HOCKEY HEROES
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What first drew you to play hockey?

“I almost didn’t have a choice but to play hockey! When I was a baby, my mom would cart me to the rink to watch my brothers’ practices and games. At home they would dress me up in their hockey gear and we would play. Honestly, I just wanted to be like my big brothers, and it seemed cool to three-year-old me. I was skating once I started walking, and hockey wasn’t far behind.”

What is it that you love about the sport?

“There are so many things that I love about hockey. There is the team atmosphere, there is the rink, the hockey talk, the car rides to the games, and more importantly, the car rides home after a win or loss, re-hashing the game with my dad and mom. I think one of my favorite things though, is being one of the first people on the ice for practice or games. The ice was just calming, especially on a crisp piece of ice. When you step on the ice, everything just melts away and it’s just you and the game.”

Which PEI Hockey League(s) were you a part of growing up?

Southside Minor Hockey – Tykes and first year Novice
Summerside Minor Hockey – Novice AAA, Atom AAA, Peewee AA/AAA, Bantam AAA, Midget AAA
Mid-Isle Matrix Hockey Organization – Midget AAA (final year Midget)
Canada Winter Games 2007

What notable teams have you played on?

Bemidji State University 2009 – 2010
University of Prince Edward Island 2011 – 2015
Team Canada Universiade Women’s Hockey 2015 – Granada, Spain
Team Atlantic 2008, 2009

Are there any awards or championships that you have won in your career that you are particularly proud of?

Silver Medal at Universiade 2015
AUS Championships, UPEI 2011-2012
AUS First Team All-Star Defense 2013, 2015
AUS Second Team All-Star Defense 2014

WHAT WAS ONE OF YOUR PROUDEST MOMENTS FROM YOUR HOCKEY CAREER?

“I would have to say my favourite moment from my career was playing for the gold medal game in Spain against Russia. It was bittersweet actually; I was in my last season of eligibility at UPEI and our team just barely made the first-round of the play-offs. We had a best-of-three series that started the week after I came back from Spain. It was nerve-racking to think that this may have been one of my last hockey games. It was also a wonderful experience to be able to wear the maple leaf while I was getting ready to say goddbye to playing competitive hockey. As an athelete, it was definitely hard transitioning from training and practicing all year since I was a child, to it all of a sudden being done.”

Who has been someone that has had a major influence on your hockey career?

“I have had a few influences on my hockey career over the years. During minor hockey, I had Teddy Tremere one year as a coach, and then Barry Thompson. They helped me move forward as a hockey player – mainly giving me the confidence I needed, which resulted in me striving to be better. Then there is Bruce Donaldson. He was my coach at UPEI, and had a spot for me when I told him I wanted to come back home and play hockey here. He was also the assistant coach for the Universiade Team, so we both got to share that experience together.”

In what way are you still involved in hockey? What are your “hockey plans” for the future?

“Currently, I am playing hockey in a men’s rec league. As for female hockey, I am currently helping to train the UPEI girls off ice. I eventually would love to be able to coach, maybe at the university level.”

What is your favourite hockey team?

“The Boston Bruins!”

Who have been your biggest “Hockey Heroes”?

“I have two biggest hockey heroes: one was Martin Brodeur (yeah I know, goalie haha, but what can you do – he was wicked in his prime!), and Tessa Bonhomme.

What is one of your favourite hockey memories?

“To pick a favourite hockey memory is really hard for me. There are so many good memories. One would be going to Spain to play hockey for two weeks, which was just an amazing experience. The other memory is something I took for granted until I started university: I loved driving home with dad and mom after hockey games and reflecting on the game, talking about things I did well and things I needed to work on. That was something I didn’t know that I enjoyed so much until I didn’t get to do it anymore.”

Who are some inspiring female hockey players today (or from the past) that you feel young girls can look up to and who have inspired you?

“Shannon MacAulay is a wonderful inspiration for young girls to look up to. She puts so much time and effort into bettering herself not only as a hockey player, but as a person. She has so much experience playing hockey, and she has created these opportunities through her own hard work! She is a great role model for girls coming through minor hockey now.”

Why do you think it is important for girls to play hockey?

“I think that it is important that girls play organized sports, not just hockey. There are so many life lessons learned through playing hockey. There are ups and downs, triumphs and failures. There are small lessons like learning to play with others, or playing as a team. Then there are lessons such as overcoming obstacles and dealing with stress. These are life lessons that, when learned at a young age, help girls throughout their whole lives.”

What advice do you have for girls playing, or thinking about playing hockey?

“Just do it! I have never heard of someone saying that they regretted playing hockey. However, I have heard of people saying they regretted NOT playing hockey. Also, don’t sweat the small stuff, and don’t get caught up in all the drama. If a coach tells you there is something to work on, they are trying to help you to be the best player you can be. That is all any coach ever wants: it’s for you to be the best you can be, and to enjoy doing it!”

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