Category Archives: Passion

Passion Blog- Traveling with the Team

Traveling is always a stressful experience, especially flying. You have to make sure you don’t forget anything, follow the rules for liquids in carry-ons, stand in long lines, go through security, sit next to people that smell or are obnoxious, and get claim your luggage. Doing all that with just your family, 4-5 people, is stressful enough. Now imagine doing that with an entire hockey team, 35-40 people.

This weekend my team is flying to Missouri to play Lindenwood. We leave at 5am and drive about 4 hours to Baltimore-Washington International Airport. Then we get on the plane for an hour and a half plane ride. Normally our team takes a bus to our games because of the hassle of flying but Missouri is too far for our team to drive to.

Our staff has been working for weeks now to prepare us for the flight. They have to buy our tickets and make sure we all have seats on the plane. They also have to make sure we all have proper identification so that we will be allowed in the airport.

Our equipment manager is driving to Missouri by himself because we can’t take a lot of the stuff we need on the plane, for example the skate sharpening machine and our rolling equipment storage. He leaves tonight at midnight so he can get there before us and set everything up.

The airport is going to be an extremely stressful process with an entire team. First there are a lot of people to keep on the same page and in the same are so no one misses the flight or get lost. For traveling we all have to wear the exact same thing and have the exact same bags. We aren’t allowed to use any other bags besides the ones given to us by the team. The same outfits and bags help us stick together and makes it easier to find our own bags when claiming them. This also allows people to identify us better while we are in public. A big thing for us is publicity while we are traveling, we like to take the opportunity to make as many people aware of us as possible. Walking through an airport with people coming from all over the nation is a perfect chance for us to show our Penn State Pride.

Another plus on traveling so far away from Penn State for me is that we are closer to my parents so they are able to come to our games! I am so excited to see them again. If you remember one of my previous posts my family came to my first home game series. Sadly I haven’t seen them since then. I am especially thankful that I get to see my family this weekend because I don’t get to go home for Thanksgiving so its nice to see them around this time of year. Overall this should be a fun weekend even though the traveling might be a little stressful!

Passion Blog- Referees

This week the passion blog caught me off guard because of the weird schedule we have had. I was having trouble thinking of a topic to write about, when Kylie gave me a great idea, Referees. Referees are the people that look like zebras out on the ice during hockey games. There job is to keep the game fair, which in my opinion isn’t always the case.

Granted I have to be a little lenient on my critiques because I know being a ref can be hard because there is so much to keep track of at all at once. On the other hand refs can be infuriating during a game. If they make a bad call or blow their whistle at the wrong time it can completely change the momentum of the game. A refs main job is to keep the game fair, but the majority of refs do much more to change the game (which isn’t what they are suppose to do).

First off refs always get in the way on the boards. They are suppose to stay out of the way of the players and puck as to not influence the play of the game, but on average refs get in the way 10 times in a game. In the last game I played in the puck bounced off the refs skates and in front of our own net, thankful they didn’t score on the prime opportunity given to them by the refs but there was still a shift in my team’s attitude after the close call.

Refs are human, I understand that, but a lot of times they let their own opinions dictate their calls. One thing a team and coach have to keep in mind is not to make the refs mad because you know you won’t get any good calls the rest of the game from the refs if you are on their bad side. I believe that refs need to keep their bias out of calls and keep it fair for both teams.

Now to pick on the refs out here. Back home in Minnesota I was content with how the games were called. I think the refs do a very good job at keeping the game fair and staying out of the way. Out east on the other hand, from my own experience so far the refs are awful. They don’t know the general rules of the game, they are way too influenced by their own emotions, and they influence the play of the game way too much. After playing out here for a few months now I have come to appreciate the refs back home. The experience I had with refs in Minnesota also allows me to see what an awful job they do out here.

Like is said before I understand refs are human and they make mistakes, but I think there is still a standard that each ref has to reach during a game even with human error. If refs back home can call a fair game without getting too involved why can’t all refs do that?

Passion Blog- Home Opener Series

Last weekend was our first home series in Pegula! It was such an amazing weekend with so much support from my friends and family. I loved seeing my family in the stands again and I was in awe at how many fans we had at the first game!

We played Union to break in the new rink. Our first game was on Friday at 7pm. Our team played well, but unfortunately we got some unlucky bounces and came up short on the score board. We ended up losing our first game 2-1, our only goal scored by #40, Shannon Yoxheimer.

As I mentioned in my last post we had a skate after our game with anyone who wanted to join us on the ice. It was a great experience seeing all our fans want to skate with us, they even ran out of most sizes of rental skates because there were so many people getting skates to come on the ice. People from 5 years to 40 years old skated with us. My brother had a blast skating and even got some pictures with the other players on my team.

The next day we were able to redeem ourself by defeating Union 2-1. Our first goal scored by Jill Holdcraft, a hometown favorite, on a break away given up by a defender losing her edge while trying to control the puck. I scored the second goal late in the third period to win it. Jeannette Bateman had a great shot from the point, and I just had to put away the rebound. We were thrilled to have our first win in Pegula under our belts. After our loss on Friday the team was disappointed but coming back with a win the next day was a huge boost in our morale.

Right as we were going out on the ice before our second game our coach calls back saying my line would be starting today. This was huge, being able to skate out to the blue line while they announced your name is such a cool experience. I was so excited because so much of my family was there to watch me, and they would be able to see me in the starting line up. Usually on a hockey team the coaches don’t change the starting line up so having the chance to be announced is a rare opportunity for players not on the original starting line up.

Overall the weekend was a success. Although we didn’t win our first game, I’m glad we could redeem ourselves in the second game. Our next three game series are home and then its back on the road for us. Next weekend we play the University of New Hampshire and hopefully get our second and third win for Women’s Ice Hockey in Pegula. Come out and support us if you have time on Saturday at 7pm or Sunday at 2pm. They games are free with your student ID and they are a good time!


Passion Blog- Parents’ Weekend!!!!

We missed Penn State’s Parents’ Weekend because we were in Vermont for our games. In order to make up for that our hockey team’s staff decided to make our first home game parents weekend, which is this weekend!!!

I am so excited to see my family, I haven’t seen them since they dropped me off on the first day of SHO time (Schreyer’s Honors Orientation). Even though they watched my first games online I am excited for them to see my play in person again. In high school my parents went to almost every game of mine so its weird not seeing them in the stands at my college games.

My mom, dad, brother, grandma, and grandpa are coming to watch me play this weekend. My dad was my coach all through my youth hockey up until high school, so he has always been a huge part of my hockey career. He gives me advice and recognizes what I do well and what I need to improve on. I am looking forward to talking about my transition from high school hockey to college hockey with him when he gets here. My younger brother plays hockey as well so I think this is a good opportunity for him to watch me play at a college level and see all perks of being a college athlete. My mom has always been my number one fan so I am excited for her to come and cheer me on and give me her support.

Our staff has planned multiple activities for our parents this weekend, including, a tour of Pegula, skating with us after our game on Friday, and food and drinks after our game on Saturday. I think my parents are really going to enjoy the tour. On my unofficial visit here my mom and I went on a virtual tour of the rink, but that is the most either of my parents have seen of the new rink. My dad, as most guys do, loves seeing how things were built so the tour will be the most interesting to him. The skate with us after our Friday game is more focused on my brother. As I mentioned before he plays hockey as well, so I told him to bring his skates out here so he could participate. I think he will have a blast with a bunch of college girls on the ice with him 😉 (By the way the skate is for anyone, so if you are reading this and are interested in participating feel free to come!). I think the food and drinks are what will attract my mom the most. She lives for social gatherings and loves making new friends. She can’t wait to meet the other players’ parents.

Overall this weekend is going to be pretty amazing. I get to see my family and my family gets to participate in a lot of activities throughout the weekend. I think our staff did a good job thinking of activities that will interest everyone in the family.

Passion Blog- First Away Series

Last weekend was our first official game of the year. Unlike in high school when you would play a team twice within a two week period, in college you play a team twice in one weekend. This past weekend we played Vermont, at their home rink.

Away games are a lot of fun for the team. We leave either on Thursday or Friday, which means we get to miss class those days. The bus rides there are a lot of fun too, we watch movies, listen to music, and play charades. This bus ride was brutal though, ten hours one way and when we got back to Penn State at was 2am. Another fun thing about away games is the hotel! Its two players to a room which means we get ours own beds, and not the little twin ones that we have in our dorms, they are king size beds! Although we don’t spend much time at the hotels, except when we are sleeping, we love the amenities that come with staying over at a hotel, like your own bathroom and shower. We also get spoiled with food the entire weekend. A lot of energy and food is required to keep up with our bodies demands while playing two games in two days. Its nice to have a change in food options besides eating at the Commons.

There are many perks of away games but also some sacrifices we have to make. Like I mentioned before we miss classes, which is nice, but also a lot of work to make up and try to get notes for the lectures you miss. We get really good at communicating with our teachers because of all our absences. Also the bud rides, although a lot of fun can get really long at times. (We usually try to sleep off our boredom). Other than making up work and long rides, there really isn’t any down side to away games.

Once we arrive at their rink we unpack and have a pre-game skate, either the day before or the day of the first game. This weekend we had a pre-game skate both day because the ride was so long and they wanted to make sure our legs were ready to go. Our pre-game skate are pretty short and they don’t skate us too hard, because they want us well rested for the games.

Our first game was last Friday night a 7pm. It was a pretty intense battle back and forth. Kelly Seward, a fellow freshman, was the first to score in the game. Which put us up 1-0. Vermont then replied with 2 goals to put them up 2-1. After a little play there was a scramble in front of Vermont’s net, bodies all over the ice, then somehow we managed to put the puck in again! Were were tied 2-2. Then mid-third period Shannon, number 40 on our team, snips one past the goalie to tie it up again. We ended up going into a 5 min overtime where no one scored, resulting in a tie for our first game of the season.

The next day we had our second game against them. We ended up beating them 4-2. Hannah Hoenshell with one goal and two assists, Kelly Seward with a goal (her second of the season in just two games!), and I ended up scoring the other two goals, thanks to two amazing passes from Hannah.

Overall our team was satisfied with our weekend. We are now the only team undefeated in the CHA which is pretty awesome! This weekend we take on Quinnipiac at their home rink.

Passion Blog- Game Week


We have our first game of the season this weekend in Vermont! There is a lot of things that go on behind the scenes to get our team ready for games.

First our equipment manager has to make sure everyones gear is in good condition and does its job. Its also our jobs to tell him if something is wrong, and to give him enough time to fix it before game time. He has to make sure that all the extra stuff like tape, skate sharpeners, extra gear, and anything else we might need in an emergency is packed up and ready to go. He is one of the main reasons all of us make it onto the ice full padded and ready to play. Our equipment manager is so important that he travels with us to away games!

Another person who is extremely important, but isn’t traveling with us this weekend is our weight lifting trainer. Because he is unable to travel with us for this game series he has to print off pre-game warm ups and stretches and post-game cool downs and stretches. He is also in charge of packing up any equipment we might need in our exercises. For example, our rollers (to break down the lactic acid that builds up in our muscles), bands (to help us stretch out), lacrosse balls (to role knots out), and a footwork ladder (to work on our agility). His preparations are key in making sure everyone on the team is physically ready for the game.

Third, we have our trainers, who keep us healthy and help us recover from injuries. They also have to pack up their supplies, like tape, first aid kits, food, water, and an specific thing that a player may need. They are key in keeping our bodies fueled and preventing injuries. Our trainers also travel with us.

Next comes our coaches. They work endlessly picking out lines and plays. They have the teams best interest when they think of how to beat the team we are going to play. Our coaches make sure that there is good chemistry with each line and that they will stack up well against our opponent. Our practices have mainly been focusing on setup in each zone and playing positions. I think this is our best bet when we have such little time to prepare for our first game.

Lastly, are the players themselves. Even a week ahead we are watching what we eat and how late we stay up. We try to stay ahead of our school work, which includes talking to our professors and letting them know when we will be absent. We are also encouraged to turn in work before we leave if it is due while we are gone instead of after. Besides school work we really focus on getting the right amount of nutrients and rest in order to play at our best at the end of the weeks.

Also game weeks aren’t any easier than a regular week of practice, we still condition and do the same tiring drills we would do any other week. Game week is not a week we get to take off.

Passion Blog- First Official Practice

This past Saturday was our first official practice! We didn’t waste anytime on Saturday, waking up a 5am to be ready for a practice at 6:45am. The energy in the building was tangible, with everyone preparing for us to step onto the ice.

Sure we had been on the ice before for Captains’ practice but this feeling was different. We knew that the bar had been raised, and that we were under a microscope. We even had a people in the stands watching our practice!

As soon as we got to the rink we were sent to the weight lifting room to do our pre-practice warm-up. This is meant to prevent injuries and keep everyone’s muscles loose. Our lifting trainer is one of the top trainers, he is serious but also cares for everyone on the team. He wants to push us to our limits but will never go past them. He knows how to make us improve, while still preventing injury.

Once we were done with the warm-up we made our way to our locker room, which still amazes me when I walk into it. The team was buzzing with excitement, no one could sit still! This was the first time everyone was allowed to wear their new skates, which is a good and bad thing. New skates are awesome because they are so perfect and have no scratches on them yet, but they kill your feet to break in. We are sponsored by Bauer so everyone on the team gets a pair of Bauer skates, but Bauer skate in my opinion are the hardest and most painful to break in because the boot is so stiff.

Anyways everyone was dressed and ready to go 10min before practice even started, which is unusual. Once we hit the ice I could tell right away the the pace of play had gone up a notch. People were skating faster and passing harder than they had been in Captains’ practice. I was excited to see where I stood on the team; it was hard to tell in Captains’ practice because I didn’t know if people were going all out or slacking. I knew now though that everyone was giving it their all because the coaches were evaluating everyone from the beginning.

To start the practice of we did a scrimmage drill to warm up and then stretched again in the middle of the ice (we stretch out a lot if you haven’t noticed yet). After stretching we got into the serious stuff, like forechecking and break outs, with only ten practices before our first game we needed to get started right away on positioning and chemistry.

To end the practice we did some conditioning, which was difficult because we hadn’t conditioned on used ice yet this year. Let me tell you skating on used ice is a lot more work than skating on clean, smooth ice. After conditioning we stretched in the middle again, then got off.

Our practice doesn’t end there though after we get off the ice we are sent back to the weight lifting room to finish off our stretches. After stretching we take ice baths, and that is when our first official practice of the year ended.

Passion Blog- Miracle on Ice

This blog post is about a hockey player’s view of the famous “Miracle on Ice” in 1980. During this time the USA wasn’t doing so great, there was war and violence everywhere. The Soviet Union’s government and the USA’s government were not on very good terms to say the least. The rivalry between the two countries did not stop just at government and leadership, it also came into hockey.

The Soviet Union were known as a hockey dynasty during the 1980s. They had won gold the last three olympics in Ice Hockey. To compare the teams in 1980, the Russian team had players who had played together for more than 30 years, where the USA team was a bunch of college kids that tried out for the team just months before the Olympic games. Herb Brooks, the coach of the USA hockey team had a very different process in picking the athletes he wanted on his team. “I’m not looking for the best players, I’m looking for the right ones” is a famous quote from the movie, based on the true story.

I was fortunate enough to meet the famous starting Russian goalie, thought to be impossible to score one, Vladislav Aleksandrovich Tretiak, while I was in Russia. During the game he ended up being pulled after the first because of a late goal scored by the USA. He was not as bitter as I thought he would be when I had the chance to talk to him about his defeat. He believed it was a good lesson for the Russian team, that not even they were invincible.

I am also a friend of a player on the USA 1980 Olympic team, Mike Ramsey. He is the father of Rachel Ramsey, who now plays for the Minnesota Gophers, but played with me during our high school careers. He also believes that the 1980 US victory was a good lesson for everyone.

This game meant more than winning a medal to showcase. It was a war through sports between the two countries. In my opinion sports are a nonviolent, for the most part, way of sizing up and comparing countries. With all the misery the USA needed something to cheer for, and the men on the 1980 Olympic Team gave them just that. The win over the dynasty Russian team was something the USA could be proud of. Against all odds they beat the team that seemed unbeatable, and gave the US hope for the future.

As a hockey player this story gives me the chills every time it comes up. I feel so honored to be a part of a sport that gave my country hope when it needed it most. The story shows people that anything is possible when you work your hardest and to never give up on your goal. Always believe in yourself and never let anyone tell you that you can’t do something.

I am going to leave you with one of my favorite quotes, one that reminds me of the “Miracle on Ice”

“Hard work beats talent, when talent fails to work hard” -Taras Brown


Passion Blog- Opening of Pegula

As an ice hockey player the kind of rink you play in is one of the most important concerns. The Penn State Ice Hockey Program was blessed last year by an extremely generous donation form the Pegula family. Their dream is to see the hockey program grow at Penn State and making a new ice arena was a big step in making that dream happen.

Last year the team’s home was at Greenberg Ice Arena, which had been the rink for the club hockey team when there was no D1 team at Penn State. The rink is a nice community and high school rink, but in my opinion not a proper home for a D1 program.

On September 9th, at 3:00 PM EST we moved from Greenberg into Pegula Arena. I had been waiting and anticipating for that moment for months now; some of my teammates had been waiting for years to move into the new ice rink. The moment we entered we knew something special was happening to the program. As I looked around I couldn’t help but compare our new rink to the Excel Energy Center, our professional ice hockey rink back in Minnesota. While I was comparing the two rinks I realized there was almost no difference between the two. I then realized that I would basically be playing in a professional rink for the next four years of my hockey career. It was a humbling moment.

As I said before the type of rink you play in is very important to a player. As we entered the locker room people were tearing up from the amazing facilities and amenities that were given to us. Everything was brand new, from the ping pong table to the lounger area to the showers and even to the towels.

The entire team was so overwhelmed by the facility, we were like children on Christmas morning. The team even called it “Christmas in Happy Valley.” We considered ourselves the spoiled children, who got everything they wanted. All of the people that put the rink and our locker room together are our Santa Clauses. They had everything set up perfectly for us; our new apparel was in our dry locker room, our new gear was set up in our locker room, and they even had a message for us on the white board welcoming the team to the “new den”.

Our team is so fortunate to have such an amazing facility and opportunity to start something special. We know how important this first year in Pegula is to the community and the program. As a freshman I am happy with my decision to come to Penn State. Not only do I get to become part of a positive and supportive community, but I have the opportunity right away to give back to the community by helping build an amazing hockey program for them to be proud of.

Passion Blog- Hockey Pre-season

Hi! My name is Laura Bowman and I play for the Penn State Women’s Ice Hockey Team. This is the first year that I will be playing as a D1 collegiate athlete!  The reason for this blog is to give my readers an insight into a hockey players mind. Giving them my perspective and thoughts about different topics involving hockey. The first topic, and the topic included in this post, is the pre-season for athletes, hockey players specifically.

Pre-season is a time that athletes are pushed to their limits. It is the perfect opportunity for us to improve our skills before executing them during the season. No true athlete takes preseason off, unless seriously injured and unable to participate, and even then they do all they can to improve around their injury.

Many people know that off-season for hockey players is during the summer. The main difference between off-season and pre-season, is that off-season you aren’t with your entire team and trainers; it is up to you to work as hard as you can to improve.

This past off-season I was lucky enough to have a teammate to condition and work out with. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday her and I would go to a hockey training facility to lift. Every Thursday and Tuesday we would wake up at 5:30am and do our sprints before work. Once we got to school training ramped up even more! Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday we wake up at 6am before our 8am classes to go lift at the East Area Locker Room with our trainer. Every Tuesday and Thursday we wake up at 5:30am to run sprints, push sleds, and compete in relays.  Every Saturday we are allowed to pick either conditioning or lifting. Sunday is our only day off. The conditioning and lifting during the pre-season is much harder than during the off-season because the activities themselves are much more demanding and you have your trainers and teammates watching and counting on you.

Two girls on my team right now are injured, but that doesn’t stop them from participating, and if they can’t do a training activity they do a different activity to make up for it. One girl has a sprained ankle so she is unable to run during our conditioning on Tuesdays and Thursdays. While we were doing our sprints I looked over to her in the corner and every time I saw her she was moving and training just as hard as we were even though she couldn’t sprint with us. Another girls has bad hips so she is also unable to do sprints with us in the mornings, but she hops on a stationary bike in the dome with us and is sweating just as much as we are after the work out. No one takes unnecessary time off, because if they do they will fall behind.

As you can see pre-season is a time for athletes to improve their skills greatly and push themselves to their limits. It isn’t a vacation for us, where we just sit around anticipating for the season to start. Although we are anticipating and waiting for the season to start we work our butts off to pass the time. That way when the season begins we are prepared to compete at our best.

Thanks for reading my entry about pre-season for ice hockey players!