Guest authored: My girl’s path to hockey

Guest authored: My girl’s path to hockey

This blog post was authored for FTLOH by Jenn M., a hockey mom of two players living and playing in Connecticut. 

My daughter was a late comer to hockey. After watching her little brother play mites and squirts for a few years, at age 11, she told us she wanted to be a goalie. She is loud, sassy, a little weird, and as a former competitive cheerleader, crazy flexible – in other words, it made sense.

Well, we knew they always said that good goalies are good skaters first so we signed her up for learn to play, got her skates and player gear, and put her on the ice. Two months after doing learn to play as a skater, a hockey dad friend of ours mentioned that a local girls hockey travel program was in desperate need for a U12 goalie, and they would lend her gear and offer her free training over the summer if she wanted to try.

Fast forward through the summer and after 3 months of rigorous training, she was placed on a Tier 2 girls travel team. And to my amazement, she thrived! Her program focused a lot of development, with weekly dedicated goalie coaching and a great group of coaches who helped her learn the game and the

When I asked her what she loved most about hockey, her answer was a laundry list – she had fun making saves and learning new techniques, she loved cheering on her teammates when they scored, and she adored the locker room camaraderie before and after games when the girls just got to be together as a team. The all-girls environment was perfect for her and as she now enters her third year as a goalie, she is constantly pushing herself to accomplish more.

She is a going into her freshman year at High School and plans to play for her school’s girls’ co-op team. She has no desire to go to a prep school (even though she probably had a chance getting in).

She will continue to play for her travel team as well, and she is always looking for goalie clinics, private lessons, or camps to keep building her skills.She likes to practice on the synthetic ice in our basement and go to free skate with her friends on Fridays.

She doesn’t mind playing with boys especially since most goalie clinics are coed and her brother and dad love to bring her to stick time as a target, but she has never had a desire to play on a boys team.

I love that my daughter has so many options. I know this isn’t true in all parts of the country, but here in CT, girls can do learn to play, house league, high school, prep school, travel programs (both coed and girls only). And since my girl started relatively late at age 11, I also have noticed that in general, many girls programs are more accepting of later starters.

All these options mean that there are places for any skill level and because girls hockey is growing here, most programs want to encourage you to stick with it. Now, as an experienced hockey mom, I feel a bit like an itinerant preacher, spreading the word of hockey wherever I go.

When I hear a friend who’s young daughter is interested in skating, I immediately offer up my inventory of small sized skates, or even to send one of the kids to bring them to open skate to try it out. I tell them all about the try-hockey-for-free programs that most teams offer, as well as the clinics and camps around to help them build their skills.

So, if you see a little girl at the rink, debating on renting figure skates or hockey blades – tell her that girls can play hockey too. Heck, they can even be goalies.


Loved your account of your daughter’s path to the net. So glad she is enjoying the hockey life. One to watch for in CT girls’ hockey. Please continue providing updates.

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