Growing up in the Midwest, Madison Doucette did what a lot of midwestern kids do: fall in love with hockey. But it took a move to Pennsylvania to see that love flourish and manifest itself to an enormous talent on the ice.
Doucette has been rampaging through the Girls ICSHL division since she was a freshman for Unionville. And for the second time she has been rewarded by being named the Daily Local News Girls Ice Hockey All-Area Player of the Year.
The seeds for the season was sown when Unionville returned practically the whole team back from its 2016 edition. The Indians rolled through the regular season unbeaten, and mostly unthreatened. They were pushed by Downingtown West in the ICSHL final game, staving of the Whippets, 3-2.
Unionville returned to its dominant self in the Flyers Cup, winning the semifinal, 9-0, before rolling over West Chester East, 9-2, in the title game.
“Obviously, it was a great season,” said Doucette. “Not having lost anybody, we knew we had a strong team, and everybody did their part and it was a fun season.”
Doucette’s size and skill were unbeatable, as she racked up 62 points in 19 games to lead the league in scoring with 37 goals and 25 assists. Her scoring spree continued in the Flyers Cup, collecting five goals and five assists in two games. Doucette walked away with the Bobby Clarke MVP award.
Knowing that they would take every team’s best shot would help the Indians keep on task, according to Doucette.
“Absolutely,” she said. “It forced us to stay focused and play our game. We took that target on our backs and it motivated us more.”
Doucette also credits her linemates — Jordan Hower and Kaelen Speck — for the dizzying offensive numbers they put up.
“It’s great playing with them,” Doucette said. “They are talented and they play with a very high end quality.”
Doucette now goes from shooting pucks at goalies to having to stop shots as a goalie for the Unionville girls lacrosse team.
But, being a goalie in one sport was enough for her parents.
“My dad wouldn’t let me,” she said when asked if she wanted to be a goalie on the ice. “I think he wanted to save my mom the stress from watching in the stand.”
Doucette has been on skates since she can remember.
“I had skates on my feet since I was three or four,” she said.
Her choices of favorite players lean to two of the top leaders in hockey.
“I love Hillary Knight,” she said. “She is such a dominant threat. On the NHL side, I’ve always admired Jonathan Towes.”
Knight, of course, led the U.S. women’s recent contract fight, then scored the winning goal in overtime in the Women’s World Championship final against Canada.
So, what do you do for an encore? Keep going, according to Doucette.
“We top it by repeating,” she said. “That will be our motivation. We lose our goalie (McKenzie Myers) and a couple of defenders, but we’ll bring most of our team back. I loved the way we sent our seniors out, and I would love to be sent out the same way. It felt very good to lift the Flyers Cup, and I want to do it again.”
Whether she plays hockey or lacrosse in college, the sport has left an indelible mark on Doucette.
“Whether I plan to play in college or not, hockey will always be a part of my life,” she said. “It’s an amazing sport and it’s great to see it grow in this area.”