This month’s alumni spotlight focuses on Lara Jardin.
Laura Jardin’s hockey career was started thanks to a Bratz doll. Yes, the popular children’s toy by MGA Entertainment that was created in 2001 to rival Mattel’s Barbie doll.
“I started playing hockey when my parents signed me up for a ‘free try it day’ with Girls Hockey Calgary,” Jardin said. “I was not a kid who liked trying new things, so a hockey Bratz doll was my reward if I went. I ended up going and loved it. I was a good skater and loved the competitive atmosphere.”
Jardin’s love for hockey grew, as she started at the U9 division with Girls Hockey Calgary and stayed there until her first year of U18 where she played for both the Calgary Fire and Rocky Mountain Raiders AAA teams. She went on to play four years at McGill University of USports, where she helped the Martlets to a second-place finish at Women’s Ice Hockey Championships in 2019 and helped McGill hoist the Ed Enos Trophy as the Réseau du sport étudiant du Québec champions in 2020. She played last season with the Montral Force of the Premier Hockey League, which ceased operations in June.
She said her minor hockey experience helped prepare her to play both collegiately and professionally.
“My minor hockey experience helped prepare me to play at a higher level through its competitive atmosphere,” said Jardin. “Each year, teams in the league were closely matched and helped fuel that competitive atmosphere that is present at the higher level.”
Jardin said hockey has provided her with opportunities that she wouldn’t have otherwise gotten had she not started playing the sport.
“Hockey presented me the opportunity to play hockey for a living, which has always been my dream,” Jardin said.
“I want to inspire other young girls to do the same because when I was growing up there was no ‘NHL’ for women’s hockey. There are now professional women’s leagues that girls can strive to play in. Hockey also gave me the opportunity to get my education through scholarship opportunities at one of the best universities in the world. I will forever be grateful.”