As a first-year student, it can feel intimidating walking around campus and seeing many unknown faces. While this may prompt some to strike up spontaneous conversations, for introverts like myself, this can be a bit challenging. Enter sports. Once you know you have a shared interest, it’s much easier for discussions to flow and friendships to form. For me, this particular sport is ice hockey, and my journey started when I joined UTSC’s women’s ice hockey team. 

I started playing back home in Vancouver when I was seven years old, and I knew it was something I couldn’t see myself letting go of any time soon. Everyone on the UTSC team is welcoming and the diverse skill levels our players possess are something I find to be very enthralling. A memorable moment for me was walking into Varsity Arena for the first time this year and lacing up my skates. The exhilaration didn’t stop there; this is my first full season. There really isn’t any shortage of positive things to say after joining UTSC’s women’s ice hockey team. The manageable workload is an added bonus since I’m still able to prioritize and focus on my school work. 

Don’t let this confuse you, though — the league is quite competitive. With four teams across the three campuses, most games are quite close. So far, we’ve won three out of four games. Our last game ended in a 3–1 victory against UTM on November 6. We’ll be facing off against Victoria College on November 20, in hopes of extending our winning streak to four games. 

Our Head Coach Greg Danko shared his thoughts on the game against Skule: “[The game] was a really gutsy performance [by the team]… if [you] play as a team, you know you can overcome a much better team just by playing as a unit… If we get the best out of everybody cumulatively every game, that’s what any coach wants.”

When asked about his feelings regarding the return to hockey after the pandemic, he mentioned the excitement that comes with the beginning of any season, no matter the circumstances. He said, “I haven’t thought of it like [a return to normalcy after the pandemic].”

The UTSC women’s hockey team hopes to continue to dominate the ice this season by winning a game against Victoria College on November 20.