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Club Hockey at Carleton

Leksi explains what the first few weeks of women's hockey have looked like at Carleton!

Leksi explains what the first few weeks of women's hockey have looked like at Carleton!

Ice hockey has been an enormous part of my life for as long as I can remember; I’ve skated since I was three and played since I was ten, and I had no plans to stop once I got to college. Going to college in the “State of Hockey” was definitely something I was excited about! As an overeager junior in high school, I even reached out to the current Carleton women’s team captain via email to ask about practice times (Side note for prospective students: don’t hesitate to do this! Captains are receptive and appreciative of people showing interest). At the activities fair during New Student Week, I made a conspicuous beeline to the club hockey table and have been counting down the days until the beginning of the season ever since. 

Naturally, I’ve had one thing on my mind since the cold winter weather rolled around. I utilized my expert persuasion skills to convince some of my close friends to join the team with me, and I all but skipped the entire lengthy, frigid distance from Goodhue to the West Gym for our first practice. 

Our Very First Practice

I found myself in quite an interesting predicament for the first week of winter term: I had absolutely none of my hockey gear. Bringing a hockey bag on the plane from Colorado proved to be quite an ordeal (apparently TSA frowns upon putting shoes with blades in carry-ons, who knew), so I ended up shipping it later. I was dejected but ultimately prepared to sit out the first couple of practices. 

That’s why at our very first practice I was so pleasantly surprised to see an equipment room full of not only people but also piles of extra gear. The first half hour was spent allocating everything from helmets to shinnies (shin guards), breezers (hockey pants), and skates.

two girls facing away from camera walking with hockey bags and sticks
Carrying our super cool Carleton-borrowed gear from the equipment room to the gear van!

Once all the players who didn’t have gear had been outfitted, we hopped in the campus cars and headed to the rink. I didn’t have high hopes for borrowed gear, but once again my expectations were beat! After an hour or so of getting everything and everyone situated, I was practically jumping up and down at the prospect of hopping on the ice. Spoiler alert: practice did not disappoint!

hockey players standing on ice listening to coach
Learning how to do an awesome rebound drill before we get skating!

Scanning the arena during that first day on the ice, I saw a healthy mix of skill levels, from completely new players to obvious veterans. Carleton’s Women’s Club Hockey team, colloquially referred to as WHAC (and pronounced “wack”), has two practices per week and three games during its winter-term-long season this year. The club is open to players of all skill levels, and every tier of that scale is well-represented. Drills can range from simple passing and shooting mechanics to complex scrimmage formats.

hockey player skating after puck
An action shot from our latest scrimmage drill!

During the first practice, we ran through some textbook skating drills before splitting into two halves based on skill level to work on either more skating or passing and shooting. By the end of practice, I was already comfortably joking and talking with my new teammates while we waited in line for drills.

Conclusion: Play a Club Sport!

After just the first three weeks of winter term, I can confidently say that I’m already close with teammates I’d never met before the first time I walked into the equipment room. Who knew sweaty, smelly, cramped hockey locker rooms could be so good at facilitating friendships? Carleton Sports Clubs, I’m discovering, are an amazing way to throw yourself into a new community and come out on the other side with a strong sense of camaraderie and friendships that will last you your whole time at Carleton. So, if you ever feel the urge, join women’s hockey (coming from a completely unbiased source, of course), or any other club sport you might be interested in!

Leksi (she/her) is a first-year Carleton student from Colorado Springs, Colorado and a prospective pre-law Psychology or Cognitive Science major. So far, she could not be happier with her college decision! Northfield and Carleton have done an amazing job providing Leksi with the only five things she needs to thrive: local coffee, music, wilderness, the gym, ice hockey, and (of course!) her friends. She is involved in club ice hockey and the Carleton Association of Nature and Outdoor Enthusiasts (CANOE). If you’re unsure where to find Leksi on campus, your best bet is the group tables on Fourth Libe or hopelessly lost somewhere deep in the arb. Meet the Other Bloggers!