14 November, 2017

"In my 40 years I have learned I don't like to be labelled. I love working, I love being a mother and a wife. I love movies, I love hanging out and I love laughing. I love to be active and I love my Zumba classes. It just so happens I love ice skating, too. The sound skates make slicing over the ice was one of the coolest things to little me. And, for two years now, I love playing hockey.

Sport is something I find important. From early childhood, to learning how to move, run, and to be coordinated. Sport is something that needs to be in every person's life in an amount and form that is suitable for one. There is no need to be the best player or the fastest runner, but it's important to be open minded and to try different sports, to love to try various type of activities, to learn about teamwork, how to give your maximum and to be a good human being.

In Croatia, (AKA King's Landing in Game of Thrones or the beautiful country in Europe where awesome people live) when we speak of sports, football, handball and water polo are definitely on top. There are just five ice rinks in our whole country and one of them is in my home-town, Sisak. Sisak has a very long tradition of ice hockey. The first game was played in 1930, and the second one in 1931. When one of the first women in this part of the world was a member of a hockey team, she was a goalie. Her name was Višnja Godler and she was a very special lady. She was moving boundaries back then as we are moving them today. Not much has changed over a little less than a century in terms of being a woman in the man's sport of hockey. At least, this is still the point of view many have in our country. Except, our little 'fellowship of the puck' doesn't hold this view. So, I'll tell you a short version of a story about how I have become a part of the hockey club Siscia from Sisak.

Two years ago I brought my 10-year-old daughter with average skating skills to try inline hockey and ultimately, when winter came (hopefully not with White Walkers) and our outdoor ice rink opens, to try ice hockey, too. Among a majority of boys, a few girls where there and my daughter practised with them. She got hooked almost immediately. There were also a few moms trying hard not to fall off of the inline skates, gripping the stick so hard I was waiting for it to break. In that moment I thought: It looks hard, but I wanna try. I did and got hooked as well. One important thing I was not aware at the time is that female hockey is not quite the same as men's hockey. The rules are slightly different. In female hockey direct body contact among opponents is not allowed. This is something that everyone should be aware of because that is the main reason why parents don`t let their daughters play. Me included, in my early, no-hockey life.

Two years later, my daughter and I still train and compete. We played together, as well as against each other. Last season my team won a silver medal and hers won bronze in the Croatian championship. There are no words to describe how proud I am of her and myself. We have time for nothing but school, work and hockey, our staircase always smells funny and someone could easily trip over our equipment. Our house is not getting cleaned often enough, but us spending time together is priceless and our bonding through this sport is something few could understand. She video tapes my skating and tries to correct me. I used to correct her in the beginning, but young minds and bodies learn new skills faster and, of course, now she is correcting me and pointing out what am I doing wrong.

There are many moms who train and compete as members of our senior female team nicknamed Godlerice (in honor of the previously mentioned lady Višnja Godler). Every one of them has a daughter and/or a son in different younger categories in the club. Some have one, some two and some even three kids as active hockey players. For most of them, years of being hockey moms/momsicles outside of the ice rink influenced the growth of a real love for the game. Ultimatelly that has become an impulse to start for themselves. Some of us have been active in different sports from early childhood and some haven't. It makes no difference–we all love hockey and every single one of us gave it a shot. Today, we make a team as single families glued together in a big hockey one.

We share similar feelings and experiences. That incredible feeling when your child is much better than you and is the one to teach you something. When your child sees and recognizes your effort to learn and become better. When you watch, study and try to copy the movements of your kid who is so much better than you are. When you get a glimpse of proud and amazed astonishment in their eyes because they know they can be and are a role model to you. That gives them a great dose of self-confidence (one of the most important and basic emotions for healty development of a young person). Through hockey, our life roles are switched.

To us, our kids become what we are to them in every other segment of life: someone who teaches you virtues, who you ask for opinions and advice, who ultimately inspire you not to be perfect (hockey player) but to be the best you can as a player, as a teammate, as a person. To feel and live this emotional equality in a relationship (parent-child) which is everything, but equality is one of the most empowering experiences. On the other hand, it is so very endearing when your daughter doesn`t want to hear the word hockey because of her elder brothers (both hockey players) but seeing her mom on the ice she wants to be and becomes a part of it, too. Or when you are paired with your eight-year-old kid and you stick handle and pass among yourselves smiling back at each other.  Or when you cheer for your kids at their match only to listen to them cheering for you as you compete for your team the day after. There is no better feeling in the world!

We ladies have different jobs, life stories, medical problems, money issues and everything that is called LIFE, but we all have something in common: we are playing HOCKEY and we are LOVING it. We train hard, we travel far for games, we are trying constantly to find sponsors (still hard to find those). We are not buying shoes, makeup or accessories any more—we are buying hockey equipment instead. But we are laughing all the time, we are bonding with our offspring. We have found and created a new (hockey) family which has our backs on and off the ice. We are there for each other - to help, to comfort, to cheer or just to go out after practise and drink some fine beer (last beeing the best part).

We have it all, except money. But who cares when at 9 PM our kids finish their practise and we ladies start ours. There are quick kisses if we are stealthy, and then you hear the sound of whistle and the sticks hitting the pavement or ice. There are sounds of laughter because our coach turns a blind eye regarding us and our humour. Once the practice starts, all bets are off and we are listening, skating and paying the most attention. One day my daughter skated behind me and in a hush voice asked me if I understood the drill, if not she will help me. How can you top that?

Until the end of this year we will have our new proper ice rink (arena). We have boys and girls of different ages in our club, so one day we moms will be veterans and our daughters will be seniors playing with the new generation of girls, giving them the leadership and motivation they got from us.

All this time, from my very hockey beginnings, my sister couldn`t shut me up talking about it, so recently she came to practise and tried out. I don`t need to tell you that after one training she bought skates, inline skates and complete equipment. Now she and her two daughters train as well. She is two years younger than me but she was always better in sports. So now I need to step up my game.

In Croatia there are roughly 50 female senior hockey players. Our big support in hockey development are girls from the oldest and most successful female club in Croatia KHL Gri from Zagreb. Inspired by our work and story, recently girls and women from Karlovac, another Croatian town with hockey tradition, gathered to launch their female team at IHK Karlovac. Now we occasionally get together to play friendly matches, exchange our experiences, spend time together talking, laughing and drinking fine beer of course. Step by step, together, we are making the Croatian female hockey family bigger and stronger.

At the global level, women's hockey is one of the fastest growing sports. We hope it only gets bigger and more popular each and every day. Cheaper equipment would be a great thing, too."


 - Vedrana Matak | Siscia Hockey Club | Sisak, Croatia | #WHLPeople




31 October, 2017

On starting a movement by putting up inspiring posters on locker room walls for other girls who have to change alone:
"I want to do this because as the only girl on my team, I understand how separated girls can feel in these small, cramped, locker rooms with no one around. By seeing these posters, I want other girls to know that other girls are in the exact same position and that they're rooting for them. I would love for girls in all sports to leave behind these words of encouragement to each other." - Emma Johns | Goalie | Stars | West Michigan | #WHLPeople




26 October, 2017

"Facing the possibility of never playing the game again is one of the scariest things I’ve ever been confronted with. I’ve dealt with the death of a parent, my own mental health battles and other hurdles in life, but none of that seems as difficult as the thought of never again playing the very game that got me through those events.

 

In March of this year I was in a car accident that gave me my sixth concussion and severe whiplash that seems to only get worse as the months go by. Four weeks after that, I had knee surgery to replace my torn ACL from a prior hockey injury. I thought the year recovery period from surgery would give my body the time it needed to heal, but so far that hasn’t been the case.

 

Every day I wake up hoping that I’ll be able to turn my head without the feeling of knives slicing my neck. I hope I’ll be able to do regular activities and maybe even workout without being overcome with dizziness. I pray I’ll make it through the day without a migraine or getting a panic attack from the anxiety. Then, I go to bed hoping that it’ll all go away so I can finally sleep. It hasn’t happened yet.

 

The one thing I want to do to deal with both the physical and emotional pain is play hockey. I want to be standing in my crease, stopping pucks and feeling a part of something again with my teammates. I want to be in control. I want to play the game that’s helped me be who I am today. The thought of never having that again because of these injuries not healing or the risk of another concussion being too high is harder to deal with than the pain I’m in every day.

 

Hockey has been my constant. It’s always been there for me. I have my best friends because of it. I have the man I love because of it. I have my career because of it. I have an identity because of it. I have my life because of it.

 

Some people may see the easy solution to everything as giving up playing—that’s not a solution for me. That’s an ending that I’m not ready to write yet. Sometimes the game gives us so much, and we give the game so much that not having it is as dangerous as what it could do to us if we keep playing.

 

Imagine not having the very thing that gets you out of bed every day, or the thing that makes you feel like you. Imagine not having the very thing that keeps you sane. Now try to tell me to give up hockey, because that’s what hockey is for me.

 

Through everything, I’m reminded of the power of hockey and how much it’s given to people. It’s not just a game. It’s a safe haven.  I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to return to my safe haven again, but I can tell you that I won’t stop fighting to return to it." - Kyla Lane | Goalie | NCHL | Edmonton, AB 




16 October, 2017

"Today I want to acknowledge the fact that every human on this earth has the right to love, play and know about hockey. Your gender, age, nationality, and skill level DO NOT matter. Love the game, love it for the sense of belonging it gives you, love it for its ability to make you feel brave, strong and free. Love the game for the peace it brings you and simply love the game because you love it.

 

It has now been 8 years since I first joined organized hockey. It took time for me to really feel like I belonged and that I was a hockey player. This wasn’t because people were telling me I wasn’t. I, myself had created a notion that you couldn’t be a ‘true’ hockey player if you only played hockey once a week, with girls half your age. I thought I wasn’t entitled to be called a hockey player. Three years after I first laced up my skates as a member of a minor hockey association I found myself on a Midget Girls Rep team—a team that attended the provincial championships, yet I still couldn’t utter the sentence “I play hockey” without feeling as if it wasn’t entirely true. I cannot quite pinpoint why this was, but I can now confidently and happily tell anyone “I am a hockey player”. I love being a hockey player. The only question you should ever have to ask yourself before declaring that you are a hockey player is: “Do I play hockey?” If the answer is yes, you are a hockey player. Your gender and skill level do not matter. You are a hockey player because you PLAY HOCKEY… it is that simple.

 

My journey as a female athlete, and more specifically a female who loves hockey, hasn’t always been easy. I’ve been accused of compiling my wealth of hockey knowledge simply to impress boys. I’ve been told that men will find me intimidating. But honestly I do it for me, I do it because I enjoy it, and because I love hockey.  This is why you can find me shooting pucks in my garage, with no motive of making a team or trying to work my way on to the top line (I play recreational women’s hockey, we all get to play the same amount).  I do it because I love it, and it has taken me a long time to accept that I’m allowed to.

 

I share this with you today because one of my biggest regrets has been that I didn’t join hockey as a young athlete, not because I could have been an exceptional hockey player or that maybe I could have played at a high level. I regret it because I kept myself from doing something I loved for 9 years—9 years of letting other people's opinions dictate my life.

 

If you have ever felt that you cannot play hockey because you are female, or because you have never skated or maybe you think it’s too late, or for any other reason your self-doubt has offered you: I’m here to tell you that YOU CAN. And if no one else will support you, I will. If you are a shy kid, or adult, like I was be brave you’ll thank yourself for it later.  Hockey is for everyone.

 

As Hayley Wickenheiser would say “Buck it”: Buck the sexism, the what ifs, the stereotypes and do what you love." - Ella Maskiewich | Hockey Player | Smithers Prowlers | British Columbia | #WHLPeople  




12 October, 2017

My name is Diana, I'm 23 and live and study in Bonn, Germany. I play defense for two roller hockey teams.

Growing up as a 90’s kid in a soccer-dominated Germany, my first, and unfortunately long forgotten, contact with hockey had been the Mighty Ducks. Some ten years later, I started to be interested in Canadian music and culture, and my hockey journey began after I saw a World Cup game in 2009. I began to go to public skating every Saturday morning and watched a game of a local club. I started to grow into that club off the ice as I was asked to write a rink newspaper.

I went to every game, was among the last to leave the arena and the players looked forward to being interviewed by me and a partner.

Then, in 2010, I went to my first ever hockey practice. At that point, I already had a two-year bullying history and a three-year long and painful journey with a too high kneecap (several injuries of said knee and diagnosed with knock-knees).

I have to say that I never really fit in: I was the one playing soccer with the boys in the schoolyard while the girls played with jumping ropes and I was the one who was never interested in dancing and ballet. Burying myself in books and being active for the life guards, doing athletics and martial arts, and not listening to rap or hip hop (those were a thing from 2007 to 2013), I was considered strange. Apart from that, weighing 90 kilograms and doing sports was a combination no one ever wanted to believe. I lived for sports, history, books, music and science fiction series. I was judged by the way I looked and because of my interests.

Hockey changed EVERYTHING for me. I was nervous when entering the gym, but the first guy did not judge me. He even showed me the way to the right locker room. I think he was kind of HAPPY to see that there was someone interested in hockey. The same goes for my coach and our goalie. They were not interested in how I looked, they were interested in me as a person and in showing me how to skate properly and handle the stick. Over the years, the skating helped me to build muscles that work against my knock-knees.

During the next practices, the guys joined in and helped out with coaching even if they had an important game the next day. One of them was such a big fan that he told everyone how much we developed and never gave up and tried and tried. After seven years, he still does that when he sees us.

 

Being a team of many beginners, we were quite good and even won a game in our first season. After just two years in the second league, many players left. This is normal for a rural student-dominated town, but no new players joined. The leagues where changed and as the southernmost team, we decided not to play that season. Little did we know that it would be a decision that has not changed by now. We tried as a mixed team, but it did not work out. Some joined another team, some quit hockey, and just a few are still coming to practices with no games to prepare for.

  

With tendon problems in my left wrist, I was not really able to play from 2013 on. There were ups and downs, sure, but it was like hell for me. At some points even there wasn’t the acceptance I needed among the players that were left.

What changed my life again was a tournament where I met my second team. Even though I am not good at scoring, they cheered for my teammates and me as if it was the last game in the final round of the NHL playoffs.

The guys formed a non-competitive men’s team where I study and I decided to give it a try. It was the best decision I ever made in hockey. As one of the first two women, they welcomed me with open arms. They supported me in everything and being not as good as them was no problem. Two years later, I consider them family. No matter how bad everything is, practicing with the guys is always something to look forward to. They cared for me when I needed surgery and made me comfortable. They guaranteed me that nothing changed and that I still had the same place on the team when I returned. They even cared for me when my father suddenly died.

With a semester abroad waiting for me next year, one of the first things I did was contact a team where I’m going. I now have a group of people who are happy that I want to join them and are waiting for me.

I always said that women’s hockey is most important for me, but by now, what is most important for me is that I play for a team that isn’t just a team on the paper, but is a team with everything from games and tournaments, to renting the ice rink for a fun practice, and having team members not being “bullied” by other players: A team to count on in every situation no matter if its’s during the game or outside the rink.

 

Joining a men’s team didn’t just give me strength and new friends, it gave me three fathers, 15 older brothers and two younger brothers.

Hockey isn’t just a fun hobby for me. Hockey gave me courage, a second family and the feeling to be wanted. It gave me a place in this world. My place in this world.




03 October, 2017

"Have you ever faced so much adversity that you just wanted to stop or quit whatever it is that you were doing? Maybe it was a job that you hated, or even a sport that you grew exhausted, distant, or burnt out from?

 

My name is Chelsey Goldberg, and I attended Northeastern University and was given the opportunity to play Division 1 College hockey for four years. While it was the best decision I ever made, I will be the first to tell you that it was not easy.

 

Before this chapter of my life I played hockey at North American Hockey Academy in Stowe, Vermont for two years. This was an awesome experience and I was able to play hockey at an elite level to prepare me for college. However, the unexpected and adventurous journey began here. Around January of junior year I broke my right fibula during a game. After a long six-month recovery I was cleared to play. Senior year comes around and this time, almost a year to the date, in early February, I ironically break my left fibula during competition. Fortunately, I had committed early enough to Northeastern and my coach honored my scholarship.

 

Again, I worked as hard as I could to recover and become even stronger, better, and faster than I was before. August of 2011 I arrive on the Boston campus and was more excited than I ever have been to begin a new phase of my life. After much training I felt so ready to start playing college hockey. A few months go by and I begin to feel weak, tired, and uncertain of what my body was going through. Sure enough I got diagnosed with mono in November. So, I missed the rest of the season and was not cleared to play again until summer time. What happened? Well I trained harder than ever and was ready for my sophomore year. Unfortunately I had played three games over the limit to redshirt, so was not able to get that year back.

 

Sophomore year comes around and I notice that my fibula, which I happened to get five screws and a plate put into, started to act up every time I skated. My team doctor ran some images and informed me that I needed to remove the hardware as soon as possible. The hardware comes out and for the fourth year in a row I am battling another recovery. “Why are you still playing? Why have you not quit yet? Aren’t you exhausted?” These were questions that I was getting asked almost everyday, and I’m not going to lie, they definitely crossed through my mind as well. But, again I recovered and was ready to go. Sophomore season gets washed out, and I get the clear to play my junior and senior year at Northeastern University.

 

My first game back I scored two short-handed goals and helped the team to a weekend sweep over RIT. Like I said this journey was no doubt the hardest time in my life, but I never gave up and am now playing professional hockey for the Boston Blades, in the Canadian Women’s Hockey League. My message to everyone remains, just when you think you have had enough or you can’t keep going, you still have enough and you absolutely CAN keep going. DO NOT ever give up, and make it a goal to prove people wrong. My positive attitude and my will to get even stronger, faster, and better than I was before definitely helped me persevere through the adversity that I faced for four years in a row. Like I said, it was not easy, but if I could take anything back and do it all over again, I would change nothing. The hardships that I faced during this chapter of my life made me into the strong and positive woman that I am today." - Chelsey Goldberg | Boston Blades | CWHL




29 September, 2017

"I love doing play-by-play because although I can’t play hockey anymore I am still a part of the game. I also have the opportunity to watch the players grow on and off the ice. It is difficult for women to break into play-by-play, especially in hockey. I would counsel women who wish to break the glass ceilings in sports broadcasting to persevere and follow the example of female athletes who have paved the way for women in professional sports." - Natalie Bober | Former Player and Current Play-by-Play Announcer | Lake Forest College



25 September, 2017

"My name is Tina and I'm from Sweden.

I started playing ice hockey in 1980 when I was 14 years old. My soccer teammate wanted to play ice hockey, so she managed to gather enough friends to convince the club in our community to start a girls team. None of us had ever played before and hardly anyone could skate especially well, but we learned—we become a team and that team still exists! There are other players on it now, of course, but some of us are actually still on the ice.

I became the team's goaltender and I played for 12 years. At 26 I thought it was time to try to make myself a family, something that wasn't really possible when I was spending most of my time at the arena. I left the team, met a man and had two wonderful kids—a girl and a boy.

In 2002 my six-year-old daughter told me she wanted to play hockey, and it didn't take long before her 4-year-old brother joined her on that idea! 
So the three of us started at ice hockey school! I assisted on the ice the first year and then shared the head coach responsibilty for the school the next four years. I then became shared head coach for my son's team for four years and later became team manager for the same team for three years. I also helped out on the girls team (mostly with the goalie). I was on the board of the ice hockey club for almost two years.

Then I left the arena thinking I had done my part and decided I was only going to be an ice hockey parent. That lasted for about six months before I joined a project group consisting of people representing the three different ice hockey clubs in the community. The project was arranged with assistance from the community with the aim of investigating the pros and cons of possibly merging the three existing clubs into one. The project lasted for a year and a half before we managed to convince enough people in all three clubs of the benefit of only having one joint club. We got the authority to arrange this and once the new club was established in 2013 I was on the board responsible for building up the girls and ladies teams.

One challenge was to get enough players to fill up the two girls teams, but by reaching out to other clubs that didn't have any girls teams, and had girls playing on boys teams, we got it to work. The ladies team came from my old club and become a representation team in the new club, along with the mens A team. Another challenge was to ensure the girls/ladies ice hockey got the same priority as the boys/mens teams. I believe we managed to get there in the beginning thanks to the fact that we started a new club and as the board was in agreement on this priority we set the rules to make sure of this. Of course, it wasn't always easy as there will alway be people around who don't think girls should play ice hockey, and if they do they should only to get the leftovers from the boys.

I left the board after two years and thought that I wasn't going to do anything hockey-related, but then a friend of mine came up with the fantastic idea to start a ladies recreation ice hockey team! So, back on the ice again, and it is great! We have 22 players between the ages of 16 and 53. It's a mix of new beginners and old players ("old" meaning those who had played before and now are doing it again just for fun!) I'm playing on the same team as my daughter who's now 22 years old, and my husband is our coach.

I've been engaged with ice hockey for so many years and for so many reasons, but at the end of the day it's one thing that counts, that matters, that brings you forward, that makes you put all the effort in and spend all the time it takes because it gives back so much in return—JUST LOVE THE GAME!" - Tina Carlson | Haninge, Sweden | Haninge Anchors

 

 




20 September, 2017

"My name is Diana Alampi. I am 44 years old with three teenagers. 

My oldest boy started out with hockey, then my daughter, followed by my youngest. 


In 2012, as a mom driving all three around to arenas and working, I found myself very exhausted. I was always feeling unwell, run down and weak, but I knew I had to continue my life as a mom so my kids could pursue their dreams. At the time, going back 5 -7 years, I didn't even know what an offside was. 

I was always athletic, but one thing I never learned to do was skate—I couldn't even stand up on skates. 


In 2012 I was diagnosed with narcolepsy, which is a neurological condition. It's an immune attack to the orexin/hypocretin of the brain. People with narcolepsy don't produce enough orexin and in turn, it affects their sleep/wake cycles, which causes extreme daytime sleepiness to the point of feeling ill. 


I wasn't going to let that run my life, though, so I told my family I wanted to learn to skate and play hockey. They were so supportive! 


Having never skated before, I knew that I needed some practice, so faithfully 3-4 times per week I would dress up in full hockey gear and go to adult skating during the day. All of the many retirees would be there skating without helmets on and here I was in full gear. I knew it was the only way for me to learn as I was extremely afraid to skate and fall and couldn't even balance. 


Many of the adult skaters were so incredibly helpful! At 39 years old, I was determined, and more and more I just wanted to keep skating.


I did it faithfully and signed up for a women's hockey league that same year. I started off in the lowest tier, which was tier 6. It was the best "goal" I had yet to accomplish. I am presently still playing and moving up to tier 4 this year. I haven't gotten many goals, but FINALLY did last year! 

My kids were my inspiration through their love and passion for the game—they taught me passion. Learning the game of hockey taught me to appreciate and love a new sport. It also helped me exercise through something I love to beat: narcolepsy. 

I want to inspire women and let them know that it's never too late to start, learn, love the game of hockey and make many new friends! Most of all, to know that even through having a condition that changes the dynamic of life, it's possible to still play hockey and fight a condition by keeping your mind and spirit happy doing something you love and should be proud of. Hockey was my choice and it's the most amazing sport! When you're on the ice nothing else matters!" - Diana Alampi | Hockey player & mom  | Hamilton, Ontario 

 




11 September, 2017

"I watched hockey my entire life, I grew up with the Detroit Red Wings winning the cup four times before I turned 13 but we didn't have a rink in my county until I was 10. I started playing hockey for fun when I was a month away from turning 14. But then two months later my mom took me to an Adrian college women's hockey game and I decided I wanted to play college hockey at Adrian. Fast forward a few years and I ended up having to quit playing because there weren't enough girls my age in my area to form a team, I would've had to drive almost three hours to find a team. So first I student coached the best group of girls who won the state title my junior year. And then I decided that if I couldn't play, I'd make sure other little girls had the opportunity to play and not have to quit like i did. Since hanging up my skates, I've attended countless Michigan Amateur Hockey Association meetings with my mom to advocate for girls and recently boycotted working the World Championships because of how usa hockey treated the women. I may not play anymore, but I'm doing everything I can to make sure no other little girl has to quit because of lack of opportunity." - @carlymarie.14 (Instagram) | Women's Hockey Advocate 



16 August, 2017

"Little did I know that when Manon Rheaume played a few games for the Las vegas Thunder of the IHL that I would like womens hockey as much as I do know. My recent love for the game started with Brianne McLaughlin and the USA Womens Olympic Team. Then following other goalies like Genevieve Lacasse , Noora Raty, and Florence Schelling.  Finding out Megan Myers of the Boston Blades was from Las Vegas, NV made me a bigger fan. When McLaughlin signed with the Buffalo Beauts of the NWHL, I became the fan I am today." - John Grote | Fan | Las Vegas, NV 




10 August, 2017

“I took a lot of time these last four months to reflect on my career, my rights, and future steps that I am eager to take in my life. After thinking long and hard about exactly what those signify and how they can connect, I decided that I wasn’t ready to retire from the NWHL.

What can I say? I’m a hockey player! This game has been a big part of my life, I’m still young and I’ve got plenty of quality hockey left in me. I continued to train a lot this summer, and spent some time on-ice with [Riveters coach] Chad Wiseman, who lives a town over from me in Ontario. I realized I had more to offer.

But there were other factors, of course. The impact I was able to make as an active pro athlete in the LGBTQ community meant a lot to me. At this time – when rights seem to be getting taken away instead of gained – the platform is something I’m not ready to give up. I want to remain as visible as I can for any LGBTQ youth who may view me as a positive role model. I’m going to continue to share my story.” - Harrison Browne | New York Riveters | NWHL 




03 August, 2017

 “Up until high school I played for the Niagara Jr. Purple Eagles boys team. Playing against boys gave me my aggressive attitude and competitive edge. Since I played two years with checking, I was able to learn key aspects of the game, such as keeping my head up, playing quick, and being strong on the puck. It was an awesome experience and I believe it made me the player I am today.


In high school, I played girls’ hockey. I played for Nichols and also played for the Buffalo Bisons. Playing for both of those teams put me up against the best competition from around the country and that helped me develop as a player. It also gave me the exposure I needed to reach the Division 1 level.” - Maddie Elia | Buffalo Beauts | NWHL




02 August, 2017

“Every coach that I have had along the way has lead me to where I am today and where I was when I made the team. I have learned a lot from my past experiences. Transitioning to ball hockey was harder than I expected.

I started playing in Chicago when I first moved there in order to make friends, so the original purpose of why I started made the transition a little easier, because it was solely for fun and social purposes. I had already been playing for a couple of years before I moved to Boston and joined teams here.

Boston is highly skilled and more competitive than Chicago, so playing in Boston turned the sport from a social hobby into a passion. I have surprised myself that, at age 30, I can continue to improve in a sport that I have played for so long. I always assumed that, at some point long ago, I had peaked. I have learned that isn't the case, and hard work continues to pay off, no matter how old you are.”

- Lindsay Wilde on playing for Team USA at the 2017 ISBHF Worlds | Team USA | ISBHF




27 July, 2017

“My experience with the NWHL has been greater than I imagined. It allowed me to continue playing the game I love at a competitive level. I have met some amazing people within the Riveters organization, and I'm so grateful to be a part of it.”

- Michelle Picard | NY Riveters | NWHL 




10 July, 2017

“I am beyond excited and honored to have the opportunity to sign with an NWHL team,” said Daniels, 22. “I'm so happy to have the opportunity to continue to play the sport I love in a city that I love.”

- Sydney Daniels | Boston Pride | Harvard 



04 July, 2017

“The Pride have been a very successful team the last two years and the team and fans have high expectations. I have played with some of the girls before and I am excited to be teammates with them again.”

- Janine Weber | Boston Pride | NWHL



03 July, 2017

“The way I am able to stay motivated is because I am constantly reminding myself to have fun. You can’t be uptight and expect yourself not to get burnt out. No matter what it is that you do, you have to love it. If you don't love it, it makes it truly difficult to be good at it and impossible to be happy. For me, that one thing was hockey and has continued to be hockey. You can’t ever lose touch of the reason why you do what you do, because when you lose that you start to question why you are doing it. You have to always remind yourself to have fun and to always do what you love. Take a second and think back, through all those years, to the little girl who fell in love with the game.”


- Allie Granato | UVM Catamounts | NCAA Division 1




09 June, 2017

Learning to balance hockey and academics did not come naturally for me as I struggled a bit freshman year. But with the help of the coaches and my teammates I learned how to become more successful on the ice and in the classroom. The coaches do a great job understanding how demanding academics at RPI is and making considerations when players have class conflicts. The team is also great at supporting each other in the classroom. As a freshman, it is very likely that multiple upperclassmen are in the same major as you, so have taken all the classes before. Girls are always super willing to help you out in classes or with certain subjects."


- Hannah Behounek | RPI Engineers | NCAA Division 1

 




04 June, 2017

"Our two seniors graduated last week on May 28th. They were an integral part of our team and I'm certainly going to miss them. After they left and we, the juniors, realized that we are the leaders of our team, it was something great. All 6 of us are extremely excited to finally be seniors and to be looked at as real leaders on our team and at school."

- Marielle McHale | Williston Northampton | Prep School 



31 May, 2017

“I am going to focus on playing my game and putting forth my best effort every day and enjoy the moment. I am looking forward to working, learning, and forming relationships with these girls. Getting the opportunity to try-out, improve, and the chance to represent my country in the Olympics is a dream come true; being able to do it with my sister is an indescribable feeling.”

- Amy Potomak | Hockey Canada | IIHF



26 May, 2017

“I do not think I had much of a reaction at first aside from a little bit of shock, it seemed pretty surreal at the time and it definitely took me a while to process it. The first thing I did after I found out was call my mom, my best friend, and my coach. It sunk in a little bit more after hearing their excitement and sharing that moment with them.”

- Micah Hart | Cornell University | Hockey Canada 




20 May, 2017

“From playing over in Sweden and being able to see their country was my favorite part outside of the rink. On my free time I was able to travel and visit other countries as well which was amazing.

In terms of hockey - meeting the girls and forming great relationships with them that will hopefully last years and years. Overall it was such an amazing experience and would not have done it any differently.”

- Shelby Bram | Brynäs IF | Sweden




20 May, 2017

On the 2017 Face-off to Fight Cervical Cancer:


“This is a very special cause to me because we have a direct relation to the cofounder of Teal power, Tyler Puley - Tyler, is a very good friend of my boss, Steve. Any time I am able to help out anyone is a special moment and especially being able to help out for a great cause is even more touching - especially when it touches so close to home.”


- Rebecca Vint | Brampton Thunder | CWHL




19 May, 2017

On winning the York Sport Excellence Award:


“This award adds a lot more meaning and satisfaction to my journey as a varsity athlete at York. It gives a feeling of accomplishment and reassurance that all the hard work I put into hockey and school work is recognized and appreciated.

But primarily, to be honest, earning this award gives me an opportunity to make my parents proud and show them I am grateful for the support with my academics and my hockey career and that none if it was taken for granted.”

- Justine Treadwell | York Lions | USports




19 May, 2017

“We had a good set up in Plymouth [at the 2017 World Championships] and felt very comfortable,” Harss said in regards to the differences between the team’s 2015 and 2017 tournaments. “Over the last three years we improved and grew a lot as a team, including many ups and downs. This has helped us to develop a good team chemistry and I also think it was very important for us to have a good start in the tournament. After beating Sweden we gained confidence and we knew we could move on.”


- Jenny Harss | Team Germany | IIHF




15 May, 2017

“While I may not have been a strong enough hockey player to actually make it on the ice with Team Canada, I always knew I wanted to some how, some day be a part of the national program, so I worked hard to use the abilities and skills I did have to eventually make it there.

I still can't believe it actually happened, but I became the first full-time female in Hockey Canada's communications department, and the first female media relations coordinator to stand on the blue line and sing O Canada along with my teammates -- both players and staff members -- after winning a world championship!”

- Kristen Liscombe | Journalist |




15 May, 2017

“There have been a lot of favourite moments this year, but the one that stands out would have to be winning the McCaw Cup at home, surrounded by my family and friends. The feeling of winning such an important game and then sharing that with my family is something that I will never be able to describe.

Hockey has been a huge part of my life and my family embraced my passion for hockey and has been the best support system I could have ever asked for. Having an amazing family like them and then an amazing team created a really awesome atmosphere, and I will never forget that.”

- Katherine Bailey | Guelph Gryphons | USports 




15 May, 2017

“What I enjoy most about still being able to play hockey is the mere fact that I am still able to play at a competitive level.  I am fortunate with my work schedule, that I am able to manage both work and playing hockey.  But for me the thing I enjoy the most is that I still have fun playing and I able to share the experience with some close friends.”

- Amanda Parkins | Lady Rangers | OWHA



13 May, 2017

“It was an incredible feeling that I will never forget. With some ups and downs throughout the season, we knew it was going to take 100% of the roster, 100% of the time. It took every single one of us to get our main goal achieved and we can walk away from this season knowing we gave it everything we could to come out on top.”

- Erin Brand | Plattsburgh Cardinals | NCAA D3
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