A Prince Albert hockey player is hoping an upcoming trip will help her inspire the next generation of girls.
Brooke Hobson is preparing to travel to Belfast Northern Ireland with the Northeastern University Huskies women’s ice hockey team to take on the Clarkson University Golden Knights. The games will be the first-ever NCAA Division I women’s hockey contests to be played outside of North America.
The two sides will face off in the Ulster University Friendship Series from January 5-6 at SSE Arena in Belfast.
The Golden Knights are the defending national champions, while the Huskies are the defending Hockey East Champions.
Northeastern and Clarkson are the first women’s teams to take part in Belfast’s showcase collegiate hockey event. For the past four years, it has only featured men’s teams under the ‘Friendship Four’ banner. The female student-athletes from the two schools will help to encourage greater opportunities for women and girls to get involved in grassroots sports in Northern Ireland.
“I’m super excited. It’s going to be a great experience for myself and my whole team,” Hobson said.
“It’s going to be great to tour around and also great that we’re playing such a good team over there.”
Hobson said that she’s seen the women’s game grow quite a bit since she started, and is happy to get a chance to continue to advance the profile of women’s hockey.
“I think this is another big step to showcase women’s hockey at an elite level and hopefully get the college women’s hockey name out here a little more,” she said.
“I hope the little girls around Northern Ireland see this and use it as motivation to pursue what they want to pursue, whether its hockey or anything else.”
Hobson is in her second year with the Huskies.
Hobson has three goals and 15 points in 17 games so far this season. She had one goal and 15 points in her rookie season.
“It’s been really good this year,” Hobson said.
‘We have a really close-knit team and we really get along. Our record is pretty good and we’ve been playing for one another, which is why we have such a great record. It’s been super fun going to the rink every day and seeing everybody.”
Prior to joining the Huskies, Hobson played five years for the Prince Albert Bears in the Saskatchewan Midget Female AAA Hockey League.
“(College hockey) is a lot faster, it’s a lot stronger in the corners. There are girls there, there are Olympians I’m playing against,” she said.
“It’s such a high calibre that every game we go into is going to make me better as a player. I find my team really pushes me to get better.”
Hobson said the trip will help the team bond further. She also hopes to serve as an inspiration to other young girls out there.
“I hope there are young girls who look up to my team or who look up to myself or any women’s hockey player doing what they love,” she said.
I hope that they see myself or these girls playing, and know that one day, if they work hard, they can get where they want to be. Hopefully, I inspire some people.”