”So far I’m happy with the experience”

Tougas.jpg

Foto: Mats Bekkevold

ADRIAN JERVIS: Kaitlyn Tougas is a 25-year-old Canadian, who comes from Thunder Bay, Ontario a lakeside town that’s a similar size to Jönköping, Sweden where she now plays for HV71.

After four years in American college hockey at Bemidji State she returned to Canada playing for a year at Markham Thunder in the now defunct CWHL.

But in 2017/8 along with fellow Thunder Bay inhabitant, Michela Cava, she decided to move to Europe and join MODO Hockey. The following season was her breakthrough year as the club threatened Luleå’s dominance in the SDHL. They finished second in the regular season with Cava winning the Total Points competition and assistant captain, Tougas, herself finishing in 8th with 50 points (20G+30A).

But after going out in the playoff semifinal to Linköping HC two years in a row Tougas decided to swap Örnsköldsvik for Jönköping for the current season.

”Changing clubs was a decision I made for my own personal growth. I felt that it was time to really commit to a team that was going to have a good shot at winning the gold. HV71 has a great coach and signed a lot of talented players, it felt right to give the south of Sweden a shot”, she says about the move, ”So far I’m happy with the experience”.

And it shows.
Tougas is the top scoring Canadian in the SDHL with 26 points (7G+19A) and the HV71 team as a whole are crushing the opposition having lost just three games all year. This team is re-writing the rules and raising the standard for the Swedish league.

But perhaps more importantly for Tougas, they’re in first place and few would bet against the Jönköping team taking their first ever Swedish championship in the women’s team’s history in the spring.
2019 has been a challenging year for women’s hockey both in North America and Sweden. The women’s game, ”still has many steps to take to be a sustainable career”, she says.
But right now for the 25 year old Canadian, it’s not about talk in the boardroom, but hard work out on the ice – so keep a sharp look out for #19 in the blue and yellow of HV71, otherwise the first you’ll know about it is when the siren rings.

The extended interview can be found here!

By Adrian J
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Twitter: @ABritOnThinIce1
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The extended interview can be found here!

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