2019 esso cup megan warrener feature
The goalie whisperer
Eager to give back to the game that has given her so much, Megan Warrener has a gift for working with young netminders
Quinton Amundson
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April 21, 2019
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Anna Corfield, Teagan Preyma and Megan Warrener were not in a hurry to leave the Stoney Creek Sabres’ picture night.

Corfield and Preyma, the netminders for the Atom AA team, wanted to savour the occasion and snapped photo after photo with Warrener, their mentor, in the Sabres’ dressing room.

Over the 2018-19 season, the two young netminders forged a very tight bond with Warrener, their 16-year-old part-time goalie instructor. Warrener managed the impressive feat of mentoring the two keepers – as well as the skaters on the provincial-championship-winning team – while balancing school work and being a full-time goaltender for the Sabres’ Midget AA club bound for the 2019 Esso Cup in Sudbury.

This feeling of gratitude was a two-way street. Warrener treasured every moment in her first season as a part-time instructor working alongside goalie coach Brian Pescetti.

"It has been amazing,” says Warrener. “They are a bunch of great kids and really talented.

“As the season went on they took me in, especially the coaches. Jamie Chapman, the head coach, really taught me a lot about coaching and how to connect with the kids, because it doesn’t matter what you teach them and what you know if you don’t have a relationship with them.”

Chapman, who has known Warrener since she was an Atom player, invited Warrener to join the staff because he felt her passion, interest in coaching and skill at being a great student of the game would make her a good fit with the organization.

He was also keen on helping Warrener prepare for her long-term future in the game.

“I am all about keeping women in the game,” says Chapman. “I wanted to give her a taste of what coaching is about so that when she’s done university and she wants to give back to the game, she’s already had it implanted in her to go ahead and do it.”

The head coach was very impressed with how Warrener went above and beyond to support the team. In addition to attending at least one practice per week, Warrener took the initiative to capture video of Corfield and Preyma during their games to help her provide the best advice possible.

Warrener’s most rewarding moment as a coach occurred at provincials. Midway through the tournament, she received a request for feedback from Corfield via text message. The Midget AA mentor told her Atom AA student “tracking is the biggest thing. If she could watch the puck, she could save the puck. It’s not about necessarily about always having the right angle or overanalyzing. It’s about reacting instead of overanalyzing.”

This advice ultimately paid off in a big way in the gold medal game against the Markham-Stouffville Stars.

“She had an amazing save. Everything we had talked about with watching the puck led to an amazing save to help them win in overtime.”

Chapman says Warrener made a transformational impact on Preyma’s game as well

“I had Teagan last year, and we struggled to get her to be aggressive – she liked to stay back in the paint.

Megan got her outside of the paint this year. It was great.”

One of the reasons Preyma became inspired to adopt a more aggressive style was watching Warrener. Chapman says Warrener plays at the top of her crease and always tenaciously challenges the shooter.

Coaching will remain in Warrener’s life in the immediate future: she has already committed to serving as a goalie coach for the Sabres’ Peewee AA team in 2019-20.

She also envisions herself following in the footsteps of Manon Rhéaume, her role model, by becoming a coach at the end of her playing career. Warrener had the opportunity to be coached by Rhéaume at the North American Prospects Showcase tournament in Buffalo, N.Y., in 2014.

“She was an amazing coach. Even though you have limited time to connect with your coach, she was able to catch everyone’s attention, even if they didn’t know who she was.”

During their brief time together, Rhéaume taught Chapman that being a goaltender allows you to bring the entire ice surface into focus, which made Rhéaume well-equipped at providing sage advice to both goaltenders and skaters when she started coaching.

Chapman says that Warrener already excels at decoding what is taking place on the ice. The young coach is driven to continue honing her teaching abilities so that she will be able to be a high-level bench boss in the future – ideally, she says, in the NCAA.

For more information:

Vacant
Director, Communications
Hockey Canada
403-777-4557 

 

Esther Madziya
Coordinator, Media Relations
Hockey Canada
403-284-6484
[email protected]

 

Spencer Sharkey
Coordinator, Communications
Hockey Canada
403-777-4567 / 905-906-5327 (mobile)
[email protected]

 

Katie Macleod
Coordinator, Media Relations
Hockey Canada
403-284-6427 / 403-612-2893 (mobile)
[email protected]

 

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