Hockey is a notoriously tough and physical sport. This fact is not lost on the Sabre Girls 12 and Under team.
“I tried dancing, but I didn’t like it very much,” said Darby Edmundson, team captain. “I just like hockey better.”
Edmundson is one of 16 players who comes from all over northern Illinois to play for the Naperville-based Sabres. Founded in 1971, the Northern Illinois Hockey League offered a hockey program for boys only. In the past six years, the league began offering the same program for girls. The sport continues to grow every year.
“The beautiful thing about the girls’ game is that a lot of times there are more opportunities for the girls than there are for the boys,” said Tim Monroe, Sabre Girls Head Coach. “Most major universities out east have either Division-I or Division-III teams.”
The sport is the same. Only one rule is different. Girls are not allowed to check in hockey. They instead utilize other aspects of the game to succeed.
“It’s a finesse game that accentuates all the beautiful things, the speed, the precision passing,” said Monroe. “It’s really a beautiful game for girls.”
The Sabre Girls experienced tremendous success this year. In addition to claiming the state title, the team also won both the Wolves’ and President’s Cups. Above all, it is the game that the players love.
“I like hockey a lot,” says Madison Monroe. “I’m very competitive with it, and I’ve been playing a long time.”
While they may not be playing a sport more typical of girls, hockey is evolving to include both sexes. The Sabre Girls already are looking to make an impact on the sport.
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