By BRIAN JENNINGS
Although 14-year old Abby Lamson first picked up a hockey stick when she was five, it is hard to believe that a girl could have such passion for a masculine-dominant sport, labeled as one of the toughest sports around.
Lamson learned to skate and prepared to play hockey for a travel team at an open house youth program for a year. From there, she went on to try out and play for a travel team.
She grew up watching her brother play for the Central Connecticut Capitals and would be influenced to follow her brother and play for the same team for the next six years.
“They’re a really good organization,” Lamson said. “They teach you how to play smart hockey. We focused on making good passes and working together as a team.”
Lamson started out as a Mite C playing in her first season with the all-boys team.
“They always made me feel good,” she said. “They never left me out because I’ve been with them for more than one season. So I was friends with them and they were all nice to me.”
She gained respect for her talent and skills from her teammates after years of playing on an all-boys team, establishing herself as a well-known hockey player. No one has ever questioned her playing hockey, but Lamson said she still feels that girls deserve the same respect as guys.
“When you think of hockey, you think of the NHL, which is all males,” she said. “You don’t think of a girl playing hockey because it just doesn’t seem right to most people.”
This past season was her last season playing with the Capitals in the Central Connecticut Youth Hockey Association, but would also prove to be her best. Her team captured the Connecticut state title. They rallied for a Northeast Regional title in the weeks that followed, reaching the highest level they could go in U.S.A. hockey for that age group.
The next season, Lamson switched teams and leagues, going from playing on an all-boys team to playing on an all-girls team. She currently plays for the Connecticut Polar Bears as a defenseman. She said that she feels the strongest part of her game is assisting her teammates by passing the puck.
In her first season with the Polar Bears, the team made it to state finals, but lost to the Ice Cats of Darien in double overtime. Finishing as the runner-ups, the Polar Bears qualified for the Northeast Regional Championship. Lamson would help represent Connecticut again at the same ice rink in Maine where she played the championship game with the Capitals the year before.
The Polar Bears would eventually meet up with the Ice Cats again in the championship game. The Polar Bears would get sweet revenge by beating the Ice Cats, 2-0, to capture the regional title, earning a spot in the 2015 Toyota-U.S.A. Hockey Youth Nationals in Lancing, Mich.
Lamson currently an eight-grader at DePaolo Middle School in Southington and can’t decide where she will be attending high school in the fall. Even though she loves hockey, Lamson is a multi-sport athlete and is weighing her decision based on two other sports.
Lamson has a strong interest to play softball in the spring and volleyball in the fall for Southington High School. With no girl’s hockey team or club at Southington, prep school is also another option, where she could continue her hockey career.
Ultimately, Lamson said she will try to find a way to play all three sports in high school, but hopes to help start a co-op hockey team if she attends Southington.