(First of all, thanks to Doug Houston, a rink rat from way back, for joining us this past stretch for practices and games at KUA and New Hampton. It was great fun to have him along for the ride and today his work with the D was a big help in a very close contest with a spirited group of Huskies.)
We know who they are, and we know they are playing with great courage and passion… but why do they play this game and what’s it really like ‘behind the P’? We asked them and many shared their thoughts.
Why did you decide to play hockey?
KF – I decided to play hockey because I wanted to try something new and I thought it would be fun.
SD - I decided to play hockey my freshman year because I wanted to try something totally out of my comfort zone, and meet a new group of girls out of my “circle” I could say.
GD – I love hockey and I want to get really good.
KB – I decided to play hockey because I wanted to try something new.
NF- I wanted to try something new and a lot of my friends play and love it.
CK - I decided to play hockey because my dad has played it his whole life and I always wanted to play it
AB – ….when I came for an overnight at Proctor during my 8th grade year and we were having dinner the Girls' JV hockey team got out late from practice and were all rushing to the dining hall and they just all seemed so happy and were talking on and on about what happened during practice and how fun it was and how they were so excited about the game coming Saturday...
LL - I decided to play hockey because I thought that it would be really exciting to start a new sport and learn how to skate. Where I come from it is hard for girls to play hockey because there are not a lot of opportunities. It has been really cool to learn the sport and get to know the people on my team.
Can you describe what you were feeling your first days of skating?
KF - I was scared and felt like I was never going to get any better. When I skated I felt afraid of falling. As time went on I felt a bit more confident and less scared of falling. Til this day I’m trying to become better and work on getting the fundamentals of skating down.
KB – The first time I skated I was thinking, ‘Well, I’m really bad…but I will get better." My teammates last year and this year have really helped me become a better skater and overall player.
TB – First of all it was very crazy and hectic, but also there were many teammates showing you how to put on your gear and tie your skates. The crazy, happy, helpful attitude of all the teammates remains an atmosphere on the girls' JV team.
CM – My first day of skating I felt nervous but once practice started I was excited to learn.
AB – I felt very silly all dressed up and flailing around not being able to glide around like the returners could. I had fun nonetheless but it was a little intimidating and embarrassing.
NN – My first days of skating I felt very defeated because it was much harder than I expected. I never considered the fact that not only did I have to learn to skate but I also had to learn to stickhandle, know where to be, and learn the rules of the game. I was nervous.
What's the feeling you have now as you walk into ‘the Ted’ each day?
KF - When I walk into the Ted I get super excited and want to just get on the ice and become better.
LK – Even after a long day of school I feel energized when I walk into the Ted because I know I’m going to have a good time.
NN – It makes me happy to walk into the Ted each day because each time I walk in I look at the ice and think about the memories I have from being on the ice myself or even watching and cheering other teams….Every day in the winter term I get to walk in and do something that I love
CF – Straight Excitement.
LL - As I walk into the Ted every day, I feel excited to get on the ice and ready to play the sport with my friends. It's exciting to make progress and learn new skills every day.
What has been your favorite thing about hockey so far?
Anon- My favorite thing about hockey so far is the team. I feel encouraged and comfortable with my teammates.
Anon- It’s a way for me to take out my anger and be competitive while also having tons of fun with my friends.
GD – Playing in games and skating through 2 defensive players then going for a shot!
KB – My favorite part of hockey so far is when new players who haven’t skated before score a goal.
LK – The games. It’s so much fun to put our skills to use and play against another team.
EO – Scoring is my favorite feeling. High-fiving all our team mates on the bench make me feel good.
SW – My favorite thing is going to the games and traveling with the team.
SD - This is the most exhilarating sport; on the ice your mind only focuses on hockey, and completely consumes you. It’s a great outlet to have fun with your friends.
CM - My favorite thing about hockey so far are the games because they are always so energetic.
NN- My favorite thing about hockey so far is the team that is full of laughter and positivity on the ice, in the locker room. This year I have made many new friends because of the team.
NF - I have really enjoyed bonding with people on the team and learning new skills.
What's the ideal mindset for a JVGP player?
JS - It is OK to fall maybe once, maybe twice, maybe several times. But it is what you do when you get up that counts.
NN – In my opinion the ideal mindset is someone who is positive and wants to learn. JV girls' hockey is a team that grows and learns from their mistakes and if you are someone who gives up easily this is not the team for you. You need to go in being positive and being ready to fall and laugh and learn from each practice and game.
NF - The ideal mindset is that it is ok to make mistakes and that every day you practice you will improve.
Does anything ever frustrate you?
Anon – I only get frustrated when people aren’t putting in 100% of their effort.
CM – It is frustrating for me when I know what I am supposed to be doing but don’t have the ability to do it yet, or skate fast enough.
NN - One thing that also frustrates me is that during games I can sometimes be hard on myself and worry that I could have done better or that I should have gotten to the puck faster, but a way I handle this frustration is by putting it in to my next shift and knowing then what can help me.
KB –I get frustrated when I fall on a breakaway or find a way to slip out of nowhere.
How do you describe what being on this team is like to other people?
JS – Being on the team is like being in a wolfpack. There are maybe a lot of us but we are all one.
KB- I describe the team as fun-loving and hard-working
AB – I think it is fun and goofy environment that is supportive and empowering.
NN – Being on this team is where you will make some of your best memories. There is never a dull moment and it is guaranteed that every day I am with these girls I’m laughing at some point.
CM - Being on this team is exciting and there is definitely never a dull moment.
What can you say about your teammates?
JS - They are loud and supportive.
LK – My teammates will always make you smile.
NF - They are all so talented and really supportive.
SD - I could describe my teammates as fierce and competitive girls, who won’t give up without a fight. Not in the literal sense, just battling for the puck to win the game.
TB - The crazy, helpful, and happy attitude of all the teammates remains the atmosphere on the girls' JV hockey team.
NF - They are all so talented and really supportive.
How do you contribute to this team?
CM- I contribute positivity, I try my best and I encourage my teammates.
JS – I try my hardest in practices and hustle.
AB - I contribute a loud cheering voice, an uplifting spirit and a tendency to make people laugh (at me). I am an aggressive person and especially when it comes to sports I try extra hard to succeed no matter the obstacles.
NF - I am a voice of support and can cheer on the team during games.
NN - I feel that I contribute to this team by putting in positive, enthusiastic energy and making sure that I can help whenever.
LK - We all contribute by putting our all into games and working our hardest to get better.
KB – I contribute with a positive attitude and sense of humor... our team is a very fun group of girls.
How would you describe your locker room?
JS – Loud and cramped.
LK – Stuff everywhere. Seriously, you can’t see the floor.
SD - I would describe our JV girls' locker room as hectic, chaotic, funny, and completely filled with love.
EO – The feeling I get when I walk into the locker room gives me a burst of happiness and excitement.
NN – I would describe our locker room as one of the greatest places to be; we are always singing, dancing and laughing. We hype each other up and make sure that everyone is ready for the skate.
GG - Chaos. Straight chaos. At any time of the afternoon there is always noise coming from the GJVH Locker Room. Whether it’s us getting hyped for a game or getting ready for a fun practice right after class. There is ALWAYS noise. Not to mention the mess. THE MESS. But that’s what happens when you put 27 girls in a small locker room with a bunch of hockey equipment. Needless to say, despite the mess and noise you will always find yourself having a good time in the locker room no matter what.
What does hockey gear smell like?
GD - Yuck
JS – Sweat
NF - It smells like body odor and is not pleasant
LK - Think of the worst thing you’ve smelled. It’s worse than that.
SD - The smell of a wet dog; god awful.
NN – Hard work, determination, passion and sweat.
What has surprised you the most so far?
GD - The new players learn fast.
CF – How much I love hockey.
SD - …How much physically and mentally I have improved on the ice. Freshman year stepping on the ice was terrifying; now stepping on the ice my confidence has skyrocketed, and honestly improved my game I believe.
LK - I’m constantly surprised at how good we really are when we get on the ice for a game.
JS – How invested I am in our team, especially in games. I didn’t realize how serious I would take this sport.
LL- It has surprised me how much our team has grown so far in the season. We have all come a long way from the first day of practice, and we have all grown a lot closer by playing together.
NN - I have been most surprised with the growth I have seen in the new girls. This year we had a good amount of girls that had never skated and it makes me happy to see them score and improve on their skating.
Do you have a favorite hockey vocab word?
JS – ‘Celly!’
LK – ‘Facewash’
GD – ‘Bender’
Anon - “Blow a tire’
CF – ‘Dangle’
SD - ‘Salad’
Anon – ‘Dirty Areas’
NN – ‘Barnburner’
AB – ‘Grinder’
KB – ‘Bottle Rocket’
EO – ‘Gongshow’
Anon – ‘Chirp’
Do you have a favorite slogan or motto for this season?
Several : ‘Let’s get this bread.’
Anon – ‘This isn’t Disney on Ice. This is hockey!’
NN – ‘You gotta shoot your shot.’
Anon – ‘Shoot with your Stick. Play with your heart.’
It hasn't been above freezing for like two weeks....any comment?
NN - I love it because it makes the rink feel warm.
CF – I’m still waiting for our team trip to Florida, but since it is below freezing… it’s hockey season.
JS - Welcome to NH.