From a young age, Jenna was committed to excellence as an athlete - playing basketball, volleyball, soccer, rugby and hockey. She was named Female Athlete of the Year at Medicine Hat High School in 2003, 2004 and 2005. Her team won the Southern Alberta Rugby Association League Championship in 2003 and 2005, and Jenna was the leading scorer on her rugby team in 2006.
But it was hockey that really captured Jenna’s heart. Jenna has assembled a celebrated and decorated hockey career from joining Medicine Hat Minor Hockey at age five (playing on the “boys” teams), to developing a AAA Midget Female team, to playing NCAA Division 1 Hockey, and finally Women’s Professional Hockey until her retirement in 2016.
In Minor Hockey play, Jenna was third in the Alberta Major Midget Female Hockey League with 36 points while her 24 goals were tied for second in the league. Jenna was selected as Assistant Captain for the South Zone (Zone 1) in two Alberta Winter Games (2002 & 2004), before accepting a scholarship to play Division 1 Hockey in the United States for the Ivy League’s Dartmouth Big Green.
During her career in Dartmouth, Jenna was named Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) Hockey Second Team for three consecutive years (2008, 2009, 2010), first team All-Ivy (2009), New England Hockey Writers Div. I Women's All-Star team (2008, 2009, 2010), ECACHL All-Academic team (2007), three-time ECAC Hockey Player of the Week (2007-2008), United States College Hockey Online (USCHO) National Player of the Week (Nov 2007), and USCHO National Offensive Player of the Week (Nov 2006). Jenna finished her National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division 1 career with 125 points for 16th all-time for the Dartmouth Big Green (20th all-time at time of induction) and was the 16th player in Dartmouth history to reach 60 goals and 60 assists in a career. Jenna was co-captain of her team for her senior year and was nominated for the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award in 2009.
Jenna had two hockey dreams: 1) to represent Canada in the Olympics, and 2) to play on a professional women’s hockey team. Jenna was being tracked for the National Olympic Team during her sophomore year of College when she experienced a devastating season-ending knee injury. While she never played with the Maple Leaf on her crest, “what could have been” was enough to let her switch her focus to her second dream, which became a reality when she was recruited to the Calgary Inferno in its inaugural season in 2011. Jenna is the first female from Medicine Hat to play in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, and her career in professional women’s hockey culminated when the Inferno won the Clarkson Cup (female equivalent to the Stanley Cup) in 2016.
Jenna is widely recognized as a builder in the sport of female hockey. After playing “boys” hockey in Medicine Hat Minor Hockey from age five until Pee Wee, Jenna begged her father and another parent to organize a girl’s Midget hockey team for Medicine Hat. With lots of hard work and recruiting, the Medicine Hat Midget AAA Female Hawks were born. This same passion was applied when Jenna become one of the original members of the Calgary Inferno professional women’s hockey team of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL). Jenna was integral to the growth of the team, negotiating contracts as a member of the Player’s board and was selected as an ambassador to represent the Inferno in meetings with the NHL’s Calgary Flames to garner support for the CWHL.
A natural leader (evidenced by her posts in various captain roles), Jenna continues to give back. She contributes color commentary and analysis for broadcasted games of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League. She is a role model in a mentorship program that involves professional players and at-risk youth, and coaches female hockey camps and power skating in order to grow the game. Jenna recently visited Medicine Hat as part of a “Girls Learn to Play Hockey” day to further enhance the female hockey program in Medicine Hat Minor Hockey which has enjoyed resurgence in recent years. She willingly offers guidance to local parents who are seeking advice for their daughter’s future in hockey.
In an article in Women’s Hockey Life (October 2016), Jenna is quoted saying, “I would like to be remembered as someone who was passionate about growing the women’s game, about building a future for young girls and as someone who saw the importance of building a relationship with the community.”
As recognition for her contribution to the growth of women’s professional hockey, the helmet Jenna wore during the 2016 Clarkson Cup Championship was selected for display in the Toronto Hockey Hall of Fame.
Jenna currently lives and works as a teacher in Calgary, Alberta. She is daughter to Lyle and Donna Cunningham of Medicine Hat and has two sisters.
Gay Dubeau began a skating career at the tender age of two in Cabri, Saskatchewan. There, she developed her love of the sport, but it wasn’t until age 11 when her family moved to Swift Current (1966) that Gay began her formal training as a figure skater.
With a considerably late start in a highly technical sport, Gay worked hard and progressed quickly, training year-round, spending summers at skating camps in Saskatoon or London, ON with the support of her parents Nick and Marg Resnoe. By age 17, Gay had achieved Skate Canada Triple Gold status and won her first Saskatchewan Junior Ladies Singles Championship qualifying her to compete in the Singles event at the Canadian National Figure Skating Championships in 1973. She was the Saskatchewan Junior Ladies Singles Champion again in 1974 and toured with the Ice Capades for the 1974-1975 season alongside Olympic silver medalist and World Champion Karen Magnussen.
Gay had a desire to share her knowledge. She returned to the technical side of skating and began her long and distinguished career as a coach in July of 1975 in Medicine Hat, Alberta. Planning to be in Medicine Hat for only two years, Gay found herself falling in love with the community that has now been her home for over forty years. Hour for hour, no one has spent more time on the ice in Medicine Hat than Gay Dubeau.
Gay was one of the charter coaches when the Cypress School of Skating opened in 1987 and spent countless hours volunteering at bake sales, bingos, casinos and bottle drives to fundraise for the club. In the early years, she even paid her own expenses when coaching skaters at out of town competitions or test days, in an effort to build the competitive program. The club still continues to this day and Gay remains a substitute coach when needed.
Gay is one of Skate Canada’s most revered coaches. Since 1994, she has been a course facilitator for Skate Canada’s CanPowerSkate program for Alberta/NWT-Nunavut and is one of less than ten people in Canada who can certify coaches in this program. In 2001, she was recruited by Skate Canada, alongside Bruno Delmaistro from British Columbia and Brent Carty from Ontario, to expand and revise the curriculum for the CanPowerSkate program and to create a “Pre Power” program for four to six year-olds. She was named the Alberta Figure Skating Coach of the Year in 2001 and 2002. Gay has been the power skating instructor for the Hockey Academy at Notre Dame Academy in Medicine Hat since 2004. Gay is so respected in the skating world that other coaches from North America refer to learning from Gay Dubeau within their own biographies.
In 2009, Gay founded Platinum Star Power Skating and works with hockey and ringette players in communities all over Alberta and Saskatchewan. She worked with many Western Hockey League (WHL) and National Hockey League (NHL) players including Stefan Meyer (Florida Panthers, Calgary Flames) and David Schlemko (Phoenix Coyotes). Her ability to build genuine relationships within the hockey and ringette community has resulted in the development of successful players, but more importantly, active, positive members of our community.
Colleagues describe Gay’s work ethic as unstoppable. “Hard work pays off” is a motto Gay lives by, but also a motto she passes on to her students as they strive to be their best. The devotion to her students surmounts all else, sacrificing time and energy for the benefit of others. It is not uncommon to hear Gay’s voice in the lobby of any rink, speaking to friends (many of whom are now retired “snowbirds”), saying “While you are away enjoying the sun, I am going to stay here and teach your grandchildren to skate.”
And so she has: in more than four decades, Gay has taught thousands of children to skate, some for more than 20 years from the time they are toddlers to when they embark upon a career in hockey, ringette, or figure skating. She takes a life-long interest in her students, continuing to support and encourage them in their chosen careers many years after they leave her charge. Not only is each student taught, supported and encouraged by Gay, but she also supports and guides parents though the sometimes daunting learning curve they experience when an athlete reaches a certain level of achievement.
Gay is known and will be remembered for her infectious enthusiasm. You will hear “Awesome!” and “You can do it!” ring out if you are within earshot of Gay, and the sound of her laughter will waft through the rafters of Medicine Hat’s rinks for eternity.
In the rare moments that she is away from the rink, Gay spends time with her adult children Nikki and Shawn, and aspires to be a “better” horseback rider, training with her horse Smartie on an acreage northwest of Redcliff.