Alyssa MacMillan, assistant coach and director of marketing and advertising with the Summerland Steam, is the first and only female coach in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League. (Contributed)

Summerland Junior B hockey team has first female coach in league

Alyssa MacMillan has a long history playing and coaching hockey

An assistant coach with the Summerland Steam Junior B hockey team is the first and only female coach in the Kootenay Interior Junior Hockey League.

Alyssa MacMillan joined the Steam in early September as an assistant coach and director of marketing and advertising.

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Prior to joining the club, she had played hockey at the Okanagan Hockey Academy, the University of North Dakota and the University of Ottawa. She also played for a professional hockey team in Sweden for one season.

She also coached the Okanagan Hockey Academy with the female varsity team.

She has enjoyed watching the players develop during this year’s hockey season.

“Even guys from the first game are totally different players now watching them adapt to the league as they take what we are saying and putting it into use,” she said. “I think it’s really cool to see other players start to grow into their own game.”

While MacMillan is the only female coach in the league right now, she says more women are coming into the sport.

“Even the NHL is hiring a lot more female coaches, more female scouts. You are seeing a lot more female representation in the male game and that is good to bring into B.C. too,” she said. “It’s a step in the right direction of bringing females into the men’s side.”

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