With no pro leagues and the big international tournaments cancelled, it was a largely depressing season overall for the world’s best women’s hockey players, but spend 5 minutes watching a Bauer/NHL First Shift session put on by the Ottawa Girls Hockey Association and it’s impossible not to feel energized about female hockey’s next generation.
Emma Kelly and her Nepean Ravens ringette team were in the midst of competing for a provincial championship when the novel coronavirus suddenly brought their season to a crashing halt.
With the Dagenais era of the Ottawa Jr. Senators perhaps soon entering untrodden territory, six years in retrospect tell the story of a do-it-all executive and coach who broke the mould for what it takes to build a championship franchise in the Central Canada Hockey League.
The Ottawa TFC under-17 girls made history on Oct. 14 when they triumphed at Canada Soccer’s Toyota National Championships on the field at UPEI, but the region’s first Canadian crown at the top youth level was a title won in the hotel room just as much as on the pitch.
The Ottawa South United U17 Girls made history this year by becoming the first team in Ontario Player Development League history to win all three of their division’s titles in one season.
Though it was unbeknownst to the team of 15-year-old Ottawa girls at the time, but coming out on the losing end in one of their league’s title-matches last year would set them on a trajectory towards historic success.
From forging a partnership with a leading Major League Soccer franchise, to earning recognition as one of Canada’s top youth clubs, and capturing its fair share of hardware, it’s certainly been a whirlwind first season for Ottawa TFC Soccer Club.