During a ceremony held prior to the Nashville Predators' March 2 home game against the Vancouver Canucks, the Predators organization announced that Paige Higginson and Dan Bourget had been named Youth Hockey Player of the Month and Youth Hockey Volunteer of the Month, respectively, for March. Predators forward Scott Walker was on hand to present Higginson and Bourget each with a plaque recognizing their efforts. The two were nominated and selected as part of a program created by the Predators that regularly recognizes players and volunteers in the Nashville area who demonstrate character skills that make youth hockey a better experience for all involved.
Higginson, March Player of the Month, is 14, and plays defense for the Nashville Lady Ice Tigers of the Nashville Youth Hockey League (NYHL). She also plays for the Franklin High School Rebels, a team in the Greater Nashville Area Scholastic Hockey (GNASH) League. Higginson has played ice hockey for only two years, but is no stranger to the ice. Growing up in Canada, she was a figure skater and speed skater. According to her mother, Higginson always wanted to play ice hockey but in Canada ice time was much more restricted. Higginson is extremely determined in everything she does, including keeping straight's in school.
Higginson is a valued member of the Nashville Lady Ice Tigers 19-and-under ice hockey team. She is willing to assist new teammates and mentor less skilled players. As the only female on the Franklin High Rebels hockey team, Higginson works hard to prove she can play with the boys. Her enthusiasm is contagious as she cheers for her teammates. She accepts criticism well and works on improving her skills. Higginson has earned respect and acceptance from everyone she meets, including her male teammates, because of her strong work ethic on the ice. Even though Higginson plays on two teams, she always gives 110%.
Team manager of the Nashville Lady Ice Tigers, Susan Burdorf, nominated Higginson as an all-around team player. Higginson's determination, sportsmanship and love for the game have allowed her to be a great example to all, and for this the Nashville Predators have recognized her as the March Youth Hockey Player of the Month.
The Nashville Predators are also proud to have named Dan Bourget as the March Youth Hockey Volunteer of the Month. Bourget is the founder and head coach of the Pope John Paul II High School Knights hockey team, part of GNASH. Prior to volunteering with GNASH and coaching the JP II Knights, this USA Hockey Level 4 Certified Coach volunteered with the Hendersonville In-Line Hockey Association. Bourget has been the head coach of the Knights since the team's inception three years ago. The team began as a co-op squad with Station Camp High School in Hendersonville, but under Bourget's leadership, dedication and interest in the players, the teams have split, allowing students to have the opportunity to play for their respective schools.
It is because of Bourget's positive and caring attitude for the players and the game that he is being recognized. Bourget teaches all players to be and do their best while maintaining true sportsmanship, moral values, and care for all players, teammates and competing players. He thinks first of the players, making sure that no matter the outcome of the game, they approach it as a team.
JP II Knights team representative on the GNASH Board of Directors, Steve Molnar, nominated Bourget because of the positive influence he has had in the local hockey community. Out of his love for the game and care for all, Bourget spends a large amount of time volunteering for hockey, and for this the Nashville Predators have recognized him as the March Youth Hockey Volunteer of the Month.
For more information on the local hockey recognition program, or to nominate someone who is making a difference in a Nashville area youth hockey community, visit the Local Hockey Recognition Page in the Play Hockey section of nashvillepredators.com.