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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Carleton women’s hockey team prepares for game against St. Olaf this Sunday

The women’s hockey team at Carleton (WHAC), with 28 people on the roster, has been practicing twice a week and gearing up for their first game of the season against St. Olaf. The game is on Feb. 18 at 6:30 p.m. at the Northfield Ice Arena. As Carleton lost 15-1 during the men’s game against St. Olaf, the team is a little nervous for their first game.

The team meets twice a week for practice at the Northfield Ice Arena. Allison Audette25 leads women’s practices, plays on the men’s team as a goalie and has been playing hockey since she was three. “Growing up in Minnesota, I have had tons of opportunities to play hockey since I was young. I started skating and did something called Mini-Mites, which is for little kids learning to play hockey,” said Audette. “I decided to start [playing] because I watched my brother play all the time and I loved watching him.” She started playing goalie when she was nine.

“[Whether] playing women’s or men’s [hockey], seeing different styles of play is fun. I’ve always played on women’s teams growing up, so to get to play with the men’s team is an interesting challenge,” continued Audette. When she started playing goalie, she was hooked: “Hockey is the only thing where I can play and truly not be stressed or thinking about anything else other than stopping the puck.” 

Sofia Hanna helps coach the women’s team and has been playing hockey since she was seven. “There is something about being on the ice that feels super freeing no matter how long I’ve been away from hockey,” said Hanna. “I’ve also found teams with really amazing people.”

Audette inspires everyone at practice to keep going and reach out if they need anything. “I have always loved just making a great save that maybe wasn’t expected or doing something to make someone look up in disbelief like ‘How did that not go in?’”

Audette leads the PE Ice Hockey class and the women’s hockey team. “I spend a lot of time with the women’s club team teaching fundamentals. I think this is more fulfilling than a lot of other things because it is awesome to have a skill that I can share knowledge on like that.” In Minnesota, hockey is quite popular, “but in most of the country/world hockey isn’t as big as it is here. So it’s cool when we have people coming from all over at Carleton who have never skated before and want to try hockey. Especially for women because hockey is still less common, I think, around the country for women, even more so than men,” said Audette.

At practice, the team often does drills and works on skating and stickhandling fundamentals. “When practicing, I love trying to help people learn and feel more comfortable playing the sport,” shared Audette. “It’s really amazing to see people make progress and find enjoyment in this sport because I think it’s such an amazing sport to play.”

Hanna loves “playing scrimmage-like games” to prepare for the real deal. Her aunt and dad both coach hockey, so she was inspired and learned a lot through them. After a hard hour of practice, they always make sure to do their team cheer: “WHAC on three: one, two, three, WHAC!” and bang their sticks on the ground in celebration.

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