Featured Martlet Alumni: Paula (Mailloux) Albiani and Sarah (Lomas) Stewart
It seems like it was just yesterday that Paula (Mailloux) Albiani and Sarah (Lomas) Stewart were lacing up the skates at the McConnell Arena and proudly wearing their Martlet Jerseys. Both girls were members of the Martlet Hockey Team from 1998 to 2003 and played integral parts in McGill climbing up the ranks of the CIS hockey world.
Better known in the hockey world as Lomer (Sarah Stewart) came to McGill from Toronto after playing for BSS Highschool and the Leaside Wildcats. Lomer graduated with a B.Ed in Kinesiology in 2003 and with a M.Sc. in 2004. Currently, working as a lawyer with LV Lomas Ltd., Sarah lives in Caldeon, Ontario on a small horse farm with her husband, Duncan Stewart (McGill B.A. 2002) and their 2-year-old daughter Mackenzie Elizabeth. Sarah and Duncan are anxiously awaiting the arrival of their second child in June 2012.
Originally from Sudbury Ontario, Paula graduated with a B.Ed in Physical Education in 2003 and went on to finish her M.B.A essential courses at University of Toronto. During her time at McGill, Paula won a scoring title in 2003 and was named to Team Quebec in 2002. After her McGill career, Paula continued to play competitive hockey in the NWHL (now CWHL) for Oakville and Ottawa and she worked in the MBA department at Rotman school of management. Paula currently lives with her husband Steve and their three kids (Carter 4, Devyn 2, and Scarlet 9 months).
Mailloux and Lomas were not only Martlet teammates but they were also roommates for 4 years and continue to be great friends today. When asked what their most memorable moment as Martlets were, both girls struggled to define one specific thing. Paula explained, “For me, it was not about one defining moment. We had many successes, as a team on the ice, however what I took away from playing my five years at McGill, was the life long friendships that I made. Even now, the girls I played hockey with at McGill are some of my closest friends. They stood in my wedding, are close with my kids, and we still get the opportunity to play hockey from time to time in Toronto”.
Lomas recalled “I have so many amazing memories from my time as a Martlet so it is impossible to choose just one. When I arrived we were a team in transition. We went from last place in the league to winning the Quebec Championship and we were also able to collect one silver and two bronze medals at the CIS National Championships. It was amazing to go through the ups and downs of a team on the rise and gives me a great sense a pride to know that our generation was able to build a foundation for what is now one of the most successful university women’s hockey programs in the world”.
Coach Smith remembers well all of those ups and downs during that time of transition. When asked about coaching both Paula and Sarah a smile quickly came to his face. Smith explained that both girls had such a great sense of humor and they were a lot of fun to coach. He remembers Paula as being one of the toughest players he every coached. “You always want your players to be hard to play against and Paula was one of those players. She wasn’t the most gifted hand wise, but she sure scored a lot of goals from being strong in front of the net and winning the battles. Off the ice Paula was one of our most well conditioned players. She understood the importance of fitness and did what she could to make sure she was as fit as possible. She has a good sense of humor and always brought lots of energy to the group. She was one of the many ‘social coordinators’ that we had on the team back in those days. She played hard and partied hard”!
Coach Smith described Sarah as a very talented hockey player. “Sarah was one of our top skilled players. She had great vision and was very knowledgable about the game. She was one of the few players who enjoyed watching hockey and understood the game very well. Off the ice, Sarah was good with the younger players and helped them to make the transition to playing with the Martlets. Sarah was another very sociable athlete who always brought a smile to the rink. She was energetic and loved being a part of the team”.
In our interview, Sarah was asked to sum up her thoughts on her experience of Martlet Hockey and life at McGill. She described her McGill experience as follows, “Being a Martlet is an experience that has been invaluable to my education, personal and professional success. It has provided me with my best friends, some of my greatest memories and has taught me a wide range of skills. Time management, leadership, teamwork and hard work are essential skills for every Martlet and are also crucial for life after hockey. I went to McGill for the combination of the hockey program, the school’s academic reputation and its location in Montreal. I left with 6 years of memories that I would not trade for anything”.
Paula discussed the lessons she learned from being a Martlet, “The two biggest lessons that I have learned from being Martlet that I still use today is discipline and time management. People always ask me how I seem to get to everything ten minutes early with three kids under the age of 4. They obviously do not know that the Martlet Hockey program has trained me in time management!!! Also, as a Martlet you need to be able to do a bit of a balancing act with school, hockey, and ladies night at Cheers. To me that was discipline! This ability to have discipline and time management continues to be very helpful in my current situation.
To conclude, both Paula and Sarah were great players and more importantly great people to have sported the Martlet Hockey Jersey. They are great examples of how the lessons learned through varsity sport at McGill has helped contribute to their successes with their families and their professional careers.
It is always great to see Sarah and Paula when the Martlets travel to the Greater Toronto Area to play games and of course every year they both make the trip to Montreal for the Annual Martlet Alumni Weekend.