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Concordia University has long been known as one of the top schools for women’s hockey in North America. The Stingers have dominated the CIS since the inception of women’s hockey, and players from all over the continent have come to the school to play with the best.
But what about the women that aren’t the best? What about the ones that just want to play for fun, or have never played at all? Up until now, they haven’t had an opportunity to play at Concordia, other than in the almost all male intramural league.
Enter Kyla Demers.
This fall, the second-year Athletics Therapy student decided that it was time to get a women’s recreational team together, and she did just that.
With skills ranging from those who have never played hockey in their lives, to those who could play with any of the guys, the Concordia women’s intramural hockey team (still without an official name) has begun its first season.
While they do not have any games scheduled until January, the team gets together for a half-practice, half-scrimmage every Sunday afternoon, and the learning process has been quite successful.
“We have girls who have never even put on boys’ skates before who can already do backwards cross-cuts,” Demers said.
Teaching how to make those cross-cuts, and various other aspects of the game has fallen into the hands of Patrick and Martin Devey.
Martin, the assistant, said coaching the women has been an interesting challenge.
“Talent-wise, the team is split. Some girls have never played, and some have played in leagues,” he said. “Coaching is a little different, because you have to balance out the practice.
“It’s nice as coaches because it’s all for fun. The girls can fall and still joke about it,” he added.
Next semester, when they actually start playing games, they plan on challenging several opponents outside of the school, as they are not really interested in joining the intramural league for now.
They will take on Dartmouth University, a team they beat 10-0 in their only game last year, a team from Philadelphia, and eventually the women’s recreational squads from McGill and the University of Montreal.
The proceeds of the games will go to Centraide.
Demers, who along with several other members of the team also plays rugby for the Stingers, is interested in starting a league with McGill and U of M in the next few years.
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