Hockey moms take to the rink
By Sue Wambolt, Contributing Writer
Westborough – While most hockey moms are spectators who sit in the bleachers, bundled in parkas and scarves, there is a group of women who have taken the moniker to a whole new level. Every Tuesday morning, 14 “hockey moms” don pads and helmets and take to the ice for the Northstar Hockey Moms Morning Clinic at the Northstar Youth Forum Ice Skating Rink in Westborough. The “Rockin’ Rookies,” as they call themselves, come from towns across Massachusetts and Connecticut and from all walks of life. Some are stay-at-home moms, while others work outside the home, some are beginners and some are seasoned players. All, though, have one thing in common – all have a son or sons who play hockey.
The idea for a moms’ hockey clinic was born out of conversations during a boxing class at The Fitness Asylum in Shrewsbury. It was there that Westborough mom Kristen Williams and Shrewsbury mom Marie Colangelo (reunited childhood friends) shared their common desire to learn how to skate.
“I approached Craig Boutilier, the general manager [of the Northstar rink] and asked about open skate times during the week,” Williams said. “He asked what we wanted to do and I said, ‘eventually learn to play the game.’ He told me that he would run a clinic if we could get five women to commit. So we did.”
In just over a year, the group of five has grown to 14. The reasons for participating are as varied as the skaters’ ages and backgrounds.
Southborough resident Mimi Hodgkins, a self- proclaimed domestic engineer – scheduler, logistics coordinator and chauffeur – is not one to be left out.
“I figured if you can’t beat them why not join them? My husband, son and daughter all play. I like to be active and try new things, and I have a much better appreciation for what they can do when they’re on the ice,” Hodgkins said.
For Jacqui Carroll, a stay-at-home mom from Marlborough, deciding to play hockey was a no brainer.
“I live near hockey rinks. My son plays hockey, my nephews play hockey, my little niece plays hockey and my friends play hockey. So why not mom?” she quipped.
Kim Marques, a physical therapist from Shrewsbury, grew up playing hockey.
“Both of my brothers played hockey when I was younger. My brother Jeff has coached the younger kids, and now he’s the coach for Marlborough junior varsity team and assistant coach for the varsity team. I decided to play hockey because it sounded like fun,” she said.
Unofficial team captain, Shrewsbury resident Steph Bush-Brown, who works at Ten34 Web Solutions in Northborough, has been playing hockey for eight years.
“I chose hockey because watching my sons practice and play made it look like so much fun. I wanted to learn to skate – stick handle, pass, score and be part of a team. To play hockey well you need to be in good shape. And, since I work out I knew I would have the stamina to play. I have met so many amazing women who play hockey. Women’s hockey really seems to have taken off because once you start you get hooked,” Bush-Brown said.
On March 23 the Rockin’ Rookies will be heading to Arlington to participate in “Shoot for the Cure,” a fundraiser for breast cancer charities.
The current seven-week Hockey Moms Morning Clinic will wrap up Feb.26, but a new session will follow. If three additional women sign up to play, there will be enough players to compete in a league, the women said.
To learn more about the Northstar Hockey Moms Morning Clinic or to register, visit http://www.nsyf.org/. To learn more about Shoot for the Cure, visit http://www.arlingtonshootforthecure.com/index.html.
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