A year ago, the Station Six Fire Midget AAA female hockey team didn’t exist.
Now, the elite team is preparing to compete for a national title at the 2019 Esso Cup, Canada's National Female Midget Championship, starting April 21 in Sudbury, Ontario.
It’s a remarkable journey that began with a conversation at the 2018 Super Auction between Amanda Boulegon, assistant coach with the Huskies women’s hockey team, and Dr. Peter Twohig, professor and Associate Dean of Arts at Saint Mary’s.
The two have long histories of involvement in female hockey. Both had heard the news that Hockey Nova Scotia was accepting bids to operate the Midget AAA female team in Halifax.
“Amanda asked me what I thought about putting a bid in,” says Twohig. “We both wanted to do things differently and to provide the best opportunity for high-level hockey players to stay at home and fulfill their hockey goals.”
Boulegon and Twohig crafted a bid that emphasized running a high-quality program, developing the "whole player" (including paying attention to school, scholarships and hockey) and ensuring players received appropriate exposure.
They won out against two other pitches, and the Station Six Fire had its inaugural season in 2018-19.
The team plays home games at the BMO Centre in Halifax and brings together the best female midget hockey players from Halifax, the South Shore and the Annapolis Valley.
“This franchise is focused on hockey excellence and skill development, but will also foster leadership skills for young women,” says Boulegon, now team president. “We want to help these players realize their hockey dreams while positioning them for educational success and involvement in their local community.”
Several of the players finishing their Midget AAA careers have been offered spots on AUS rosters, including star players Ellen Laurence and Maddie Gray, who will join the Saint Mary’s Huskies this fall.