After her minor hockey playing days ended in 2011, Laura Dougay knew she
wanted to give back to the game that has given her so much on and off the
ice. As a former member of the North River Minor Hockey Association (NRMHA)
and Mid-Isle Wildcats, she decided it was the right fit to begin
volunteering with the two associations and start building her coaching
Laura began coaching the U15 AAA Mid-Isle Wildcats in 2016 and from there
made it a goal to help the development and growth of women’s hockey not
only in her area, but all across Prince Edward Island.
“It was evident early in her first season as a coach that she possessed a
passion for the game and was a student of the game,” said Brent Thompson,
who coached alongside Laura in her early years with the Wildcats. “For the
next five years, coaching in the Wildcats system, she continued to connect
with her players, fostering trust and instilling a competitive environment.
She has been a real asset to the Wildcats association, exemplifying her
hockey knowledge and proving to have a good feel for the game and her
Laura coached the U15 AAA Wildcats for two seasons before making the jump
up to the U18 AAA level in 2018, where she serves as the Wildcats’ head
coach. The 2018-19 season was a big one; she started as an on-ice
instructor with Hockey PEI’s all-girls First Shift program and began
volunteering with the NRMHA as part of its on-ice development sessions.
In 2019, Laura grew her volunteer responsibilities even further, starting
with Hockey PEI’s high-performance program as a coach along with lending a
hand with the development sessions put on in conjunction with the U SPORTS
national championship that was hosted in Charlottetown.
Turning the page to this season, Laura didn't stop giving back. When Jen
MacDonald, the long-time director of female hockey with Hockey PEI, was
asked to recommend someone to take over the First Shift program in
Charlottetown, Laura's name quickly came to mind. Having served as an
instructor with the program from 2018 to 2020, Laura adapted comfortably to
her new role.
With the First Shift, Laura led 30 new-to-the-game girls through six on-ice
sessions of development and fun, all while being a great ambassador for
Just 27, Laura has proven herself to be a tremendous role model and
respected leader in the game on Prince Edward Island.
“Being involved with coaching for the last number of years has been an
awesome experience,” she says. “I’ve been able to work with some great
groups of players, parents and other coaches over the years. At the U15 and
U18 levels, I’ve been able to see many girls develop not only as hockey
players but as individuals off the ice as well. The First Shift program has
been a great opportunity to promote hockey and to introduce younger players
to the game all while being a fun and rewarding experience for myself and
the other coaches. Coaching is something that I have always enjoyed and I
would recommend it to anyone.”
Find out how you can get involved as a volunteer with your local hockey
association on Prince Edward Island.