When it was announced that Danielle Goyette was resigning from her position as head coach of the Calgary Dinos women’s hockey team to hold the position of Director of Player Development at the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs, I do not think anyone can blame her for following it. . a dream to work at the NHL level. Goyette, head coach of the 2012 U SPORT National Championship Calgary Dinos, was building the college team nicely for a 2021-’22 run in Canada West before the Leafs came to call with an opportunity I’m not sure that someone would not reject. As a result, Goyette is now working with the Leafs’ prospects and players in a development role, and that includes players with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies and the ECHL’s Newfoundland Growlers which is where she’s going to spend time over the next week!
It was announced today by the Growlers that Danielle Goyette will officially become the first female assistant coach in ECHL history when she joins the club in the coaching role after Growlers head coach Eric Wellwood walked away from the team due to COVID-19 protocols ! Goyette will help the Growlers as they prepare for their series against the Reading Royals, and that means former Dinos women hockey head coach and former team Canada player and coach was on the bench on Thursday!
Before we get to the game action, a woman should serve as a coach in any capacity in professional men’s hockey, not something we celebrate for the first time ever in 2022. of a bunch of female coaches, but that’s where we stand in hockey at this time. I can admit that, yes, the game changes and evolves with moments like Goyette’s in the ECHL, but it still feels extremely strange to write about “the first woman to” play hockey in 2022.
Nevertheless, Goyette was behind the bench for the Growlers on Thursday with his assistant assistant coach, Nathan MacIver, while the Growlers led the Reading Royals at Mary Brown’s Center in St. Louis. John’s, Newfoundland, welcomed. After a pointless first period, it appeared that things would turn in Newfoundland’s favor when Marc Johnstone scored 26 seconds in the second frame to put the Growlers ahead 1-0. And then the roof collapsed.
Let me say that the roof did not physically fall into the arena, but the evening got much worse for the Growlers as Reading scored the next four goals before Johnstone scored his second of the game to make it a 4-2 match after 40 minutes. Whatever was said between periods by MacIver and Goyette apparently did not matter, as the Royals added five more third-period goals when they took their first game in three games with a score of 9-2 . It was not the debut I suspect Goyette wanted as an ECHL coach, but it was the end result.
Goyette and MacIver would team up on Friday night, as well as the two again claiming their first ECHL win, and Reading would once again be the opponent the Growlers played. With that 9-2 defeat on Thursday still haunting them, the two coaches tried to drive out those demons on Friday. Each team would score a goal in each period while the Growlers and Royals played to a 3-3 deadlock by 60 minutes, but Reading’s Jacob Pritchard would score the overtime winner at 1:23 of the extra period when Reading Newfoundland with ‘ n 4- 3 score.
The two teams will fight on Saturday afternoon, but Goyette’s Olympic, World Championship and U SPORT medals could not achieve an ECHL victory in two matches. I’m not sure how long she’s going to be with the Growlers in an assistant coaching capacity, but I hope she can find a win before it ends. Being 0-1-1 as an ECHL coach just feels incomplete for Danielle Goyette at this point in her career.
Let me be clear: this is a wonderful moment for Danielle Goyette as she makes some history. For me, it’s quite nice to see her standing behind an ECHL bench after all the work she’s done in Canada West that I feel privileged to see. She will continue to knock down walls and kick in doors when it comes to events in hockey, so do not think it will in any way be the last “first” she achieves in the men’s match. Danielle Goyette is not done writing her name in the record books for professional men’s hockey, and it will be fun to see how she makes more history as she still seizes opportunities when they present themselves.
Good for you, Danielle, that you are the first in what I hope will be a long and successful series of many.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!