CALGARY FIRE U18 AA WHITE
Head Coach: J'nai Mahadeo
Head Coach: Maia Smith-Merovitz
AC: Alex Moffatt
Manager: Deanne Pennoyer
Manager: Colette Suto
Health & Safety: Suzanne May
Athletic Therapist: Leslie Clarke
2020-21 Calgary Fire U18 AA White
Co-Head Coach, Calgary Fire U18 AA White
J’nai’s passion and love for the game of hockey started when she was just four years old. Playing in Calgary, Cochrane, Airdrie, and High River as a minor hockey player, J’nai has been exposed to a variety of coaching and playing styles throughout her hockey career. At 14, J’nai was given a spot (as an underage player) on the Midget AAA High River Raiders, and was eventually selected to the Edge School for Athletes Female Varsity team. After graduating from the Edge, J’nai accepted a full scholarship to play Division 1 hockey at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Pennsylvania. While obtaining a degree in Criminal Justice with a concentration in Juvenile Justice and a minor in Pre-law, J’nai would take part in two College Hockey America league championships, two Frozen Four appearances, and held an assistant captain position in her senior year. Soon after J’nai finished her senior year at Mercyhurst, her passion and drive for the sport took her overseas to play professional hockey in Berlin, Germany for the Eisbaren. For two years, J’nai was exposed to European style hockey, different coaching styles, and German development programs, all of which she has brought home with her in hopes to further grow the coaching programs for GHC.
When J’nai finally came home and “hung up her skates,” she looked for new avenues to fuel her passion for the game. For three years, J’nai has been brought back to her roots of early hockey and athlete development while coaching skills programs at WinSport. Coaching development hockey and attaining/attending several coaching certifications/seminars, has reminded J’nai the importance of fundamental skill development, adaptive coaching styles, and the ability to collaborate with others in order to create the most successful athlete experiences on and off the ice. Last season, J’nai was an assistant coach for the Midget AA Fire White team, igniting her passion to drive the development of female elite hockey players in Calgary.
With J’nai’s extensive hockey resume, she has been able to procure a set of teaching skills, which not only focus on GHC players as athletes, but also as valuable citizens. Knowing the ins and outs of female college and pro hockey, J’nai takes great pride in her attempts to teach young female athletes skills that transcend the arena and will hopefully provide them with the character development that will aide them in which ever endeavours they choose to move on to. J’nai values the importance of setting a good example for young female athletes trying to navigate the sport world, and tries to bring that to every player she encounters.
Co-Head Coach, Calgary Fire U18 AA White
Maia has always had a passion for the game, starting at the young age of four and growing up in Toronto, Ontario playing competitive and travel hockey. Maia and her family moved to Calgary when she was 12 and had the opportunity to play Midget AAA for the Calgary Associations. She went on to play two seasons for the Midget AAA Calgary Chaos, reaching the finals in the Mac’s Midget tournament and 2nd place in Provincials in her 2nd season. In her final season of Midget, Maia was traded to the Midget AAA Calgary Bruins and became an assistant captain. Maia became a starting forward for the SAIT Trojans in her rookie year. This allowed her to grow and understand the hard work of being a student athlete. With the opportunity to travel to Australia, Maia moved across the world to pursue her hockey career playing for the Melbourne Ice in the AWIHL where she would be a part of a championship team.
Since coming home, Maia has been very involved with hockey including coaching with GHC for 6 years, starting at the Peewee “B”, Bantam “B” and Midget “A” levels. Maia has also worked at WinSport for 6 years teaching Hockey, Power Skating, and Learn to Skate programs to preschool, youth and adults. She was most recently an assistant coach with Calgary Fire Midget AA White. During this time, she has helped out with numerous Hockey Canada and Hockey Alberta camps and received multiple coaching certificates. Maia brings a fun and open coaching style to each team she is a part of. While making sure the team is understanding systems and learning to read the game she can be seen laughing and bring a great support for not only her team but for her coaching staff as well.