Kayla Tutino is new head coach for women’s hockey
Kayla Tutino became the new head coach of the Dawson Blues Division 1 Women’s Hockey Team in mid-April but has not had the chance to meet her players yet.
“We get together on Zoom and keep in touch by email,” she said, adding that she is looking forward to getting together when it is possible.
Building the team
Kayla took on the challenge because she would like to be able to build the team back up. She aims to offer long-term stability. “I had a great experience playing university hockey, playing in the provincials, and playing professionally,” Kayla said. “I have gained knowledge over the years and I would like to share that with the players. I know what the players need to make it in high-level hockey.”
The former forward with Les Canadiennes, the professional women’s hockey team in Montreal, also played at Boston University. She was on the All-Rookie Team of the Hockey East Division and upon graduation, she was on the All-Star Team.
Teammate of Marie-Philip Poulin
Kayla also played with Marie-Philip Poulin, a Dawson College graduate, former Dawson Blues hockey player and one of the most storied players in women’s hockey. Kayla and Marie-Philip were teammates for three years at Boston and also played together on Team Quebec.
“We have to bring our standards back up,” Kayla said. “We need to get everyone on the same page to do something special as a team.”
Like a family
Kayla has met members of the team individually to build a vision of the team. The first job she has given herself is to build the team chemistry. “I want them to be like a family, to be close on and off the ice. I am encouraging the older players to be proactive and welcome the new players,” she said.
All the players have home workouts and some are using shooting pads to practice their skills. Next season is still unclear so Kayla is imagining various scenarios.
“I am happy to be part of the program,” Kayla said. “I have lots of work to do. I want to bring back a winning culture and get people out to see our games. The players are ready for the challenge. We aim to be the hardest working and the best prepared, physically and mentally.”