach agrees.
“I think I’m very competitive and sometimes it gets the best of me as in, I’m hard on myself. If I don’t do it perfect the first time, I get mad at myself. So, I think it’s a good thing, but can also be a bad thing because you can’t be beating yourself up all the time. You have to give yourself some credit,” Taylor said.
“She is pretty hard on herself, which is something that a lot of athletes this age have to work on,” head coach Gordie Stafford said. “She knows the game and she’s very sound technically in terms of the art of goaltending.”
Taylor has only faced shots from her brother a couple of times so far. So, which sibling took home bragging rights?
“To some degree, I think he went as hard as he could. He didn’t want to hurt me obviously, but he’s competitive. He’s a competitive person. So, just because I’m his sister, he’s not going to go easy on me. I’m competitive too so I wanted to stop a couple and when I didn’t, I was frustrated about that,” Taylor said.
It’s no secret that Sidney honed his shooting skills by firing pucks at his parents’ dryer as a kid. Taylor said she remembers that like it was yesterday, but didn’t pay too much attention at the time.
“I can remember him shooting at the dryer a lot. I wasn’t playing hockey at the time. I was playing with my Barbies in the corner of the basement,” Taylor said.
While they have both grown up, one thing has never changed – Sidney is her brother and she’ll always look up to him.
“I think there are just so many things I can look at him and he can be a role model for me for. Obviously, he’s a great person and sometimes it’s even hard to try to be the things that he is, but I think he’s a great person to look up to,” Taylor said.