September 16, 2010
The Shattuck-St. Mary's School (Minn.) girls' prep hockey team has yet to win a game, but it's already getting plenty of attention thanks to two famous players on the 2010 squad. But Stephanie Lemieux and Taylor Crosby aren't famous for what they've done themselves, they're famous for their Pittsburgh Penguin-savior father, Mario Lemieux, and brother and Penguins captain, Sidney Crosby.
"They're just regular teenage girls. They're hard working and dedicated," Shattuck coach Dan Koch told ESPN.com. "They just go about their business like any other kids here. They're very focused in both hockey and academics."
According to ESPN.com's Pierre LeBrun, the younger Crosby has been almost destined for Shattuck-St. Mary's since her brother spent a year there in 2002-03. Unlike Sidney Crosby, Taylor is a goalie, so at least Canada's Olympic hero won't have to worry about his 162 points at the school being topped by someone at his family dinner table.
Lemieux, meanwhile, is a high-scoring forward, meaning that in practice Crosby will be facing shots from the daughter of the man who signs her brother's paychecks. That might seem a bit awkward, but Shattuck-St. Mary's won't be the first time that the next in line to Pittsburgh's hockey royalty come in contact. According to a 2009 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette feature, Stephanie Lemieux and Taylor Crosby have been close for years, since they first met shortly after Sidney Crosby was drafted by Lemieux in Pittsburgh.
"I think it was the first game I went to in Pittsburgh. I met them, and we just started talking," Taylor Crosby told the Post-Gazette of Stephanie Lemieux and Stephanie's younger brother, Austin. "Right away we were friends. I always stay with them when I go to Pittsburgh. We text or e-mail. You could say we're kind of like cousins."
The familial bond has been encouraged by both the Lemieux and Crosby parents, with Sidney living as a part of the Lemieux household in Pittsburgh until last spring. Trina Crosby told the Post-Gazette that being involved with the Lemieux family helped strengthen the bond between her two children, too.
"It's a remarkable story, and they're a remarkable family," said Trina Crosby, Taylor and Sidney's mother. "Sidney left home so young. He and Taylor have always been close and always will be. But it might have been hard for her to have him live with another family with kids about her age. They just included him in their life, and now they're doing the same thing with our daughter. She gets to feel a part of it. I think that's important."
Now, both Lemieux and Crosby are working toward the same goal: A spot on the Team Canada roster at a future Olympics. Regardless of how things go at Shattuck, Crosby and Lemieux know that they have great partners to practice with when they go home for the holidays.
"I actually shot on her this summer for the first time," Sidney Crosby told ESPN.com. "We had never done that before. She's good, she's really good. I wasn't afraid to let a couple go and she stood in there pretty good. It was a lot of fun." ...
"I'm really happy for her, but I'm also sad to see her leave home," Sidney Crosby said. "She's young, she's my little sister, so to see her leaving home, it's probably hit me a little more. She's really grown up. But I'm happy for her. She's really happy at the school. I had a great experience there and she's enjoyed herself from the start, both in school and hockey-wise. It's a nice opportunity for her."