I had the good fortunate to meet Erin Wente and Lynsdey Fry last summer during the Mark Ciaccio power skating camp at the Ice Den in Scottsdale. They held an informal talk on the importance of education and how hockey can play an important part. Both of these women were able to play at a high level locally that they parlayed into successful college careers. Lyndsey’s story will be posted in the near future.
HH) How did you start out playing hockey?
EW) I first started playing hockey when I was 6. My Dad grew up playing, and my older brother started to play so I wanted to join. The Ice Den had just opened so I had a rink close by, and the Coyotes were new to the valley so it was a great time to start playing.
HH) Were there other girls on your team when you started, and when did you start playing only with females?
EW) Ever since I first started playing, I played with both girls and boys. The first girls team I played on was the Lady Coyotes out of the Ice den that later grew into the Arizona Selects. I also played in house league and travel teams throughout the valley with boys. I played with boys up until my senior year of high school. I went to Xavier and played on the Brophy hockey team all 4 years. My freshman year at Vermont was the first year I didn’t play on a team with boys.
HH) You went to Colorado to play. What experiences did you take from those years?
EW) Going to Colorado to play was the best option I had to further my development as a hockey player and reach my goal of playing college hockey. I had an amazing 3 years in Colorado with the Colorado Selects. Playing for Colorado allowed me to play against better teams and attend bigger tournaments where I could be seen by more colleges. I travelled a lot during my three years and was away from home almost every weekend. It really helped me learn how to juggle school, hockey, and travelling which made the transition to my freshman year at Vermont very easy.
HH) Do you think girl-only hockey in Arizona has reached a point where it can survive or are we a few years away?
EW) I have been away from the girl only hockey in Arizona for awhile so I can’t say too much on the subject, but there have been many girls to come out of Arizona and have successful hockey careers. I think it definitely has room to grow though.
HH) You are the Captain at Vermont. Tell me about what you did that made you the choice to be Captain?
EW) When I found out I was voted Captain I was actually a little shocked. I am very honored to be Captain and see it as a great sign of respect. I think I am looked up to on my team for my work ethic and dedication to the team. Every since my freshman year, I have done everything in my power to make the team better and put the team first. I think that people noticed that and that’s why I was voted captain.
HH) Your speed is remarkable. Can you share your off-season workout?
EW) First of all, thank you! I’ve been lucky enough to train with great trainers and skate with a lot of great coaches. In the off season, I only skate about once or twice a week and mostly focus on strength and conditioning. Our off season work outs consist of speed work, agility, sprinting, Olympic lifts, circuits, and plyometrics.
HH) When did you know you could play college hockey?
EW) I think by my sophomore year in high school I knew I could play college hockey. At that point, I wasn’t sure if it would be Division I or Division 3. I was starting to get letters from different colleges and was selected every year of high school to attend USA hockey national development camp so I had a good idea that I was at a level I could play college hockey.
HH) The green of the Vermont color scheme matches your eyes. What else led you there?
EW) My eyes really do come out when I put on my green jersey, but surprisingly that didn’t have a big roll in my decision to come to UVM. Vermont is just the perfect place for me. When I came for my official visit, the girls on the team and coaches were great. Burlington is a great city, and I really like the school and program I’m in. I also wanted to be part of a team I knew I could make a difference on.
HH) You come from a hockey family. Where did it start?
EW) My Dad grew up in Michigan and played hockey his whole life. He is the one that got me into hockey, and I know I’m the player I am today because of his influence. My older brother, Stewart, plays as well and I’ve always looked up to him so it was special to share hockey when we were growing up. Hockey is something I’ve always shared with my family, and I think that is why it is so special to me.
HH) What are your post college plans?
EW) My post college plans are not definite, but I do know that I want to pursue a career in physical therapy which means going to more school. I have also though about taking a year off and playing in a professional women’s league in Europe. Some of my teammates that graduated have done it and have had great experiences. It would be a great way to see Europe and still continuing to do what I love.
The featured picture is of Erin, her father Mike, and her brother Stewart. To read more about Mike Wente and his conribution to hockey in Arizona, you can click on this link http://howlinhockey.com/?p=1192.