Tucked away along Canada’s far eastern coast is the birthplace of Confederation, also famous for Anne of Green Gables, potato farming and Charlottetown soil.
This April, Prince Edward Island will become well-known for a new reason, when the country’s smallest province hosts one of the biggest events in Canadian women’s hockey, the 2012 Esso Cup, Canada’s National Female Midget Championship.
Although P.E.I. is Canada’s tiniest province in terms of geography and population, its residents are eager to welcome and unite the female hockey community from across the country.
“Our (registration) numbers (overall) might be smaller compared to some of the bigger provinces, but one thing we’re proud of is that per capita in Canada, we have the highest registration on the female side of the game,” Hockey P.E.I.’s female council chair Dawn Moase said.
Moase is one of Prince Edward Island’s many unsung women’s hockey heroes, and her passion for the female game is evident as she chats about her community’s growing excitement as this year’s Esso Cup approaches.
“People are stunned when they hear that I’ve been involved with hockey for over 30 years,” said Moase, who has never actually played hockey on an organized team. “I love the game so much, this is how I contribute.”
A native of Chelton, P.E.I., Moase is more than just an ambassador for women’s hockey on the island, having volunteered as a coach, manager and member of many hockey boards, while also assisting with countless development programs. Her commitment to the game is infectious.
“I used to play in the outdoors, in the swamps, and on the pond when I was a little girl,” Moase said. “But due to circumstances, maybe, was not able to play on a structured team outside of school.”
But times have changed – island girls now have teams to play on and the female game continues to grow in popularity across the province.
Although it’s women’s hockey enthusiasts such as Moase who have helped propel the sport forward on P.E.I., she shies away from talking about herself, and is simply happy to see others share in her passion for Canada’s great game.
When asked what she’s looking forward to most about the 2012 Esso Cup, she comments on the level of play and the exposure this national tournament will bring to Island players.
“Hopefully, (the Esso Cup) will influence younger levels to come out to watch, and give them something to strive for,” Moase said. “This kind of exposure is certainly going to help our program. There’s no question about that.”