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Alumni Spotlight: Ava Keis, Northern Capitals
Thursday, November 19, 2015
Ava Keis
Quesnel, BC
Northern Cougars, 2012-2015
Current Team:
Nipissing Lakers (CIS), 2015-Present
Ava Keis went quite a ways from home to pursue her hockey dreams. A native of Quesnel, Keis played her midget hockey for the Northern Cougars (now the Northern Capitals), playing her “home” games in Prince George, 120 kilometres away.
Says Northern Head Coach Mario Desjardins, “Ava consistently brought a strong work ethic to practices and games during the three (3)  years she played Female Mideget AAA (FMAAA). She was respected by the other players, was a leader both on and off the ice.” This leadership led to her being named team captain in her final season, a successful campaign that saw the Cougars go 25-3-2 and win their first FMAAA Championship.
Keis wasn’t just the captain for the Championship-winning Cougars, she was also their leading scorer – something that didn’t always come naturally. “Ava developed into a power forward that was gritty in the corners and developed a touch around the net,” said Desjardins. This finesse around the net had Keis leading the entire league in scoring for the 2014-2015 season, notching 20 goals and 24 assists for a total of 44 points in 30 games.
After a successful career with the Cougars, Keis looked to move on to the next level of hockey. She decided to head to North Bay, Ontario – nearly 4,000 kilometres east. Keis is now playing for the Nipissing University Lakers in the CIS, coached by former NHL player Darren Turcotte.
The Lakers are currently sixth (6th) in the Ontario University Athletics conference, with a record of 5-0-3. Nipissing competes against other universities throughout Ontario: Queen’s, Toronto, Guelph, Waterloo, Western, Laurier, Laurentian, Brock, the Ontario Institute of Technology, York, Ryerson, and Windsor.
Says Desjardins, “Ava was a player that came to every practice ready to compete and progress her skill development in order to achieve her ultimate goal of playing in the CIS. She found her game in her final season, utilizing her size and strength to her advantage winning battles in all areas of the ice. I wish Ava the best of luck in Nipissing University, and I’d like to congratulate her on reaching her ultimate goal.”
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 Weyburn, Saskatchewan from April 19 - 25, 2016.
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 league has had nearly 100 players move on to post-secondary hockey opportunities.
For more information about the BC FMAAA program, please visit the website at or email



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