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Remarkable year for Reagan Rust, a tremendous portrait of character


Becoming a symbol of hope and courage, Reagan Rust remains a key contributor in the game’s narrative. On the ice, she starred at the NCAA level with the Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers along with the Boston University Terriers, serving as team captain, winning the 2019 Beanpot title. Professionally, she played on both sides of the Atlantic, competing professionally in Sweden with SDHL’s AIK club. 

Recently signing with the Metropolitan Riveters, one of the legacy franchises of the PHF, she is poised to excel for the rebuilding roster. Wearing her trademark number 18, Rust made her Riveters debut on November 16, recording four blocked shots versus the Boston Pride.

Coincidentally, Rust’s first PHF goal took place north of the border. Defeating the host Toronto Six in a 3-2 shootout final, she found the back of the net versus All-Star backstop Elaine Chuli in the second period. Earning the assists were Kelly Babstock and Sarah Bujold.

Worth noting, former Terriers teammates Sammy Davis, Deziray De Sousa and Corinne Schroeder are also competitors in the 2022-23 PHF season. Before the calendar year expired, Rust would even take to the ice in California, participating in a Pucks for Pups charitable game, both teams garbed in red and green jerseys with a holiday motif, raising money for dog shelters and other non-profits.

Equally important is Rust’s focus towards eradicating stigmas about mental health, a key topic of discussion on numerous podcast appearances. With feelings of isolation and despair, approaching a crossroads early in life, one act proved to be a defining moment. Finding inspiration from this act, it has served as the touchstone for Rust’s current efforts, one destined to instill others with hope. 

“When I was 14 and a freshman in high school, I wanted to take my own life. I got a random phone call from a childhood friend after I had made that decision to take my life. The call I received that day is the reason I am alive today. So a big reason I started to talk about mental health was because of how alone I felt throughout it all and how hard it was to ask for help.”

As Rust’s maturity and humility stand as key cornerstones on and off the ice, such values are evident in admirable endeavours. Involved with numerous, and commendable, initiatives, including the Unpaved Path podcast, the PACE Mentorship Program, plus work as a mindset coach, all geared towards empowerment, Rust approaches each with a strong focus.

A highly eventful 2022 saw Rust added another pair of significant achievements. In attendance for the inaugural ESPN Creator Class, part of 10 emerging influencers gaining access to ESPN’s events, creating content poised to expand awareness of the network with a new generation of audiences 

Another exciting opportunity to share her acumen for the game, expanding her social media platform involved a return to Scandinavia. In collaboration with Mike P. Johnson and Merav Savir, Rust participated in the Pregame Skate program at the IIHF World championships in Tampere, Finland.

Prior to a groundbreaking 2022, Rust enjoyed three seasons of the Unpaved Path podcast, one of her signature achievements. Assembling a compelling body of work, involved towards inspiring the next generation of athletes. Sharing stories about attaining success, to the ability to overcome setbacks, a plethora of interesting conversations emerged. Featuring guests such as football player Kristie Elliott, lacrosse luminary Kaylen Buschhorn and Danielle Imperial, an ice hockey player from the Philippines, the interviews stand as both, learning tool and a forum to discuss the sporting experience for young women. 

“My favorite part about the Unpaved Path Podcast and my mentorship program has been connecting with people from all around the world. I have gotten to hear some amazing stories on my podcast, and I have been able to help hundreds of girls around the world in their journey through life, school, and sports. I love helping people, so I have honestly enjoyed all of it!”

Possessing a kind, supportive smile, Rust’s purpose of paying it forward, looking to instill confidence represent her core values. Conversing with a sincerity and empathy, defined by an indomitable spirit and tremendous kindness, such values set a highly positive example. With her role as a coach with the Los Angeles Lions U16 AAA organization, Rust is poised to positively influence many promising careers.

Finding a labour of love in her endeavours, whether it be on the ice or as a mindset coach, the purpose and inspiration which emanates has a reciprocal benefit. Gaining the opportunity to partake in many fascinating opportunities, Rust feels a shared sense of achievement in the successes of those she has mentored, helping navigate their own athletic narratives with buoyant poise. Starting the conversation, Rust provides encouragement, eliminating stigmas while extending a brilliant hockey odyssey built on empathy, understanding and strong leadership.

“We see a lot of the highlight reels from peoples’ lives on social media, but we do not necessarily see the not-so-great parts that happen. It is a very normal thing in today’s times to experience some sort of mental health battle, and I want to normalize talking about our struggles even if that means telling people about some of my hardest days.” 

“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”

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In this article: #IIHF, #MentalHealth, #NCAA, #PayingItForward, #PHF, #ProHockey, #SDHL, #StrongerTogether, #UniversityHockey, #WomenInSport, #Womenshockey, grow the game, Hockey

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