A Fight? Let Me Show You Who is the Boss

Fights are an integral part of team sports. They are bound to happen when both sides are looking to beat the opponent. Sometimes, fights are due to misconduct and creating a tension on purpose. More often, these fights happen randomly, thanks to intense adrenaline and varying circumstances, in which no one really wanted to hurt a rival.

In ice hockey you can see fights very often. However, in  men’s hockey fighting is far more present, primarily because the rules of the game make it possible. Men’s hockey allows clean body checking, making it much more of a contact sport. Not to mention, it is in men’s nature to be more aggressive, willing to resolve a conflict with their fists,  ‘showing who is the boss”.

I WILL SHOW YOU WHO’S THE BOSS

Of course, from time to time, clashes occur in women’s hockey as well, but certainly not at the same extent as with men’s. Female hockey rules do not allow much physical contact. Ice hitting is forbidden, but rubbing out on the boards is allowed. The game is more based on technical skills. Unlike men, who are likely to get into fistsfights, women mostly solve their conflicts in shorter or longer quarrels. Indeed, women are more inclined to threaten verbally, but less likely to start a fight. However, that doesn’t mean that women’s sports fights don’t occur: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7NdYjByLII

IF THE RULES WERE DIFFERENT, WOULD THE GLOVES COME OFF?

Some people are skeptical when it comes to women’s hockey. They don’t believe women have the ability to be aggressive and fight if need be. However, in reality most women’s hockey leagues have different rules then men’s. This prevents women from being able to do certain things that are more encouraged in men’s hockey.

That said, I wonder: if the rules were different, would women continue to simply threaten, yell and push each other, or would the gloves come off?

What do you think of the hockey fights? Have you ever been in one? Do you think the rules should be changed?

I THINK I HAVE NEVER BEEN IN A BIG FIGHT

Aneta Lédlová (Czechia, 23): Fights like in the NHL league are exaggerated. However it is not uncommon for women to have a small fight in front of the net, when a player sprays, runs or slashes the goalie after the whistle. Even when you are trying to push your way through other players, sometimes it’s unavoidable to come to the blows or a fight. Honestly, I think I have never been in a big fight. But when I played with boys, fights happened often. It was funny. They always wanted to protect me.

I LEARNT MY LESSON

Dalene Rhode (South African Republic, 23): When I was younger I had my moments of pushing and shoving until I was punched and split my lip open. Actually, it’s quite a funny story. I was 13 years old, still playing with boys. We were playing regionals, when one of the bigger guys crossed checked me in the corner. I got up quickly, skated after him, and finally jumped on his back. He then swung me over his shoulder, gave me one punch and slit my lip open. During that time he did not know I was a girl and to this day he feels bad. But, I learnt my lesson.

IT WOULD BE FUN TO BE MORE PHYSICAL DURING THE GAMES

Andrine Furulund (Norway, 19) : Sometimes I find a bit strange that we are  not allowed to play more physically, but the rules are written to be respected. I have been sitting in a penalty box a lot, because I am quite a tall player, so whenever it comes to a collision, smaller players fall down, and I get a penalty. Frankly, I think it would be fun to be more physical during the games, but not too much. I don’t want the hits and fighting to ruin a game.

IF I GET A HIT, I WILL HIT BACK, FOR SURE

Tatiana Shchukina (Russia, 22): Fights are often in hockey, everybody knows that. When I was younger, as a defense player I had a few fights, mostly with boys. But now, as a goalie, I am not in a direct physical contact as the players. I get kicked from time to time, but I do not start it first. If someone hits me, I will hit back, for sure.  But only one hit, not a fight. My defense players will take care for the rest of it.

 

I DON’T FEEL FIGHTS ARE A PART OF OUR GAME

Amalie Andersen (Denmark, 18): I don’t really know what to think about fighting in hockey. It’s funny to see when men do it in the NHL league, but it doesn’t happen a lot in women’s hockey. I think that’s fine because I don’t feel that it’s a part of our game. I have been in a fight once, and that was last year at Worlds with U18, in the game against team Poland. It was in front of our own net, feelings were high. It was an important game, our goalie saved the puck, and a Polish player came in, hit her, and it all escalated.

SOMETIMES YOU GET INTO A FIGHT BECAUSE YOU STAND UP FOR YOUR TEAMMATE

Liga Miljone (Latvia, 20): I don’t think about fights at all,  because if players would have played a clear game then there would no be need for fights. Of course, it sometimes happens when you get into a fight because you stand up for your teammate, but then it is not a real fight. There is maybe a few hits, but nothing huge. Recently I had to react when my teammate got an awful hit. I thought that was absolutely not okay, so I had to interfere and stand up for her.

 

If you read these statements, you would agree that the girls mostly think the same about fights. They definitely occur, for many different reasons, but most of the girls do not pay too much attention to them.

 

 WINNING BY BEING THE BEST AND STRONGEST IS WHAT THE GAME IS ALL ABOUT

Marine Dinant (Belgium, a linesmen at IIHF, 23): I don’t think fighting should be a part of women’s hockey, because it has never been before. If i compare it with the men’s hockey I ref at home, I am happy women do not fight.

When men fight, it takes a lot of time in the game. It’s also a big thing about revenge, and it affects the whole team. I like it more when they play a good hockey game with speed and skills. Then you can see who is better and stronger. If they would allow fighting in women’s hockey, I think you would see a completely different game than they play right now. Now you can see the passion and the skills teams have. By allowing it, I think it would be less of it. Winning by being the best and strongest team is what the game is all about.

THE ONLY THING YOU WILL REMEMBER WILL BE THE FINAL RESULT

We all seem to agree what the game is really about: to play clean, to stay calm under pressure, to be the best teammate and athlete you can be, and, of course, to use our words and skills, and not our fists. It is clear that women’s hockey is different than men’s in many ways, but in the end, the only thing you will remember about the game, whether it’s men or women’s, is the final result.

 

Anna Kublina: Born to be a Leader

If you had a chance to see Anna Kublina play hockey, the first thing you notice would definitely would be her energy and a fighting spirit. This 20 year old girl from Latvia IS a true leader of her team. According to her teammates, Anna is never afraid of talking in front of the people. She knows how to make them listen, as well as to challenge them. She plays her game with no fear, but she always respects her opponents. She is the one who is always in a good mood and ready to make her friends and teammates  laugh. Kublina creates a winning atmosphere in a locker room as well as on an ice rink, but she is also a reliable and loyal friend.

Anna Kublina

THEY TOUGHT I WOULD GET BORED OF HOCKEY VERY SOON

I was 7 years old when I started playing hockey. One of Latvia’s hockey players, Kaspars Daugavins, persuaded me to go with him and try playing hockey. And I accepted it. My parents reacted like: ”Oh yeah, she’s probably going to play it  for a month, and then she’ll get bored!” But, they were wrong: I’m still playing it,  ha-ha. 😀

I ALWAYS WANTED TO PLAY IN THE UNITED STATES

I started playing hockey in my birthplace Jelgava, Latvia. Until I was 17, I played with the boys. We were a good team. Together we won some tournaments, and Latvia’s Championship. However, at age 15, (the season 2012/2013) I started playing for the women’s Hockey Club Laima as well.  A few years later, in the season 2015/2016, when I was 18, I decided to go to the US. I played there for the Washington Pride team. This was an awesome experience for me, because I’ve always wanted to go and play in the States. The team was very welcoming and friendly. The team spirit was always on the high level. We won that season the JWHL (Junior Women’s Hockey League) Championship, and I was proud I had been a part of the triumph.

LATVIA, THE UNITED STATES AND FINLAND

After the States I got an opportunity to go and play in Finland. So, in the past season (2016/2017) I played for the KJT Naiset. It was also a great experience. And now I’m playing for the U18 boys’ team JLSS in Jelgava, women’s hockey team Laima and Latvian national women’s hockey team.

Anna with her teammates, celebrating a goal;    Photo by: hokejs meitenem

WE ALL PLAYED AS ONE FOR ALL = ALL FOR ONE

Since I’ve been playing hockey actively for 13 years, I’m not sure I can count all the great memories I have. But if I still had to choose, my most precious memory would definitely be the one from the World Championships in 2014. The Worlds of the I Division, Group B was held in Riga, Latvia, so we had the opportunity to play it at home. Finally, after 5 games, we managed to win gold, the girls were all so close and the team spirit was great. We all played as one for all, and all for one! It was an amazing feeling to play in front of our families, friends and fans in our country. Even now, I get the goose bumps when I remember our joy and excitement while we were, together in a line, singing our national anthem with the gold medals on our chests.

Anna Kublina: A passionate figher and a loyal friend;  Photo by: Hokejs meintenem

YOU WIN SOME, YOU LOSE SOME

On the other hand, my bad memories are linked to the Worlds 2013 and 2015, when we lost all the games, so we were eliminated from Division I, Group A. Although we had given our best, we couldn’t manage to stay in the Group anymore. But, this is an integral part of the sport: sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. However, it is important to never give up and continue to fight.

Right now I am studying Information Technologies at the Latvian University of Agriculture. My average day is consisted of going to lectures at the University,  practicing and playing hockey games. Currently I play for the Jelgava’s U18 boys’ team, and for the women’s hockey team Laima as well. I also play for the Latvian women’s club team, and we participate in Latvia’s U16 Championship.

A detail from the game Latvia-Spain,     The 4 Nations Cup, Katowice,  Poland  2018

I WILL KEEP PLAYING HOCKEY AS LONG AS I CAN HANDLE IT

For now, my main goal is to graduate from the University. Honestly, I don’t really know what will happen after that, but we will see. The only thing I know for sure is that I will keep playing hockey as long as I can handle it, ha-ha. 🙂

Last, but not least, I would tell all younger hockey players to chase their dreams. Even though it might seem impossible or incredibly hard, keep on chasing them. At the end, you will feel amazing, because the hard ones are always the best ones to achieve.

 

Chloe Beaubien: Hockey Has Helped Me in My Fight With Cancer

When I started writing my articles, my only wish was to support women’s hockey and raise awareness of it. But as the time went by, a new feeling started to grow in me. While talking to so many young, skilled and brave girls, I realized how lucky I am to get to know them better. More importantly, how lucky I am to have a chance to show the world who they really are.

Chloe Beuabien is one of the girls I am honored to meet. Although she is only 16, she had the misfortune to face a serious illness. But even though most people would pity this and feel very bad, this young girl decided to fight as hard as she can, because this is what hockey players do. Each hockey player is accustomed to fallings, since each hockey player falls constantly. But they are also accustomed to getting up after each fall, and moving on. Because that’s how the game works: if you want to win, you have to get up and go on.

Chloe Beaubien

THEY FINALLY LET ME TO BE A GOALIE

I was 18 months old when I started skating, and about 3 when I started playing hockey. My journey began in my hometown of Colorado Springs, Colorado. I played for club teams in my area. When I was a mite, I played for 4 years for the Colorado Rampage. During my time there, I played as a forward. It was a great experience. I loved the fact that I got to go on the ice and forget about everything. I learned how to make friends and how to work in a group. I learned, among other things, many life lessons from growing up in the hockey community. From squirts up untill my first year of bantam hockey, I played for the Colorado Springs Jr. Tigers. This is when I first started to play goalie, and I truly fell in love with the game. Honestly, my parents did not like the idea of me playing goalie, and they put it off as long as they could. One practice they finally let me be a goalie and it just felt right I was super happy, and never wanted to go back to being a player. That was when they caved and let me become a goalie.

Chloe with her family

COACHES FROM THE JR. TIGERS ASSOCIATION TRULY MADE ME THE GOALIE I AM TODAY

At the Jr. Tigers Association, I was happy until I became older and needed more. They truly made me the goalie I am today.  Of course, they put me through a lot of ups and downs, but they have showed me that I can push through anything. When I was going through tough times, it made me realize that I wanted to prove them wrong. When the coaches and evaluators in Colorado doubted me, I pushed myself harder. That is where I learned the work ethic I have today.

‘When they doubt me, I pushed myself so much harder.”

THE COMPETITION AT OHA IS UNBELIEVABLE

My only other team has been with the Ontario Hockey Academy. This is a school that has helped me through some of the toughest times in hockey. The competition here is unbelievable. At this very moment, I believe that I am the best goalie that I can be because of the coaching I receive here. They push me every day on and off the ice. Being at OHA has also taught me how to manage my schoolwork and a busy hockey schedule. Coming to OHA has prepared me for college and given me the tools I need to succeeded. This experience is immeasurable for anyone who seriously wants to play hockey and study in the future.

‘Coming to OHA has prepared me for college and given me the tools I need to succeeded.”

THE JOY I FELT INSIDE WAS MORE THAN I HAD EVER EXPERIENCED

One of my favorite memories I’ve had while playing hockey was my second year here at OHA (2016-2017). My team was in the ALS tournament championship. This tournament is dedicated to Brian Tardiff, who was one of the scouts at OHA. He sadly died of ALS not too long ago. Our team wanted to win for him and his family. When the last buzzer went off and we won, the joy I felt inside was more than I had ever experienced.

I HAD THIS THRILL THAT I HADN’T REALLY FELT BEFORE

Another of my best hockey moments was in my first year bantam, when I was 13. My team was in a championship game and I was put into the game down 2-0, with half of game left to play. Late in the third period, we scored two quick goals. When OT had started I had this thrill that I hadn’t really felt before. When the shootout came I let in the first goal, but none after. My team ended up scoring two goals and we won the game. After the dog pile and the hype of the game started to die down, I realized it was that feeling that made me want to keep playing and to continue playing until I made it to the highest level possible.

Chloe Beautbien: ‘I want to continue playing until I made it to the highes level possible.”

I WAS DIAGNOSED WITH SKIN CANCER

One of the worst moments for me was in the summer of 2017. I was diagnosed with invasive malignant melanoma or in regular terms: skin cancer. That was hard for me. I didn’t know if I wanted to do anything, not even play hockey. But after being of the ice a week, I realized that I loved the game too much, and I needed to keep playing it. That diagnosis changed my outlook on everything. I realized that nothing is perfect, and you must fight through everything life throws at you. No matter what I did, I knew that if I was successful in hockey, everything would be okay, and that the cancer would just be a footnote in my life. I had a couple surgeries to remove the cancerous cells and I have to see a bunch of doctors when I’m home. The scars remind me of the fight every day. It doesn’t feel much different right now, but I do have a ton of precautions I have to take for the rest of my life.

‘That diagnosis changed my outlook on everything.”

I WANT TO PLAY FOR THE NATIONAL TEAM

My future plans are to work on my on and off ice skills, and to go to a D1 school for the 2019-2020 school year. While I am in college, I would like to major in social work and minor in psychology. After I graduate, I would like to play for the national team and go to the Olympics. Go USA!

YOU SHOULD ALWAYS DREAM BIG, AND BELIEVE IN IT

My note to young players would be: dream big and never give up. Never let anyone tell you that your dreams are too big. No matter what your dream is, follow it and work hard every day to achieve it. If you succeed or you don’t, at least you will know you gave it your all.

Amalie Andersen: 18 Members of My Family Are Involved in Hockey

While writing about female hockey players, coaches, refs and fans from all over the world, I had the opportunity to meet many girls’ players. Some of them were shy and not very open to talk about their careers. Others just chose to ignore my calls to raise awareness of the female hockey.

Fortunately, Amalie Andersen from Denmark was not one of them. Actually, she was completely different: from the very first moment, she made it clear to me that she wanted to support my goal of developing the image of female hockey on the web. I use this opportunity to say that I am particularly pleased to see that young girls like Amalie become increasingly aware that some goals can only be achieved together, if we are open and honest about it. That is why I am very grateful to her, and to every other girl who has recognized something useful and good in this idea.

Amelie Andersen;  photo by: Jan Korsgaard

I ALWAYS KNEW MY PRIORITIES

My hockey career started when I was 5, but, actually, I was already on the ice for the first time when I was 1 year old. I was kind of born into the hockey world, since my whole family plays it. As far as I know, there are 18 members of my family who play or have played hockey. Therefore, it was such a normal thing for me to do the same. But later on, in my school years, my friends were surprised and amazed by the sport I trained. Some of them didn’t understand why I would spend so much time on my sport, instead of hanging out or going shopping. I didn’t have time for that; I knew my priorities, so I always had to refuse them because of my practices and games. Of course, one day they just stopped asking me to go out with them. I was sad for it, but I knew I had to go on.

Amalie: “I was on the ice when I was 1 year old.”

Later, I moved to a sports school in my hometown, Herning. Honestly, I felt much better there. All my class mates were involved in sport. Therefore they understood why I spend so much time on the rink.

DENMARK, SWEDEN AND THE NATIONAL TEAM

When I started my hockey career I played for my hometown club called  Herning Ishockey. I played there with boys for nine years, till U17.  From the other side, when I was 9, I started to practice with the women’s team as well. When I was 16 I moved to Linköping, Sweden and started to play on the Linköping’s junior girl’s team and for the ladies team as well. And, this year I got a junior contract with the women’s team.

Photo by: Mats Bekkevold

On the side of all this, I have been playing on the Denmark’s national team. I was on the senior team roster for the first time when I was 14. I played my first senior Worlds when I was 15. At the same year, Denmark got an U18 national team, so I joined them as well. And I have been playing on both teams since that.

THE NEW FRIENDS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD

One of my dearest hockey memories would be the IIHF camp in Lake Placid, USA. There I met players from other countries, and I saw the facilities for the top teams and what their setup looked like. I also gladly remember all kinds of tournaments with the boys I took part when I was younger. I also loved to go on the girl’s summer hockey camps; it was so much fun for me. I have been on the Maria Rooth’s hockey camp and on the CHS camp in Sweden. And again I met many new players and get a chance to meet again with the friends from all over the world. If I didn’t play hockey I wouldn’t have been travelling so much and that’s a thing I really appreciate.

Amalie with the teammates from CHS camp

BEING INJURED ONLY MADE MA HUNGRIER TO PLAY

Unfortunatelly, I have also some bad hockey memories. During my first year in Sweden, it was so hard for me to be apart from my family, especially from my mom. But that experience helped me to grow and learn to take more responsibility. Of course, I have had injuries, but I have been lucky only to get small ones. Honestly, I always like to see something positive in everything, including the injuries as well. Being injured and watching my team from the stands, only made me hungrier to play the game.

WE ARE A HOCKEY FAMILY, AREN’T WE?

Currently, I am 18, and in my second year of Swedish high school. I moved in here when I was 16, in order to study and play hockey. At home I have my mom, dad and little brother and he is also playing hockey in my hometown. Beside that I have two older brothers, one of them lives in a town called Frederikshavn in Denmark, he quit hockey and are now studying. The other one lives in Toronto and plays for the Maple Leafs. So, we ARE a hockey family, aren’t we? 🙂

the ANDERSENS hockey team;         photo by: Jens Ruders

HAVE FUN ADN ENJOY THE GAME

My future plans are to finish my high school. After that I will probably stay in Sweden for playing hockey. I hope I will find a job, so that I can earn some money as well. A little later, I will probably start studying again, but I don’t exactly know what I want to study yet. I could see myself doing a lot of things so I find it difficult to decide what I want to do the rest of my life.

photo by: Kim Pinerrup

Although I am a young player, I would tell other girls to keep on working hard. You shouldn’t let anyone affect you; try to do what you love the best you can and remember, it will never be perfect. But you will have your skils developed, you will become more stronger and more successful. Believe in yourself, and, the most important, don’t forget have fun and enjoy the game.

 

Samantha Head: I’m Always Going to Miss Playing Hockey

When you meet Canadian Samantha Head, you can’t stay indifferent. First of all, I’m thinking of her courage, fighting spirit, good manners and positivity. Although she is very young, in her life there were many dramatic ups and downs. But Samantha manages to deal with all life-threatening blows, and goes on, with her eyes firmly fixed into the future, just like other hockey players. She is a person who does not cry for missed opportunities, but learns how to pull out the lesson from it. And, of course, she continues to enjoy her life, helping others to enjoy it as well.

Samantha Head

She likes being outside and doing all sorts of activities such as sports and hiking. Currently she’s doing some upgrading online, and works as a server at a restaurant. In her free time, she likes to help homeless people. And she’s just 18 years old.

i WAS ON MY FIRST TEAM BY 2 YEARS OLD

I started skating pretty early, at the age of one and a half. My family had a backyard rink every winter, so when I was able to start walking my oldest brother had put me on skates and taught me to skate. Ever since then, my family and friends would play 3 on 3 games almost every night. I was on my first team by 2 years old, playing as an underage on my brother’s initiation team.

I played boys AA rep hockey until first year bantam. Then I switched to the female rep team. We made it to provincials for the first time that year. We did not place well the first year; however we made provincials again the year after and placed fourth.

Since she was able to walk, Samantha learned to skate.

WE COMPETED IN MANY TOURNAMENTS AROUND CANADA AND THE UNITED STATES

My midget 1st year I went to a hockey academy called Pursuit of Excellence, where we were at the training facility at 6:30 A.M. every morning for training and a workout before school. After school, we were there from 6:30-5:00 every week day; we competed in many tournaments around Canada. We also traveled the United States, visiting universities and playing some of them as well. While playing hockey, I had injured my shoulder that year. I got hit from behind, and the injury was so bad, that required surgery. When it was done, I moved back home and played for the Thompson Okanagan Major Midget team, for my last two years of Midget.

Photo by: Thompson Okanagan Lakers

After midget I moved to Sherwood Park, Alberta to play for the Junior A female hockey team in the AJFHL. Unfortunately, I had my shoulder re-injured,  and now require another shoulder surgery. The second injury I got also on ice: I got cross checked, and my body went into the net while my shoulder hit the post.

AN INTERVIEW WITH THE PRINCE GEORGE NEWS

My most memorable experience was playing the Northern Capitals in game 2 of the playoffs. We were down 2-1, with 5 minutes left in the game, when I had scored the comeback goal to go into overtime. Then I scored the overtime winning goal, to force a game 3. I had an interview with the Prince George News about my game, and had scouts from many schools calling me. I felt great; I was very proud of myself and full of élan.

I’m always going to miss playing hockey

On the other side, my worst memory was finding out I was not allowed to play university hockey because of my injury, without risking never being able to play again. Of course, at first I was very upset. I’m always going to miss playing hockey, but I’ve accepted it was for the best. I just hope to stay involved with the sport somehow, because I can’t imagine my life without it.

HELPING HOMELESS IS AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE

The old saying goes, when you close one door, the other one opens. Something similar happened to me: when I stopped actively playing hockey, I started with a new chapter in my life. I started helping out at the homeless shelter, back home in the summer. So, when I go home I’ll be doing that as well. Why helping homeless? I spent a few months living with my brother in Vancouver, and he always hands out food and water to the homeless on Hastings. So, it was he who gave me the idea. I hand out food and help prepare everything. My concrete job would have to be a personal trainer and sports injury specialist. I felt great doing that, so I can say that helping homeless is really an amazing experience!

Samantha Head with her coaches

I’VE ALWAYS WANTED TO JOIN THE ARMY

However I’m hoping I’ll be accepted into the royal military college in Canada, in Kingston Ontario, because I want to go there before I do anything else. Honestly, I’ve always wanted to join the army since I was young. And now that I’m not playing hockey anymore I feel like it’s the right time, I love helping others and knowing I’d be doing something for my country would be an honor!

I WOULD STICK HANDLE WHILE WATCHING TV

At the close of my story, I would like to say something to the younger players: Train as much as you can! Don’t be afraid to take the extra step and practice on your off time. I never had lots of money growing up, but that never stopped me from helping myself improve, I would stick handle while watchingTV and shoot pucks as much as I could, If you work your hardest to improve and get better at the game, it opens up tons of opportunities!

Jozsef Forintos: I Want to Finally Learn How to Skate

Jozsef Forintos from Hungary is the biggest women’s hockey fan I’ve ever met.  Whenever a women’s hockey game is played in Hungary, he is always present. He is the one that sings when everyone is silent,  and the one who supports girls no matter if they lose or win. When it comes to women’s hockey, Jozsi is never tired, ill or in the bad mood. Wearing a national team jersey, with a supportive smile on his face, he’s always somewhere on the stands, ready to cheer on the girls. And the girls know that, and they respect and love Jozsi.

Jozsef Forintos

YES, I AM THAT CRAZY FUN

Yes, I am that crazy fan who always follows Hungarian female hockey players in their games and competitions. Of course, I always bring my drum with me, as well as a Hungarian flag, and the hope that we will win. I’m always trying to cheer the team up, and to motivate other funs to do the same.

Jozsi with Hungarian players, Asiago 2016

I was born in 1974, in Veszprém in Hungary. Since I can remember, I always loved hockey. Earlier, however, I watched only male hockey, because the Hungarian women’s team did not even exist. It was only in 2011, when a good friend of mine invited me to a game that I got to see women’s hockey. It was a game of the regular Hungarian league,  the Wildcats against the Marilyn. I was pleasently surprised! Those girls were fighting with the same intensity, perhaps even harder than the boys. They gave their best in order to win the game. Since then, I started to watch women’s hockey whenever I could. It became my passion.

WOMEN’S HOCKEY, YOU  EITHER LOVE IT OR YOU DON’T! 

Later on, I realized I feel like the ice hockey arena  gets me into the best mood.  I’ve became aware of the fact that, whenever both the women’s and the men’s teams had games at the same time, I would always chose for the girls team. Why? For those who have never been able to watch a women’s hockey game, it is hard to explain. And for those who like watching the girls playing hockey, there is no need to explain anything. 🙂 You love it or you don’t. That is all there is to it.

The first ever World Championship’s game I watched live was in Budapest, on the 31st March  2012. I remember, it was a Hungary vs. New Zeland game, and I watched it with my friend Attila Molnár. Our team won the game, with a 5-1 final score. That event was also the first time I got my first hockey souvenir, a scarf and a hockey puck.

His first photo with Hungarian hockey players, Lili Pinter and Andrea Kiss

I FOUND MYSELF FEELING SO GOOD IN SUCH A GREAT COMPANY

Later on, in 2014 the U18 Worlds of the Top Division was held in Budapest. I had the honor to watch live the world’s best girl’s players of the time: Canadians, Americans, Russians, Swedes etc. I was there to support our national team during every single game they played. It was a chance to meet the girls’ parents, and I found myself feeling so good in such a great company. And a year after that, I found myself with those parents in a mini-van, travelling to the Worlds in Vaujany, France. We spent an unforgettable week there, visiting the snowy mountains and, of course, supporting our great girls.

Jozsef Forintos: I felt so good in such a great company!

VOLUNTEERING FOR THE HUNGARIAN HOCKEY FEDERATION

In 2016 and 2017 the U18 Worlds was again held in Hungary, so it was not even a question if I was going to be there. Moreover, in 2017 I had the chance to volunteer for the Hungarian Ice Hockey Federation. My tasks included providing fresh fruits and water for the teams, and helping out with their laundry. After the Worlds, I received a memorial certificate with Renl Fasel’s signature.

I also followed the senior select team to Asiago (2016), and to Graz (2017). And I travelled again with the familiar group of parents, and we had a lot of fun and unforgettable moments together.

A memorial certificate with Renl Fasel’s signature.

I HAVE NEVER FORGOTTEN TO BRING CHOCOLATES 

After each hockey game, I typically throw chocolates on the ice. This was a tradition at men’s hockey games in Hungary, a way for fans to express their commitment to the team at the end of the game. I like that custom a lot, so I always buy chocolates before hockey games. And, no, I have never forgotten to bring them with me. Moreover, I always have extras in my pockets as well, in case I meet some players after the game personally. Giving them chocolates makes me really happy.

 I RAN A MARATHON FOR THEM!

Currently I live in a small town close to Budapest. Earlier, I played judo and I volunteered at an animal shelters. Besides hockey, I like running. Honestly, I started running because of the girls. During the Worlds in 2015, I promised  ro run a marathon if the girls finish it with a medal. Unfortunately, they failed to get a medal, but I didn’t want to break my promise. So, I run the marathon for them!

JERSEYS –  THE MOST VALUABLE PRESENTS

Being a hockey fun, I had the privilege to get many gifts from different players. I have a lot of IIHF and foreign pucks, T-shirts, jerseys, caps and other dear souvenirs. One of my most precious is a T-shirt I got in 2016, with a team photo and signatures on it. I also got key rings from Kata Gérnyi, and from Charlotte Girard, which is a special honor for me. In 2017 the National team sent me nice video with birthday wishes from their preparation camp. At the Worlds in Graz last year, Zsófi gave me her ‘player of the game’ cake. However, as for all fans, the most valuable presents are the jerseys I got from Dorottya Medgyes’sAndi Kiss’s club jersey from Switzerland, Sarolt Csiszer’s and Detty Holzer’s KMH jersey, designed for a unique event

Jerseys, as the most valuable presents

I WANT TO FINALLY LEARN HOW TO SKATE!

In the near future, in April I plan to visit again Vaujany, because of the next Worlds. I expect a lot of good games and fun there. I also want to finally learn how to skate 🙂

Last but not least, I want to thank you for the chance to share my story, feelings I have and memories I gained with the national teams. I want to encourage everybody to support women’s hockey and to become a member of our great community!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Romana Kiapešova: From the Very First Moment, I knew I wanted to Be a Goalie

Romana Kiapešova is a 23 years old goalie from Slovakia. But she is also a very ambitious and successful student. So far, she has obtained a Bachelor of Laws degree. In September she will continue studying, to advance to the Master of Laws degree. Romana is also considering studying Physical and Health Education in Bratislava.

In her free time, she likes to read books in coffee shops, or just hang out with friends. Being an active athlete, every kind of sporting activity for her is fun and pleasurable.

Romana Kiapešova

I LOVED THE AMAZING GOALIE’S SAVES

I started to play ice-hockey 15 years ago, when I was 8. My family and I used to watch hockey games at our local ice rink as often as we could. I remember when I went with my dad to watch my first hockey game . It was a regular game of the highest Sloavakian men’s league. Honestly, I was really impressed when I was watching it: I loved the smell of ice, a sound of a puck hit by a stick, and goalie’s amazing saves. The goalies gear was very interesting to me and I took the time to study what he wore.

After the game, I just said: “I want to be a goalie!”. I don’t think my mom was very happy with my decision. But, my parents still let me try it. As they said, when you are a kid, it is better to have any hobby, then no hobby at all. So, I started playing hockey, and after a few practices, my parents were happy with my choice. I was staying active, making new friends and enjoying the game. Later on, I realized that hockey had taught me discipline, responsibility and good habits. But at that time I was too young to be aware of it.

Romana: I feel very comfortable in front of my goal.

I DIDN’T LIKE PLAYING WITH GIRLS

My hockey career began in my home town. I started playing on the boys team MHK32 Liptovsky Mikulas, until I was 14. After that I started to play with girls. Of course, it was a big change for me: I didn’t like playing with girls, because the game was slower, and girls shots weren’t as strong as the boys. Not to mention the team atmosphere was completely different. You know, sometimes is really difficult for a man to understand us, girls. 😀

For the next few years I played in the Slovak women’s hockey league, where I was on several different clubs:  HC Spišska Nova Res, HC ’05  Banska Bystrica, HC Poprad. I played one year for juniors, and then moved to Bratislava, where I played for HC ŠKP, for the next 3 years. While playing for ŠKP, I also ended my school, and received my bachelor’s degree. 

Romana Kiapešova: At the first very moment, I wanted to become a goalie!

A CANADIAN EXPERIENCE

Last year I went to Canada, to play for the  Laurentian University. I wanted to play hockey in a good league and also study while playing. In order to do that, I was contacting a lot coaches. I made a video of my games and saves, attached my biography and send it to many different teams. At the end, I left to Canada, and stayed there for the first semester of school, until Christmas.

All in all, I liked my team and also the system of studying, because it’s completely different compared how it works in Europe. But I didn’t like a city. It was a very small city and there wasn’t so much to do. Also, the public transport was bad, so it was hard to get anywhere out of the school campus. As far as hockey is concerned, the practices were almost the same as at home. The food was different, but I was cooking for myself so It’s wasn’t so bad. And one more thing: coffee is horrible in Canada! 😀

 After a semester spent in Canada, I had to come back home, because my family needed me. Currently I’m playing on a boys junior team and concentrating on the World Championship in April.
The Slovakian National Women’s Hockey Team, after winning gold in China, 2015

 WE WERE SUCH A GOOD TEAM

When I look back, the best hockey memory for me is the winning the Worlds in China. It was my first senior championship where I played most of the games. I remember a game when we defeated Hungary, and I had shutout. After that, we defeated China as well, and won gold. We were such a good team there, and we had so much fun.

On the other side, my worst moment happened at the end of 2011. While I was playing a game, I had my ACL (anterior cruciate ligament ) torn, 16 secs before the end. The injury was painful, but finding out that I would have to miss the next Worlds was even harder for me. It was my last year in the U18, and I was really sad I couldn’t contribute my team. I was recovering for the next 6 months. It was a very long and hard process.

Sadly, the injuries are an integral part of the sport.
I WANT TO TRAVEL THE WORLD

My future plans are to finish my degree on both schools and to continue to play hockey. During my studies, I want to travel the world, and hopefully find a good job, place to live and have a family. Nothing special, I think 🙂

At the end, I would tell other players to play hockey and have fun. Don’t make it so serious, at first have fun. Train hard, give your 100%, but first you have to enjoy playing it. With hockey you can get to a good university and travel around the world, meet so many new people, get stronger and more successfull. Isn’t it worth of working hard?

Emma Terho: Somehow I will be always involved in hockey!

Emma Terho is a hockey player who comes from Finland, and her name is well known not only in her country, but in the whole world as well.  In her more then ten years long career, Emma has played countless times in the national jersey, defending on ice blue-and-white of Suomi. She is also the winner of two Olympic bronze medals, as well as four bronze medals from the World Championships.  Mrs Terho is  also the chair woman of the Finnish Olympic Committee Athletes Comission, and a member of board for the Finnish Ice Hockey Federation, and an IIHF Women’s Committee member.

And last but not the least, this extraordinary woman is a proud wife and a mother of two adorable kids.

Emma Terho

I ALWAYS FELT LIKE “ONE OF THE BOYS”

I am the youngest sibling of four in our family. The love for hockey started by playing on a yard with my brother and his friends. On the ice, I started with figure skates when I was 4, but got my first hockey skates at 6, when living in Austria. When I was 7, we moved back to Finland, and I started with practices  in a boys hockey team, together with my best friend.

I played on the same team for eight years, till I was 15. I always felt like “one of the boys” on the team, and have only afterwards realized how important for me was the support from the kidsparents. My team was always there to support me, and I’ve felt like I was one of them.

Photo by: https://www.mtv.fi/viihde/muut/artikkeli/kuvat-naisleijonat-riisuivat-kyparansa-luonnonkauniita-sporttimimmeja/3044992

PLAYING WITH THE GIRLS WAS A BIG CHANGE

At the age of 15, I started to play in a women’s team in my hometown, Espoo.  It was a big change, but exciting as well. It was 1996, two years before the first time Women’s Hockey was on the Olympics. All the players were working very hard, really putting more and more efforts every day. That summer I got an invite for the national team camp, and I accepted it with pride and joy

When I was 19, I moved to The Ohio State University, to play University hockey in the US. It was a significant milestone in my life. The intensity of practices and competitiveness of the league was on  a high level already then. However, it makes me very happy to see how the level has been only improving since then. Outside hockey, it was a time to enjoy amazing moments with the team. The lifelong friendships made in that period are something even much more that sport.

Emma Terho: I fully enjoyed the time in Russia!

 PROFESSIONAL HOCKEY IN RUSSIA

Coming back to Finland, I played again for the Espoo Blues for a few years. In 2007,  three Finnish players, Karoliina Rantamäki, Nora Tallus and Kati Kovalainen and me got an opportunity for something completely new – to play professionally in Russia. It was a time when we didn’t know what to expect, but we were very positively surprised any way. I fully enjoyed the time in Russia, playing for the SKIF Nizny Novgorod. And again I got a chance to meet some great new people.

AN AMAZING FEELING OF HEARING YOUR NATIONAL ANTHEM

The best memories sure come with the moments of wins and successes, with your teammates next to you. But, also with the moments of those very hard conditioning practices when you push each other to do the absolute best you can. Also, those inside jokes in the locker room and team bus are priceless.

After a lot of work and practices, standing on the blueline with a medal on your chest, and hearing your national anthem, together with your teammates, is something that is difficult to describe. Such a feeling can only be experienced.

Emma Terho: Somehow I will be always involved in hockey.

IT WAS A HIT FOR ME, BUT THE COACHES MADE A GOOD DECISION

Some of the tougher moments in my sports career were definitevely the injuries. Also, always when a team is selected for Worlds or Olympics, there are some players that get cut. We all know it is a part of the competitive sports, but it is still hard, because those players have become important teammates and friends as well.

A big personal disappointment for me was when I did not make the 1999 World Championship team. It was especially hard for me because the tournament was in my hometown, Espoo. I was still young, but it was a hit after being on the team the previous season. Yet, the coaches were doing good job, they made a good decision, and the right players where in the team.

Emma Terho : I love working with kids

IT IS FUN TO BE ON THE ICE AGAIN AND WORK WITH THE KIDS

Currently, I’ve just turned 36, I am a married woman and have two kids. My son was born in 2012, so he was 2 when I played my last Olympics, and my daughter is 3 years old now. They are both excited about sports, especially for hockey. It has been really amazing seeing the kids on the ice, and for me is a great pleasure and fun to help with coaching. 30 little boys and girls under six sure require some constant activity during practices.

Outside hockey I work in the financial sector. In my freetime I like to do all kinds of sports, especially ones involving water in different elements – sailing, waterskiing and kayaking in the summer, skiing and skating in the winter.

SOMEHOW I WILL BE ALWAYS INVOLVED IN HOCKEY

But hockey is my first and biggest passion. Somehow I will  be always  involved in it, at minimum as a recreational player. I’ve got so much from the sport – the players and staff before me have paved the way for my generation. That is the reason I want to do my part in speaking up for the current and future athletes.

Photo by: http://www.zimbio.com/Emma+Terho

RESPECT YOUR TEAMMATES, COACHES, OPPONENTS AND OFFICIALS!

Speaking of young players, I would just tell to remember to enjoy your time playing and being an athlete. You’ve started because you like it so much. But sometimes there might be tougher moments, and it’s not easy for anybody. Especially then you should just try and keep in mind how great the sport is. Make sure to always respect your teammates, coaches, opponents, officials  and everyone else involved in the game. They are also an important part of the game and the hockey family.

Wen Lin Lim – A ‘Chilli Padi’ from Singapore who adores playing hockey

 

Wen Lin Lim is a 28 year old girl from Singapore, who adores ice hockey, and can not imagine her life without it. In her hockey community she is known as a fiery one or, in a local context, a ‘chilli padi’ – small but pack a punch. Athough she started playing hockey pretty late, her wish is to travel the world, dropping  into shinny in as many ice rinks as possible.

Wen Lin works as a full-time family/newborn photographer with fixed working hours. It gives her plenty of time after work to practice and hit the gym. As she says, although staying awake after late, trainings or games is an issue the next day.

Wen Lin Lim

IT HAS ALL STARTED WITH INLINE HOCKEY

My journey began when one of my high school teacher introduced inline hockey as a sport. I didn’t knew there was such sport in Singapore. Trainings were held on basketball and volleyball courts as there wasn’t any training facility near our school. Upon graduation, I continued playing inline hockey with my coach. Due to the number of female players in Singapore, there was only one women’s team. We went on to participate in the Hong Kong Inline Hockey Cup in 2007 and have been doing so every 4 years.

With the inline hockey teammates

i WAS HOOKED ON ICE HOCKEY

With news of closure of the inline court in 2011, we had to find alternative sport to continue our passion for hockey. The opportunity came when Singapore’s very first olympic size ice rink opened in the west of Singapore. It was, just a couple of months before the government closed the inline hockey court. So, in 2012, I made the move to ice hockey.

Even with the opening of the new and only ice rink suitable for hockey, ice time was expensive. We could only afford late night slots. I was hooked on ice hockey. When the ice rink had to be closed for maintenance, I travelled often to Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) for weekend shinny.

National Female Hockey Team – Singapore

WE HAD TO LEARN AND GROW TOGETHER

The first official tournament with my new ice hockey girls team was the Women’s Challenge Cup of Asia (WCCOA) in 2013/14, held in Hong Kong. I felt pressured and excited as it was my first time representing my country. Even though my team came third out of 4 teams, I felt that there was huge potential for growth in my team. Such experience was crucial for a new team such as us, and we had to learn and grow together.

A BIRTHDAY I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER

In order to expose ourselves to the standards around Asia, my team went on to participate in other tournaments such as Hong Kong 5’s and Bangkok’s Land of Smile. The 2017 WCCOA was an unforgettable event for me,  as I wasn’t feeling well throughout the 10 days long tournament. I was awarded the best player of the game against UAE, scoring 6 goals on my birthday. Well, I guess that’s the most satisfying birthday ever, especially when my team was singing ‘Happy Birthday’ while I skated back. The tournament ended with us clinching third, behind New Zealand and Thailand.

A birthday surprise

‘CHILLI PADI’

All these overseas tournaments and shinnys reinforced the love for ice hockey. It is always a pleasure being around people with the same passion. I’m always reluctant to leave the rink after the end of every tournament. But, I also know that I’ll always be back on the ice as a better player the next time I face off against my opponents.

In my hockey community I am known as a fiery one, or, in a local context, a ‘chilli padi’ – small but pack a punch. I have high standards personally as well as my team, and tend to get emotional and shout during games and practices.

A ‘Chilli padi’ from Singapore

THIS REST IS CRUCIAL FOR ME TO PERFORM AT MY PEAK

Currently I am undergoing rehabilitation as a result of cartilage wear in my knee. Saddening to me that I will not be participating this year’s WCCOA, in hope that my injuries will get better. I am looking forward towards the South East Asian Games in 2019. I believe that this rest is crucial for me to perform at my peak.

THE FEELING OF PLAYING HOCKEY IN EUROPE WAS AMAZING

Personally I would like to travel the world dropping into shinny in as many ice rinks as possible. Early last year I brought my gears to the UK and stayed there with my boyfriend for a month. It was the first time I pitted myself against men more than twice the size of me. Although I only went for 3 sessions, the feeling of playing ice hockey in a European rink with my boyfriend was amazing, and I can’t wait for the next one!

Hockey communiti as her family

THERE WILL ALWAYS BE HURDLES ALONG YOUR JOURNEY

The only piece of advice I would like to give to the younger players is not to give up your passion and always strive to be the best in everything you do. There will always be hurdles along your journey but don’t let it stop you until you reach your goal.