Matt MacDougall, the 2022-23 first-team All-Star trainer with the Powassan Voodoos, is hanging up his trainer’s belt in exchange for hockey skates again as the 22-year-old has committed to play for the Niagara University Purple Eagles ACHA Division 1 hockey team this fall.
MacDougall, who played in the NOJHL for both the Powassan Voodoos and Hearst Lumberjacks from 2018 to 2021, says he was offered an opportunity to keep playing by Niagara University during the COVID-19 shortened season.
“I was one of those guys that Covid took the passion away from the game for me,” said MacDougall, who turns 23 in June.
“We stayed in touch which I could not be more thankful for and when I came to Powassan I was expecting to come in and do a job that I knew I was going to enjoy because I always loved being behind the scenes in hockey.”
MacDougall credits the Voodoos coaches Peter Goulet, Josh Hardiman, and Josh Dale for helping him embrace the game again. He thanks Voodoos’ former owner Ray Seguin, Team President Jim Bruce along with GM Chris Dawson for trusting he could do the trainer’s job that helped him reignite that love for hockey.
“It kind of fuelled me seeing how passionate everyone was about hockey. and just being around the guys and the comradery it really helped me bring an interest back to the game,” admitted MacDougall.
Peter Goulet, Voodoos head coach and co-owner, did some private training with MacDougall to get him prepared for this transition from trainer back to defenceman.
“I think it is a pretty special jump,” said Goulet.
“Matt did an unbelievable job for us this year, he was great with injury paperwork and for him to be able to make the jump to ACHA Division 1 hockey is pretty special. He went from playing to helping as a trainer and back to playing at an even higher level, so to make that transition is very unique.”
With the departure of MacDougall, the Voodoos are looking for a head trainer for the upcoming 2023-24 season. Anyone interested is asked to contact Chris Dawson, Voodoos GM, at email@example.com.