I have decided to play for Coventry Phoenix this season. During the off season we have been working hard at the gym and getting ready for the start of the new season! We have also been trying to promote women’s hockey in Coventry to recruit players!
We are, like many teams in Britain this year, very short benched. It totally sucks and you have to literally go out and shout about hockey! I even wear a t-shirt to the gym which says “girls…wanna play ice hockey, ask me!!” just to get some people interested! I had one girl ask me how you even play hockey on the ice! That’s how you know this sport needs some serious promoting. So, through radio interviews and shouting about hockey we have actually picked up a few new players! Some have never skated before and some have a lot of experience. One of the girls I used to play Great Britain u18s with has been playing in Spain and has decided to come back and play here! So I just gained a housemate! I am so excited I haven’t played hockey with her in 3 years (yes I am getting old, I am now 21!) We also have a girl from Russia, who has been skating all her life, and is now really enjoying hockey practice! So we will continue to grab new players and do our best to keep women’s hockey alive in the UK!
So back to game time! We played our first game against Kingston Diamonds. We were pretty nervous as we knew they have some serious firepower and a good set of coaching staff. Days before the game our goalie realised she couldn’t make the game, as we don’t have a back up goalie we had to ask an out player to step up. The girl who stepped up to play in goal has only just started hockey and I was absolutely amazed with her performance! We fought a hard game and put in everything we had but suffered a 9-3 loss. But had our goalie been between the pipes I think it would of been much closer. We were really happy with our performance and very happy with our goalies work between the pipes! Sometimes it’s not all about the win but how you played as a team and whether you put everything in to the game!
I then flew to Boston for vacation! I drove all the way to Nova Scotia, Canada and saw the Moosehead’s play! I literally had the most amazing 2 weeks! I travel to Canada probably twice a year and I even lived there for a while, but Nova Scotia is on another level to the rest of Canada! (NO offence!!) It is stunningly beautiful and I honestly am in love with the beaches! I spent 2 weeks travelling, seeing everything from moose to porcupines! I ate too much Tim Horton’s and not enough broccoli, but hey, that’s what vacation is for, right? It was also my 21st birthday so that was pretty cool! I did not want to come home, but obviosuly I had to as I had a game the weekend I got home.
We had to drive to Whitley Bay, which is about 4/5 hours! In the UK you must carry 10+1 players otherwise the game is forfeited 5-0. It is really not the greatest rule especially as many teams can never get that many. We had 3 players with injury’s and we had 8 players. Although it was a forfeited game we had to go, otherwise we would get a fine! We decided to just have fun and play the best we could! One girl on my team never got off the ice once! She is hardcore! We only lost 8-0 and that would go down as 5-0 anyway so we didn’t care too much. Really we are just sad that we can’t play games just because we’re short benched by 2 players. We went to the beach after the game and ate fish&chips! Very British!
Our next game was Nottingham and we still had players missing but managed to pull in a full bench of 10+1! So it was game on! We played hard gritty hockey and fought for every puck! It was a game of grit and determination and it payed off with a 1-0 win! We were happy with our performance, even though we were a bit scrappy in parts. I however had a really bad game and was not happy with my performance, but I guess everyone has a bad game sometimes!
We play Billingham this Sunday and after several fights against this team last season, I can’t say we are too excited. But, we hope to have a clean game and not get escorted from the rink this time!
So we’re on a win and 2 losses and look forward to growing as a team this year. This season we have a new captain and I am an “A” again! I love helping my team reach their potential and I know this season is going to be good whatever the score lines!
My friends, Katie Henry is out playing in Sweden at the moment (I’m very jealous!) and from what I hear she is really enjoying herself! Her younger cousin, Paige is also playing there.
I played on the same team as them last year with the Vixens and they are both off to China this week to play for Great Britain Senior Women in China! The life of a hockey girl can be pretty awesome!
Hope everyone is having a good start to the season!
Go hard or go home!