NWHL Inspires Girls in Aroostook County
PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - The National Women’s Hockey League began its single-elimination playoff for the Isobel Cup. Even though the games are happening in Massachusetts, their impact extends far beyond, even all the way to right here in Aroostook County.
Victoria Forbush is the only girl on the Houlton-Hodgdon hockey team.
“I was really nervous at first but once I, you know, managed and got to know all the boys, it was a lot easier switching over,” said Forbush.
But now, with more visibility of women’s hockey, she’s hoping she won’t be the only one for much longer.
“You really don’t see that many young girls picking it up around Houlton,” Forbush said. “I mean, there’s a few but, there could be so much more. The potential with this so much inspiring other girls, there could be a varsity girls hockey team at Houlton.”
Former University of Maine standout, Tereza Vanisova played on an all boys’ team when she was younger as well. But she hopes that the next few days of games can inspire girls everywhere to become more involved.
“I want them to see that there’s a way and it’s possible to actually go further with hockey,” said Vanisova.
Vanisova won’t be on the only Black Bear on the ice in Massachusetts, University of Maine women’s hockey alum, Audra Richards, will also be gearing up.
“In my childhood I saw women playing on television maybe two times when I was younger and into the hockey and now that it’s starting to get on TV I think it’s important because kids are seeing that they can play at that professional level,” said Richards.
The excitement for the games is building.
“We didn’t get to play a lot of games this season so every game you get a chance to play it’s just so exciting,” said Vanisova.
“There’s a lot of hype around it, I’m really excited about it,” said Richards. “Today my whole school had “Miss Richards” on their shirts and number ‘21′s’ on all their shirts. So I’m getting pretty pumped about it and I go to the airport right after work so my school’s just getting me hyped and they’re building the confidence right up.”
The hope is that with these games and more visibility in women’s hockey more girls will get involved in the County, in Maine, and beyond.
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