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BoD candidate bio


Kirk De Fazio

This upcoming hockey season is unlike any other. The biggest challenge this year is COVID-19 risk management and handling all of the disruptions that result. I am semi-retired and have the time to commit to this growing association. I have worked with boards of directors throughout my chosen careers for the past 25 years. I will bring all of my executive leadership experience to this board - Director of Athletics at elite private schools, fitness centre business ownership, and President of Special Olympics Alberta. Working with Special Olympics, and athletes with an intellectual disability has taught me a great deal about inclusion.


I have built numerous relationships over the past seven years within the OGHA and also relationships with the greater hockey community in Ottawa. I have worked with numerous hockey families in the creation of the spring/summer Ottawa Girls 67s hockey organization. This program designed for development has brought hockey families together from all over Eastern Ontario. I am a Level 4 master coach in the NCCP. These coaching credentials will help me to relate and understand the needs of the “competitive” coaches in the OGHA. However, I am equally interested in the FUNdamentals and house league programs, which are critical to the success of the OGHA and building from within. I have taught sport psychology in university and would enjoy sharing some of my vision and philosophy for coach education.   The off-ice program for our girls is a passion of mine. As a former Olympic strength coach, I would like to incorporate a “program of excellence” regarding strength & conditioning for our entire association.


Executive leadership experience has taught me to be able to make the hard decisions when required. My leadership style is a collaborative approach. I am a visible leader. Being a former quarterback, it’s all about TEAM. I am excited to work alongside a board that has the ability to elect three new positions. This is an opportunity to instill new energy and to enhance the existing programs that have been very successful in the OGHA.


My philosophy is to treat each girl in the OGHA as if she were my own. I always have the girls’ best interests at heart. Our own daughter began with Novice B in the OGHA and is now of Bantam age. Trish and I have watched her grow and develop within the OGHA. We are thrilled to support her as she continues to develop and play the sport she loves in a positive environment.


Kirk De Fazio

M.Ed. B.Sc. B.Ed


Kirk was nominated by Alvin Sim and Eric Budgell.



Misha Celentano

I grew up playing hockey in the Ottawa area. I have learned, and continue to learn, valuable life skills while playing hockey, from my teammates and from my coaches – commitment, dedication, team work, time management, how to overcome adversity, how to be a leader, and the joy of play. I was fortunate to have been led by two female coaches and role models in my last few years of minor hockey, both of whom had a profound impact on me and inspired me to become more involved in the girls hockey community.


After graduating from Carleton University, completing a Masters research project at York University on the use of sport in international development projects, and taking some time to focus on building my career, including working with youth at the Tim Hortons Foundation Camps, Right to Play and now the federal government, I was looking for a way to give back to the community that has given me so much. I was welcomed by the Ottawa Girls Hockey Association and for the past two seasons I have been a non-parent volunteer coach with the association. I was an assistant coach with the FUNdamentals program (2018/19, 2019/20), Novice B (2018/19), Atom A (2019/20), and was one of the on-ice leaders for the First Shift Program. Additionally, throughout the 2019/20 season, I led the charge on the OGHA’s “Because it’s 2019 Committee”, an effort to increase the number of female coaches within the association. I ran a session for OGHA players interested in volunteering with other teams, organized and facilitated the second annual All-Female Coaching Development Session, organized a group of approximately 15 players from the OGHA to be on ice helpers during the First Shift Program, and was planning a Female Coaches Summit for OGHA coaches that was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I would very much like to continue this work as a member of the Board of Directors. 


Over the last two years, I have met and interacted with many players and families throughout the association and am continually inspired by the love, sportsmanship and dedication they demonstrate, not only to hockey, but to the OGHA and their teammates. If selected as a member of the Board of Directors, my goal would be to keep our players, their interests, and their families at the centre of our efforts as we navigate a safe return to hockey this season.


Misha was nominated by Mackenzie Tobin and Sunita Maria Naya-Kingwell.



Craig Azar


My name is Craig Azar and I am putting my name forward for a position on the OGHA board of directors.  I have been involved in minor hockey for the past nine years, both on the ice in various capacities, and on the association board. Two years ago I made the move to bring my daughter across from the minor hockey association to the OGHA, and it was the best decision I ever made.  My daughter has thrived in the association and I found a new home for my volunteer time.  Over the past two seasons I have acted as coach, trainer, manager, goalie convenor, and house league convenor.  This gave me the opportunity to regularly attend last season’s board meetings and gain further insight into the workings of the association. 

I am passionate about women's hockey and dedicated to furthering the exposure and growth of the association.  If elected, I will endeavour to do so at the highest level of commitment and professionalism. 

 Craig was nominated by Robin McGarry and Marc Lugert.


please forward your intent to register for the 2020/21 season to

Modified Programming updated August 19, 2020

Some Key Facts:

Following is allowed starting September 1st

Individual and Group Training

• Maximum of 30 participants on the ice, including instructors, or a lower number if determined by Ontario Government, local PHU, the facility or the OWHA.

• Strict on-ice physical distancing is required for the purpose of individual and group training and if any of the Ontario Government, local PHU, the facility or the OWHA has further restrictions, all programming must comply.

• Off-ice Training and Activity with physical distancing and within numbers is permitted.

• Limited or normal use of the bench with physical distancing

• Allocation of Extended Groups

• Extended Group training • Limited travel, ideally within PHU

• No Group, Extended Group or team gatherings or overnight activities.

Competition (Modified Game Play)

• Following a minimum two-week development phase for any new programs, modified 3on3 or 4on4 Modified game play with No Physical Contact and OWHA rules for modified game play may begin at a time yet to be determined.

• Extended groups are a maximum of 50 or less depending on the PHU. The OWHA will review the group maximum upon amendments by the Ontario Government.

• All modified Game Play is within OWHA requirements and local Public Health Unit requirements.

• There is a minimum of one registered official per game unless determined otherwise by the OWHA.

• All Modified Game Play must be conducted in conjunction with the local PHU and facility rules for the purpose of sanitization and physical distancing.  

The full OWHA Return to Play Programming can be found at the OWHA website



OGHA partners with Ottawa Food Bank. Lets join forces and show our community that we care. Click here to make donation!

The Ottawa Girls Hockey Association partnered with the Ottawa Food Bank to help families in our community.

To make a donation, follow this unique OGHA/Ottawa Food Bank link:

You will be directed to a dedicated donation site. 

All tax receipts will be coming from Ottawa Food Bank.

OGHA members and friends, let's join forces an show Ottawa that we care!



Lady 67's expanding female Hockey legacy

Regan Garreau continues promising career with Ottawa Lady 67s

Producing an elite level of female talent whose skills have propelled them to greater heights, Canada’s Capital Region has long been home to such brilliance. Although the junior ranks long featured a pair of prominent clubs from the PWHL, the Nepean Wildcats and the Ottawa Lady Senators, a highly competitive footprint is taking place in the Junior Women’s Hockey League (JWHL).

Led by head coach and General Manager Frank Cyr, the Ottawa Lady 67s are expanding the legacy for elite female hockey in the Capital. Among its brightest and most promising stars is a local talent making her presence felt on the blueline. Born in 2003, Regan Garreau provided a combination of playmaking ability and grit in her inaugural season for the Lady 67s.

Appearing in an astounding 65 games, bolstering the club’s defensive unit, Garreau, whose jersey is adorned by the number five, is also proficient at employing her vision of the frozen perimeter, aptly feeding the puck into the offensive zone. Currently an A-student, with an interest in the study of animals, Garreau, an on-ice volunteer at Carleton University summer hockey camps, has also excelled in soccer and volleyball. Of note, her path to the Lady 67s included serving as alternate captain with the Bantam BB Smiths Falls Cubs, while also serving in the same capacity at the Bantam A level as a member of the Kanata Rangers.

Ready to lead the charge up the ice (Image supplied by Regan Garreau)

CLICK HERE for full story:


A message from the board

On behalf if the Ottawa Girls Hockey Association, we condemn any form of racisms and all acts of violence and discrimination based on race, ethnicity, language, gender identity and any form of discriminatory intolerance.
As a leader in sports development for girls we continue to work with our members and the community to help dismantle systems of intolerance and to improve the lives for all of us.
The board

Additional coaches selected for competitive stream

Following additional coaches have been selected for the

2020/2021 competitive season:




U 9 (Novice) B - Kenzie Tobin

U 11 (Atom) C - Patrick Danis & Karen Greer

U 11 (Atom) A - Alex Lafleur

U13 (Peewee) B/C - Jen Wright

U 15 (Bantam) B/C - Andrew Szabo

U18 (Midget) C - TBD

Congratulations to all coaches!


Ottawa Girls Hockey Report: OGHA ‘hungry’ to get back and continue building a bright future for female hockey

Article can be viewed online following this link:



By Ottawa Sportspage, For Ottawa Girls Hockey Association

With no pro leagues and the big international tournaments cancelled, it was a largely depressing season overall for the world’s best women’s hockey players, but spend 5 minutes watching a Bauer/NHL First Shift session put on by the Ottawa Girls Hockey Association and it’s impossible not to feel energized about female hockey’s next generation.

With an abundance of smiles, spills and cheers, a full-capacity group of 45 youngsters got their first taste of hockey on weekends at Jim Durrell Recreation Centre. Directing the program was an all-female crew of coaches and on-ice volunteers, and perhaps most encouraging was the high proportion of “first-generation” girls’ hockey players taking up the sport.

“The diversity was really great to see,” underlines OGHA President James Wojtyk, noting that several of the participating families had just landed in Canada within the past year. “That’s the huge power that program has.”

First Shift offers a low financial commitment to try the sport – thanks to the Bauer/NHL sponsorship, the $199 registration included outfitting players in a full set of equipment.

“Everything is kind of packaged up for them, and that really takes away a lot of the fear of the unknown,” signals Wojtyk. “I think First Shift was our biggest success this year. It was a great sign for the future of the game.”


OGHA devoted to making it easy to get into hockey

Once First Shift wrapped up at Christmastime, roughly two-thirds of the players continued on into an OGHA transition program featuring more skill development sessions, while some joined house league teams.

Novice hockey also became more welcoming this season, with the introduction of half-ice games. There was skepticism about thew new approach at the outset, but it wound up being quickly embraced.

“Parents saw their kid now touching the puck much more often,” notes Wojtyk, and it increased capacity everyone to try playing goalie. “The half-ice format is very beneficial for skill development.”

A major highlight for the OGHA’s development stream – a program that offers a bridge between house league and competitive hockey – was its tournament on Family Day weekend, which drew triple the entries this year and rave reviews.

The Metro Ottawa Girls House League also expanded this season to welcome Gloucester teams on top of Kanata and Ottawa’s.

“More teams, more variety, but not nearly as much travel as there used to be,” indicates Wojtyk, a father of four daughters. “The girls and their families really, really enjoyed it.”


Big gains for OGHA competitive squads


Ottawa Ice and Lady 67’s competitive teams showed they were an ever-rising force at the top levels. A half-dozen teams qualified for the Ontario Championships, including all ‘AA’ sides.

The Peewee ‘AA’ Ice (who lost just twice in 20 league games and were unbeaten in the playoffs) and the Bantam ‘AA’ Lady 67’s (regular season champions with a 15-2-3 record) were set to play in the district finals before COVID-19 forced its cancellation.

The Major Junior Lady 67’s went 13-3-2 against their Junior Women’s Hockey League rivals from as far as Massachusetts and B.C. to finish just 2 points out of top spot in the regular season standings. They then recorded 3 wins to reach the league final during the March 6-8 championship weekend before finishing as runners-up.

Goalie Tove Jacobson was named a JWHL 1st team all-star, while defender Alyssa Nolan and leading scorer Melanie Drost were on the 2nd team. Many players secured post-secondary hockey opportunities with U Sports and NCAA programs, including Naomi Boucher’s commitment to Yale University.


Naomi Boucher

The Lady 67’s also played an exhibition match against the South Korean national team, while Britni Yammine scored Lebanon’s first-ever goal in international women’s hockey competition.

“It’s a great program,” highlights Wojtyk, who would nonetheless like to see the Lady 67’s move into the Provincial Women’s Hockey League to save on travel time and expenses, though the hockey bureaucracy is proving resistant to that idea.

“That’s the biggest challenge I think for us right now,” he adds. “We need to make it more inclusive as opposed to exclusive.”


Building the next generation of female leaders


OGHA spurred numerous efforts to get more females involved in the sport beyond playing the game. There were coaching mentorship sessions early on, while all players aged Peewee or above were invited to work with the club’s younger members.

OGHA held female-only referee clinics for its more senior players, and then got the newly-trained officials started in a “non-pressure” environment with novice half-ice games. The goal is “to give anyone interested the tools and the platform to get going” in leadership roles, and to build character, Wojtyk details, noting referees also enjoyed receiving part-time job income.

Beyond learning life skills through hockey, it’s really fun and friendships that remain at the heart of the experience for OGHA players, stresses Wojtyk, who coaches for the OGHA as well.

“I listened to every player’s best and most memorable moment of the season, and not one of them had to do with on-ice activity,” says Wojtyk, happy that his players are staying in touch regularly after the season finished. “There aren’t really any wins or losses with these kids, what really motivates them is just the camaraderie that they’ve developed.”

It’s the type of story that’s been repeated for over 20 years in the OGHA, established in 1999. Many of the first OGHA players now have young daughters playing.

“It’s really coming full circle,” reflects Wojtyk, proud to see the association’s membership continue to grow even though central Ottawa doesn’t add new residents at the same rate as suburban organizations. “I think that’s really, really cool.”


Eager to resume rise once COVID’s clear

The premature end to the season was an unfortunate finish to an otherwise great year.

Delivering the news to members that regional/provincial championships and house league playoffs would all have to be scrapped due to COVID-19 “was one of the hardest emails I’ve ever written,” Wojtyk says. “It was a big letdown for the teams, the families, the coaches – everyone.”

The pandemic means there will be no tryouts or on-ice training during the Spring either, and leaves lingering questions about when they will be able to resume (late-August trials are being eyed at present).

“But I do think everybody will be really refreshed, and the girls will be a lot more hungry,” Wojtyk counters. “I think that’s sort of the silver lining here.”

For more information and updates, visit and follow the OGHA on Twitter and Facebook.

OGHA's Lauren McNeil playing in NCAA next year

The OGHA would like to Congratulate Lauren McNeil who very recently committed to playing NCAA Division III  hockey next season for Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. 

Lauren started in the OGHA playing fundamentals at age 6,  and continued on playing with Ottawa Ice until the end of her first year of Midget. 

During her 10 years with Ottawa Ice, she’s had some really great experiences – including winning a Provincial Gold Medal championship in Atom B (where she scored the game winner in the Semi Final in the 6th overtime period).  Lauren just finished Grade 12 at Ontario Hockey Academy where she Captained Team Junior in her last season.


Good luck with the Panthers next season Lauren.