Employing great acumen and maturity, the articulate Jaymee Shell is a key component in the Concordia Stingers rebuilding effort. Donning No. 15 for the Stingers, she is a proud member of the team.
Her various experiences with the team are chronicled on the website Women’s Hockey Life. “I found their page on Facebook and clicked Like. Jaclyn Hawkins (Women’s Hockey Life founder) sent a message to my Inbox. She found out that I played for the Stingers and asked if I wanted to contribute. I thought it was a cool idea and wanted to try something different. I have been doing it now for two years.”
When asked if she was proud of Hawkins, she responded with a convincing, “I would definitely say that. I have seen her site grow a lot. There are so many new correspondents from all over the world. The men’s hockey community is a great one. We also have a great one and I feel we are getting there.”
Shell’s writing contributions to Women’s Hockey Life found its value during an exhibition tour in Japan. “During Christmas last year, we played three games versus the Japanese national team. We also played a club team known as the Princess Rabbits.”
As many of the experiences in Japan were covered by Shell on Women’s Hockey Life, it helped to create a feeling of closeness between the players and their families despite the distance separated by the exhibition tour. “There was a lot of back and forth (for us) in Japan. As a lot of parents did not have plans to talk, there was a lot of back and forth through the postings.”
In addition to hockey, the trip was a great experience for Shell. “It was really great to learn about a new culture. You see a whole different type of hockey. There was what looked like a Canadian hockey town in Japan. There were manhole covers in the streets with hockey players designed on them. This was in Northern Japan. It was a really weird experience. You see these stores with nothing but hockey stuff.”
One of the advantages of competing with the Concordia Stingers is the opportunity to play for Les Lawton. As the first women’s hockey coach in North America to win over 500 games, Lawton holds a legendary status. His contribution to university hockey is as relevant as Mike Krzyzewski (known as Coach K) with Duke basketball, or the late Bear Bryant with Alabama football.
“My game has improved by leaps and bounds. I know that I was underdeveloped. I have absorbed everything that I can. He has helped my game improve at the university level. I believe that playing for the greatest coach is a great selling point.”
With three-time Winter Games gold medalist Caroline Ouellette joining the Stingers coaching staff, the impact is not lost on Shell. “What a tangible impact! With the experience, she has done it all as a player. She transmits her knowledge so easy. She is very humble and easy to communicate with.”
Although the Stingers have endured a last place finish this season, Shell will be the first to acknowledge that there is the feeling of family within the roster, “I think we are like a family. We have been through enough hardships that it brought us together. We are now looking forward. The rebuilding process has started. We are ready to take off and return to a winning status.”
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated.”