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Sierra Costa Becomes first Woman GM in Canadian Jr. A Hockey History

Sierra Costa has broken the Canadian Junior Hockey League’s gender barrier, becoming the first woman to serve as GM of a Canadian Junior A league team.
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Sierra Costa has broken the Canadian Junior Hockey League’s gender barrier, becoming the first woman to serve as GM of a Canadian Junior A league team.

Costa was announced as the new GM for the Ontario Junior Hockey League’s Aurora Tigers. The Canadian Junior Hockey League is composed of nine leagues across Canada including Junior A loops in Ontario, Quebec, Alberta, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and the Maritimes.

The Tigers discovered the 24-year-old Costa while she was working with Paramount Sports Management as part of a Sports Management co-op placement through Humber College.

Soon thereafter, she was hired by the team, and made history in Canadian hockey.

As Costa told The Auroran, while this is the first stop in her hockey management journey, she has much bigger goals in mind. 

“Everyone wants to take the elevator up and get to the penthouse, the penthouse being into the NHL. But you have to start somewhere,” she said. “I think this is the greatest opportunity to start somewhere. You still have that level of competitiveness. You’re dealing with trades, you have deadlines, you’re dealing with financials.”

As Aurora Tigers team governor Jim Thomson said, while he was focused on finding a woman for the job to diversify his front office, inevitably he believes Costa was the best candidate.

“We got a person that is going to help in so many areas, make our life easier and make our organization better,” he said to The Auroran. “This is a great day for women in sports.”

This season, two women were hired to assistant general manager positions in the NHL. Émilie Castonguay and Cammi Granato joined the Vancouver Canucks organization midseason. In other North American junior leagues, women are also making inroads into management. In the USHL, Noelle Needham has been serving as an assistant GM with the powerhouse Chicago Steel since 2020.

The OJHL’s Aurora Tigers have developed several notable players in recent seasons including Ottawa Senators forward Alex Formenton and Colorado Avalanche winger Dylan Sikura. For the 2022 NHL draft, three current OJHL players made the final rankings, while 11 players from across the CJHL were on the list.

Aurora finished third in the OJHL’s North Division this season with a 25-23-2-4 record.

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