BC Hockey announced April 20, 2016 that Northern Capitals head coach Mario Desjardins has been named the 2015-2016 Female Midget AAA (FMAAA) Coach of the Year.
Desjardins led the Capitals to a 21-6-3 record during the regular season, and the team knocked off the top-ranked Greater Vancouver Comets in two (2) games to win their second consecutive FMAAA Championship. The team fell in the Pacific Regionals to the Rocky Mountain House Raiders. The team also won the prestigious Mac’s Midget AAA tournament in Calgary in January.
Desjardins, a native of Terrace, BC, has been the head coach of the Northern Capitals since the 2013-2014 season. In those three (3) seasons, he has coached 10 players who have moved on to Canadian Interuniversity Sport (CIS) or Alberta College Athletic Conference (ACAC) hockey, including four (4) players this season: Victoria Byer (Mount Royal University, CIS), Sage Desjardins (University of Calgary, CIS), Hunter Mosher (Nipissing University, CIS), and Kelsey Roberts (University of Calgary, CIS).
The FMAAA program consists of six (6) zone-based teams across the province – the Fraser Valley Rush (Langley), Greater Vancouver Comets (Coquitlam), Kootenay Wild (Nelson), Northern Capitals (Prince George), Thompson-Okanagan Lakers (Vernon), and Vancouver Island Seals (Campbell River). The teams play a 30 game regular season, followed by the playoffs. The FMAAA Champion has the opportunity to compete for the ESSO Cup, Hockey Canada's National Female Midget Championship, which will take place in Morden, Manitoba in April 2017.
The FMAAA program was initiated in the 2007-2008 season in response to the membership’s desire to provide an opportunity for elite female hockey players to come together on zone teams to challenge other elite female Midget teams. The program has had nearly 100 players
move on to post-secondary hockey opportunities.