Republished with permission from ACTION the publication of Canadian
Association for the Advancement of Women and Sport and Physical
Activity Autumn 1995
"On weekends I was playing for a women's team in Moncton
- I am doing my master's degree in physical education at the University
of New Brunswick (UNB) - and I was looking for extra ice time
during the week to keep sharp. That's how it all came about. I
just wanted to practice in a more structured setting so I asked
coach Danny Grant if I could go out for the men's team, the University
of New Brunswick Reds. I made the team and became first woman
goaltender to play in an Atlantic Universities' Hockey Conference
I've come all the way up through the women's hockey system, right
from the age of six so certainly I appreciate what women's hockey
has done for me. Being at the 1994 world championships at Lake
Placid, where I was in the nets for two games, and we won the
world title ... incredible.
What was it like playing with an all-male team? Once I got my
feet wet, my confidence improved each day I was out there, although
it was an adjustment, for them as well as for me. The men are
faster and, in terms of lateral movement, maybe they get rid of
the puck a bit faster on receiving a pass. You learn that when
someone makes a pass to the front of the net, as soon as it's
left their stick, you'd better get going. I found that out in
the first couple of games. They also play rebounds a little faster
There'd be someone right there on my doorstep, waiting.
The coaches were obviously very supportive in letting me come
out in the first place. The players all accepted me pretty well,
too. I knew five or six of them before I went out and the rest
of them accepted me pretty well. I was one of the guys, almost.
I'm sure some of them thought, 'What's she doing here?' but there
was never anything verbal at all. They were all really great from
I think awareness of the women's game helped. That's increased
a bit especially since during the NHL player's strike, TSN kept
running the finals of our world championship games. 1990 (when
the first worlds were held in Ottawa and where Canada won the
first of three world titles) was the jumping-off point for women's
hockey. The 1998 Olympics in Japan will probably be the last step
in creating total awareness of the game.
I'm not sure what attracted me to hockey; maybe watching it on
TV. I remember my parents asking if I wanted to play and I said,
'sure'. It took off from there. Being in a place (Mississauga,
Ont.) where it was available helped. My long-term goal is to go
to the '98 Olympics in 1998 but there's also teams to make for
the 1996 Pacific Rim Championship, and in 1997 the worlds will
be in Kitchener. It's exciting."
©Copyright 1996 by Jan Meyer.