Minnesota Hockey Journal

February 2019

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Page 25 of 31

M H J ON L I N E . C O M | F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9 26 Sound Off REMEMBER SITTING ON THE BENCH. Watching, praying, taking deep breaths as Jocelyn worked her way down the ice with the inevi- table shootout move I'd seen at least a dozen times over the years. Frankly, I just wanted her to shoot and score and get it over with. But even once she did, and once Maddie made the save that clinched gold, I just sat on the bench. My teammates vaulted themselves over the boards, threw their sticks and gloves in the air for an on-ice celebration and I just sat there in dis- belief. I was in a daze. You can't count the minutes, days and years you put into reaching that moment. I just needed a few extra minutes on the bench to soak it all in. I'll admit, I didn't grow up dream- ing of that moment. I was on the ice with the boys in Warroad dreaming of winning the Stanley Cup. I can't tell you how many times I planned to score the game-winning goal in Game 7 of the Cup Final. That was until 1998 when I saw the U.S. wom- en's team win gold in Nagano, Japan. From then on I figured, OK, maybe I'm not going to win the Stanley Cup but I can go for a gold medal and see how that goes. Today it's not Stanley Cup dreams that initially fuel young girls. It's not even just aiming for gold in the Olympics. Thanks to the National Women's Hockey League, girls can vie for the Isobel Cup in their own pro- fessional league. I can't tell you how grateful I am for a league like that to come along, and to include the Minnesota Whitecaps this season. When I came to town earlier this year with my team, the Boston Pride, to face the Whitecaps (sorry to steal two from ya) what really struck me was how cool it was to inadvertently make the entire weekend a girls hockey weekend. I went to watch the Warroad girls varsity team on Friday, then checked out some of the 12U and 15U girls teams that were also in town and saw them all cheering me on at TRIA Rink on Saturday and Sunday. Warroad is such a small town that I know all the girls by name. I know a ton about them and I love being a part of their lives, so its fun for me to go back and cheer them on. It's why I want to be a part of their development and be the role model to show them that really anything is possible. In Warroad, we've been revered for the amount of successful men developed, but it's cool to see how many girls are going on to be just as successful. I look up in the rafters and around at the Garden and you see almost as many girls banners and names as you do men. It's just really crazy, and really fun. When it comes to seeing girls from all over the state and country succeed, unlike the gold medal moment, I'll be the first to jump over the boards to help celebrate it. But I'll also be here taking a moment to soak it all in. Watching in an excited daze at how far we've come. Changing the Goal U.S. Olympian Gigi Marvin talks about being a role model for the next generation by Gigi Marvin Gigi Marvin is the head instructor of the RinkRat 19 Hockey School.

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