Just two weeks following the retirements of Jenelle Kohanchuk and Courtney Birchard-Kessel, Bailey Bram added to the losses on Friday, announcing her retirement from the National Women’s Team.
Bram, 29-years-old, is a longtime member of Hockey Canada in which she saw time on the national stage at the Women’s World Championship in 2012. As well, Bram, a Winnipeg native, took part in the 2018 Winter Olympics which saw the Americans win the gold medal game with a shootout victory over Canada in South Korea.
In addition to her time with Team Canada, Bram also spent four seasons in the CWHL in which she played with the Markham Thunder before making the move to the Calgary Inferno. During her time with the Thunder, the forward started to build a name for herself, playing alongside the likes of Gillian Apps and PWHPA operations consultant Jayna Hefford.
Following her time with the Thunder, Bram spent one season playing overseas, appearing in two games in Sweden, playing with Linköping HC of the SDHL. Once she returned in 2014, Bram signed with the Calgary Inferno where she played for another three seasons while playing alongside the likes of Hayley Wickenheiser. Bram also played with Haley Irwin, Kristen Hagg and Rebecca Johnston.
A product of Mercyhurst University, Bram amassed 100 games played across all three levels of Canada’s National Women’s Program. During her illustrious tenure, Bram won a world title with Canada while also receiving an Olympic silver medal. With a team that included Brianne Jenner, Jill Saulnier, Bridgette Lacquette and Blayre Turnbull, Bram also won the Clarkson Cup with the Calgary Inferno in 2016.
Bram first represented Team Canada at the Women’s World Championship in 2012, this only starting her time with Hockey Canada as she would stick for another seven years. During her extended tenure, Bram played in 70 games while scoring 10 points with the National Women’s Team. As well, Bram also spent time Canada’s National Women’s Development Team where she would take part in 21 games and manage to rack up 23 points.
Before all of that, Bram spent time playing with the National Women’s Under-18 Team where she recorded a total of nine points in nine games played at the Women’s World Championship. This of course was during the 2007-2008 regular season, a year which her saw her development just taking off before committing to Mercyhurst.
While Bram spent a total eight seasons taking the ice to compete for her country, the left-hand shooter also got to take part in the yearly annual 4 Nations Cup Tournament. While having participated in six from 2013 to 2017, this would allow the world champion four silvers while also taking home the gold medal twice.
In taking a deeper look at Bailey Bram’s time with the National Women’s Team, the 5’9 Canadian won a gold and four silvers in five total appearances at the IIHF Women’s World Championship. This spanned from her 2012 debut up until her last game in 2017. As a result of the shootout loss to Team USA back in 2018, Bram won a silver medal at the Winter Olympics which were hosted in Gangneung.
While playing in front of your country is an opportunity not all players take part in, it’s extra special when you make it as far as Bram and her teammates have during her tenure. When speaking about playing for Canada and what it means to have done so for eight years, Bram said in a statement, “Getting the chance to play for my country was – and always will be – one of the greatest honours of my life. I will be forever grateful for each and every opportunity I had to wear the Maple Leaf. Growing up, I played hockey because I loved it and eventually I started dreaming of representing Canada on the world stage. Little did I know the dream would lead to so much more.”
What makes these wins that much better is playing with family backed into your corner, this adding to guidance from coaches and teammates to help lead a player be the best they can be. However, this doesn’t just apply when on the ice, but as a person in society as well. When speaking in greater lengths about the lessons this game has afforded her, Bram said in a statement, “Hockey taught me respect, responsibility and perseverance. It taught me how to win with humility and lose with grace. It allowed me to travel the world. It showed me what the lowest lows and highest highs feel like. It taught me the importance of dreaming big, setting goals and believing in myself. Hockey gave me so much, and I will look back and cherish every memory forever.”
Prior to starting professionally, Bram spent four seasons in Erie where he played for the Mercyhurst Lakers women’s ice hockey program. As well, she also saw time with the Balmoral Hall Blazers where Kohanchuk is coaching. During her time spent at Mercyhurst, Bram got the nod to play in the NCAA Frozen Four back in 2010. Following the four years she spent playing Division 1 hockey with the Mercyhurst Lakers, Bram saw a new chapter open when she was selected back in 2012.
This would be the kickstart to her career in the CWHL after being drafted eighth overall by head coach Pat Cocklin and the Brampton Thunder. At the time, the Thunder were run by newly named general manager Jodi Katz. As for the team’s newest addition, Bram would play only one season with the Brampton Thunder before being traded to Calgary. After being dealt in 2014 to the Inferno in Western Canada, Bailey Bram would win her first Clarkson Cup in 2016 under head coach Scott Reid.
Speaking of which, while Scott Reid served the team as head coach, he was joined by Gina Kingsbury, a former player from the Minnesota–Duluth Bulldogs. After her time on the bench came to a close, Kingsbury was named the director of the women’s national team’s for Hockey Canada. While that is a position she remains in today, she said of Bailey Bram’s decision to retire, “On behalf of Hockey Canada and Canada’s National Women’s Program, I want to thank Bailey for her dedication to Team Canada over the past 12 years. She has been an ambassador for our program on and off the ice, and we wish her success as she focuses on a new career.”
While Bram spent most of her time playing for Team Canada’s National Women’s Team, she also spent a fair chunk of time with Canada’s National Women’s Development Team. During her tenure at that level, the Manitoba native won two gold medals, one silver and one bronze at the MLP/Meco Cup. This she managed to do from 2009 through to 2012.
Bram’s accomplishments don’t stop there as the Olympian was named a silver medallist in 2008 with Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team. This of course was the case at the IIHF World Women’s U18 Championship.
Prior to being named to Hockey Canada in 2007, Bailey Bram was a bronze medal recipient with Manitoba at the National Women’s Under-18 Championship. As Bram officially hangs up the skates to put a conclusion on her storied career, the former Inferno walks away from the ice while training to work as a registered massage therapist.
On behalf of ThePuckAuthority.com, congratulations on a tremendous career and we wish Bailey Bram all the best moving forward.