Emmy Fecteau’s final challenge

The Stinger exemplifies what it takes to lead a team

Stingers captain and forward Emmy Fecteau practices with her team on Sept. 28 at the Ed Meagher arena. Photo Alice Martin

With captain and fourth-year defender Olivia Hale now graduated, it’s time for a new leader to take to centre-ice and bring the Stingers back to the U Sports National Championship.

This newly assigned captain will be tasked with leading one of the most decorated women’s hockey teams in the country, while simultaneously balancing the life of a student athlete.

Enter Emmy Fecteau, who was crucial in leading her team to a gold medal at the Réseau des sports étudiants du Québec (RSEQ) Championship and a silver medal at the U Sports National Championship in the 2022-23 season. 

For someone with so many achievements under her belt, Fecteau nonetheless remains a humble, down-to-earth individual who cares not only about her success, but the success of her teammates as well. Entering her fourth year of eligibility, the forward will replace the ‘A’ on her jersey with the ‘C’.

Fecteau is the definition of a most valuable player (MVP). The title is awarded to the player who goes above and beyond in their performance. Fecteau did this while leading by example and broadening the potential of her teammates.

“Every day [when] she comes to practice, she's always having fun,” said Jessymaude Drapeau, a third-year forward. “She loves to work hard. And when you see someone working out, working hard and showing the right example, you want to do the same.”

At the end of the 2022-23 season, Fecteau was awarded the Isobel Gathorne-Hardy Award, formerly won by Canadian ice-hockey legend—and Fecteau’s assistant coach with the Stingers—Caroline Ouellette. The award is given to an individual whose leadership and personal traits exemplify the values that are taught and followed in the women’s hockey community. Additionally, she was named Stingers Female Athlete of the Year last April.  

The Beauce, Que. native finished her third season with an impressive 13 goals and 19 assists in 23 games played with the Stingers, leading the entire team and ranking her sixth nationally with 32 points in the regular season.

“Outside of hockey, I think my biggest achievement was that I grew so much as a person and as a leader this past season,” Fecteau said. “I had some good results at school too.”

Fecteau explained how honoured she felt to be named to the U Sports Academic All-Canadian team, which is regarded as one of the highest honours for a Canadian student-athlete. Having already achieved superb results in the classroom and on the ice in her time at Concordia, Fecteau is a university degree away from a full trophy case.

Fecteau has nearly completed her bachelor’s degree in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL). She has already interned at two elementary schools in Dorval and Rosemont. She has two more internships left before she graduates.

Emmy Fecteau sits on the bench during downtime at practice. Photo Alice Martin

Fecteau credited her success to Concordia coaches Julie Chu and Ouellette, both of whom are trailblazers in the international women’s hockey community. They have served as mentors to the forward throughout her journey to hockey stardom.

“[Fecteau] is always finding ways to be a great team member and to engage all the players on the team in a really positive way,” said Chu. “She really sets the standard of what we want to be every single day on the ice or off the ice.”

For the 2022-23 season, Fecteau was named a provincial first-team All-Star and U Sports second team All-Canadian.

The Stingers fell short of winning the National Championship in the 2022-23 season, but their new captain is determined to end her university career by claiming the goal medal this upcoming campaign.

“It was one of my goals coming to Concordia to win a national championship, and I hope I will do it again this year," explained Fecteau, who captured her first championship as a part of the Concordia roster in 2021-22.

Fecteau familiarized herself with captaincy at a high level when she received the honour of captaining Team Canada in the Lake Placid 2023 FISU Winter World University Games this past January. She led the team to a gold medal.

Fecteau has played in Canadian programs before, having participated in the Team Canada development program. Now having outgrown the program, it will take her some time to make the National Team roster given the amount of star talent. In the meantime, Fecteau sets her sights towards the Professional Women’s Hockey League which is set to have its inaugural season begin in January 2024.

While preparing for her final year of schooling, Fecteau was selected to participate in the Creating Coaches program. The initiative was launched in 2021 and aims to give student athletes the opportunity to begin their careers as coaches.

The selection committee is composed of representatives from Hockey Canada, U Sports and the board of directors in charge of the Hockey Canada Foundation.

Fecteau will make her debut as an assistant coach for girls ages 13-18 for the next two seasons, allowing her to dive into a field that combines her two passions: hockey and teaching.

For the 2023-24 season, Fecteau is looking to put on her best performance yet, solidifying herself as a household name in Canadian hockey.

“If we have a good season with Concordia, I think it will help me with my long term goal of being a professional hockey player,” she said. Despite now being the captain, Fecteau emphasized that there are things that she can improve on.

Fans will get to see Fecteau’s debut as captain when the Stingers women’s hockey team officially kick-off their season in a rivalry match against the McGill Martlets at the Ed Meagher Arena on Oct. 12.

This article originally appeared in Volume 44, Issue 3, published October 3, 2023.