7Women of Oilersnation

Women of Oilersnation: Jennifer Wrobel (AKA McJenny)

I’m BACK! Did ya miss me?!

Kyla the Oilersnation intern is all grown up and now Kyla the business owner is here to bring you the Women of Oilersnation!

Women of Oilersnation

When the chance to work with Oilersnation again came up, I knew I wanted to use the opportunity to combine my mission behind her Soul Shot of amplifying the voices of women in sports with the hockey world.

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THE WOMEN OF OILERSNATION

Each week, I’ll be featuring some of the incredible women who are a part of the Oilersnation community and the hockey community as a whole.

First up? A woman I can’t wait to crush wine with while yelling at the TV during a game.

If you’re on Twitter, you’ll know her as McJenny, but in “real” life, she’s Jennifer Wrobel: A Kindergarten teacher by day, and the biggest Oilers fan by night. Plus, she probably owns more Nation Gear than all of us combined.

She’s an incredible woman who organizes Oilers Girls Night each year (minus during pandemics) to bring the women’s Oilers community together and raise money for important causes!

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MEET JEN WROBEL

Women of Oilersnation

KYLA: Who is Jenny?!

What’s your day job?

JEN: Growing up, I always wanted to be a teacher, and specifically a Kindergarten teacher. Well, after a degree in elementary education, minoring in special ed and about a decade of subbing, part-time teaching, temporary contract jobs, etc., I finally found my dream job of teaching full day Kindergarten and now teach a morning (in person) class and an online afternoon class. I absolutely love Kindergarten!

What are your passions?

Kindergarten and early learning are most certainly passions of mine. I’m also definitely on the fanatic side of being an Oilers fan as well.

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What’s something interesting about you that not many people know?

I’m a pretty boring person, in case you find that interesting! Haha Maybe the only (kind of interesting) thing about me is that I planned my wedding to be on July 16th (also Wayne Gretzky’s anniversary!)

I also have a (terrible) “99” tattoo that I got when he retired! Oh, and I named my daughter Eva after my favourite movie, Goon, and my son’s name is Easton Stanley (and that’s not just because two of his great grandfathers were named Stanley 😂).

KYLA: How did you get into hockey? Have you always been as passionate about it as you are now?

JEN: I don’t remember a second of my life when I didn’t love hockey! My grandma used to tell me that she would have me beside her when she was reading her newspaper and at six months old I would clap and get excited when she got to the sports section! I remember going to games with my dad as a kid and I totally remember the 1990 Cup run and win because my sisters and I would cover my grandma’s driveway in sidewalk chalk Oilers logos and Stanley Cup drawings.

When I was 18 I lined up at “Hire a Student” like we all did back in the day when it was time to find a summer job, and Northlands was there hiring. Well, I absolutely knew how much I’d love to get paid to be at Oilers games, so I filled out an application and even though I answered the “How do you maintain a positive attitude?” question with “Smile, be happy and Go Crazy” (as the Go Crazy saying was the Oilers’ ad campaign at the time), I actually got hired and I got to be an usher at Oilers games throughout my university career! 

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KYLA: Have you faced any barriers or hardships being a woman in the hockey community?

JEN: I may be in the minority here, but not really. I have certainly had moments when I know my opinion wasn’t taken seriously or when I wasn’t even heard, but I don’t feel like being a female has been a barrier at all.

I didn’t play hockey growing up though, but that was a money reason, not a ‘being a girl’ reason, even though I always wanted to! So, when I moved out to the small town I live near now, I joined their women’s team as everyone was welcome! Well, let me tell you, getting your body to do the things your brain knows it should when you’re 30-something is quite the challenge!

Everyone on that team was so helpful and positive and made me really feel like a part of their team, but a hockey player I am not! My first ever game was kind of an accident. It was a scheduled practice night but a team showed up, so we ended up playing a game (I was certainly not ready to play a game yet). As the game unfolded there was a bit of a bench clearing brawl!

Now, if you know me on twitter you know how I love a good hockey fight… EXCEPT NOT IF I’M INVOLVED! I did not partake in the fight and I really questioned what I’d gotten myself into at that point hahaha I did go back and did score my one and only goal during a home tournament later that year, but I’ve since retired 🤣

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KYLA: What does hockey mean to you?

JEN: I feel like my answer should be a lot more epic than this, but it’s just always felt like a best friend to me. Always a part of my life. Sometimes we are on good terms and sometimes I get my heart broken, but I’ll never give up on it. 

KYLA: What’s your favourite Oilers memory?

JEN: Oh wow! Well the most recent is probably the Battle of Alberta goalie fight night! It was just such a fun game for Oilers fans all around! 

Every game that I have taken my kids to has been a fave memory, even though we certainly didn’t win every game! Each year I take Eva and Easton to a game for their birthday. Last year for Eva’s birthday we turned it up a notch and stayed in a hotel room! Not only did the Oilers beat the Preds that game but we had the best mommy/daughter date night and sleepover! 

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Women of Oilersnation

I can’t not say that the 2015 Draft Lottery wasn’t a favorite Oilers memory! I was holding a sleeping two-month-old Eva and I whisper screamed the second that golden ticket appeared! I subsequently got a McDavid jersey for my first Mother’s Day!

All of the 2006 Cup run is a fantastic memory! I had such a great kindergarten class that year and we kept track of the scores after every game and learned a lot of math that spring! Whyte Ave was just so electric and I even ended up winning a ticket to the triple overtime game against the Sharks in Round 2 and it was every bit as epic as you’d imagine.

KYLA: Let’s talk Oilers Girls Night!

Women of Oilersnation
Logo created by Carly Derms

What is it?

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JEN: Oh I’m so glad you asked! It is an amazing night of watching an (away) Oilers game at The Pint off Whyte, with some of the most fabulous ladies of Oilersnation! All while raising money with a silent auction for You Can Play Canada! (Although we have exciting news about our postponed event once we can finally host it!)

How did this come about?

Talking through Twitter one night with Allie, Lynn Mercereau, and my sister, Krista, we decided to finally meet up for drinks and to watch a game! There were a few of us planning to meet up and this was going to be Allie’s debut party so we decided to turn it into a fundraiser for a good cause!

We asked Twitter for some silent auction items and wow did the good people of Oilers Twitter ever deliver! Our first event was on January 13, 2018 and not only did we have a blast and got to see an Oilers win, but we also raised over $2100 for You Can Play Canada.

Our second year’s event was bigger and better! We started collecting feminine products that (going forward) will be going to No Woman Without and we ended up raising over $4500! We cannot wait to see what is in store for our hat trick event! Hopefully we can see everyone in person for it sooner rather than later!

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Why is doing it important to you and why do you think it’s important for women in hockey to connect through something like this?

It’s so important to me that the girls coming feel comfortable to be themselves and that’s the reason why for the duration of the Oilers game it’s just the girls! I’ve always found girl friends the hardest to make but by coming together in this way, with hockey being a common interest, it’s been amazing to find so many wonderful women who are a ton of fun to hang out with! 

What’s your favourite part of doing it?

So many things! The hugs! The chance to meet the ladies from Oilers Twitter! The ability to watch a game with so many women who love the game and of course the incredible rush we get from being able to raise money for an LGBTQI2S+ charity because love is love and Oiler fans are Oiler fans! 

KYLA: With Covid hitting, obviously Oilers Girls Night couldn’t happen and attending games and gathering to watch them with people is off limits. You’ve got a pretty large Twitter following, though, so you’ve been able to stay connected with the community online—what role does social media play for you being a hockey fan?

JEN: I love Twitter. I live far away from all of my hockey fan friends so, for years, it’s been my place to yell and scream about hockey and actually get to interact with others while watching the game. 

KYLA: What does being a part of the Oilersnation community mean to you?

JEN: It is such a good place to be. We have bonded over the Decade of Darkness but we have Hope that will never die. It’s a lot about giving and helping others and having a really fun time along the way.

Women of Oilersnation

her Soul Shot shows women how powerful they are through sport by providing resources, community, and inspiration for all women to live their soul’s truth and take their shot in sports.

Learn more on her Soul Shot’s website, listen to the her Soul Shot Podcast and follow us on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.