Moving far away from home is never easy. Living in a new country, away from family and friends, can be overwhelming. But when you move to a hockey-loving city to play hockey, it's easier to feel like you made the right choice. And that's probably why Marion Allemoz has fit in so well in Montreal.
The 27-year-old forward for Les Canadiennes moved to Canada from France in 2013 to play for the University of Montreal. It was with the Carabins that Allemoz won two CIS national championships in 2013 and 2016. She was even named team captain in 2015, leading them to their second championship in three years. It was exactly the challenge that Allemoz was looking for.
"I'd been looking to play abroad for a little while because I wanted to experience something new and I wanted to play in a tougher women's championship," said Allemoz. "I had the opportunity to come and play for the Université de Montréal's Carabins so I seized that chance."
After her university hockey career ended, Allemoz joined Les Canadiennes de Montreal for the 2016-17 season. So far this season, she has helped Les Canadiennes to a 7-2 record, giving them second place in the CWHL. With plenty of expectations on Montreal this season, it remains to be seen whether or not she'll help them to a Clarkson Cup championship.
Allemoz was the first player from the French national program to move to Canada in order to play hockey. She won a bronze medal with Team France at the 2015 IIHF Division I Women's World Championships. So far, she feels well adjusted to the Canadian style of hockey.
"Obviously it took some time to adapt because the North American game is different from the one in Europe. It's more robust and physical because the referees let you play a bit more. The game is also faster."
A self-described defensively aware player, Allemoz wants to face the best of the best. In joining the CWHL, her goal is to play with and against some of the best in the world. With teammates like Marie-Philip Poulin and opponents like Toronto's Natalie Spooner, she's achieved her goal so far.
Being far away from home can make one question the initial decision to leave, but it seems like Allemoz has fit right in with Montreal. She loves the city; it's safe to say the city - and its hockey team - feel the same way.