Samantha Hann stopped a lot of pucks during her female minor hockey days growing up in Stephenville before she moved to St. John’s to focus her energy on her education.
Hockey was her thing to do, travelling with her teammates on road trips and having fun helping her team win provincial female hockey championships.
It’s a time she will always treasure because of the friendships she formed, not only with girls she called teammates, but girls from across Atlantic Canada who were trying to score on her but became friends through hugs and handshakes at the final buzzer.
The past four years have been busy times for Hann, but it’s not from stopping pucks in the crease. She’s been busy studying towards a bachelor of recreation degree with a plan to tackle the occupational therapy program at Dalhousie University when she’s finished up at Memorial University of Newfoundland.
Hann hasn’t donned the goalie pads for any meaningful hockey since moving to the east coast because she’s busy with academics and volunteer work, but that could change in the fall of this year.
Hann may dust off the goalie gear and patrol the crease again because an effort is being made to create a St. John’s women’s junior hockey league in the capital city with league play expected to get underway in the fall.
The league is the brainchild of Debbie Bouzane, a Gander native who became chair of Hockey Newfoundland and Labrador’s Female Council established earlier this year. Establishing a local junior league for females 20 and over is an ambitious idea that Bouzane wants to see come to fruition under her watch in her first year.
The initial plan is for a four-team circuit — the Eastern Women’s Junior Hockey League — based out of Feildian Gardens in St. John’s. With half of the province’s population in and around metro St. John’s and so many players of the targeted ages going to Memorial University or other post-secondary institutions in metro, it was the logical place to begin.
Hann didn’t have any clue that a league was in the works when contacted by The Western Star, but she was pretty pumped to think she may be able to get back playing competitive hockey again.
“I miss hockey a lot so I would be interested,” Hann said Tuesday morning from St. John’s. “That would be amazing. I think that would be really cool.”
She knows a few women in St. John’s who have been playing some shinny on a recreational basis so she figures there would be sufficient numbers to get a league off the ground and she knows of a couple former Western Warriors teammates who now live on the east coast who may want to get back on the ice again.
Hockey was always an avenue for her to have fun, fitness and friendship all rolled into one when she was being groomed at the minor level so she wouldn’t mind getting back in the game.
It’s easy to go back to something when you miss it so she’s thinking the goalie pads will be broken out at some point this winter.
Goalies are a rare breed and most are die-hard fans of the trade so Hann returning to the crease won’t be a big surprise for anybody who played with her or watched her play.
Hockey was a great stress reliever when she was in high school. It may be what the doctor ordered for a girl who already embraces a hectic academic schedule as she works on another goal in life.