Keene State College Men’s Club Hockey has created a growing interest and popularity since the team started, and now a women’s team will be added into the mix. The Lady Owls Club Ice Hockey team is taking off and is now an official club team at KSC.
“The women’s program has been evolving quite a bit for some time now,” Associate Men’s Coach Bert Poirier said. “The men’s team here is well established and we felt the program had a lot of room for growth and implementing a women’s team has been great.”
The Lady Owls have three co-founders leading the charge in getting the team off and running: freshmen Ashley Waterman and Sabrina Lapointe, and sophomore Kathryn Sleeman.
“We are really excited to have become an official club team,” Waterman said. “Everybody has worked so hard to get this going so it’s great to see it all come together the way it has.”
The team is still in its preliminary stages of development and is currently working toward getting regular ice time at the Cheshire Fair Ice Arena where KSC hockey holds its practices and games.
“Once you have regular ice time established then you really start to know where you are at in terms of interest level as well as competition,” Poirier said. “There could be some very accomplished players that come out as well as players who are looking to try the game and learn so once they hit the ice then it will be more clear what they have to work with.”
As the team continues to build, the interest level is high and there are many girls who are looking to get on the ice with the team, according to the three co-founders.
“The interest among players has been really high so far which is exciting,” Sleeman said. “We were hoping to have at least ten when we started, but I think we have about 18 now so it’s really taken off.”
The Lady Owls are also currently working toward setting up fundraisers and other events to raise money for ice time and other team expenses. “We are planning some bake sales and other events to help us raise money,” Lapointe said. “We have had a lot of people that have come forward to help us out which is huge for us.”
The men’s team has also helped its new counterparts get off the ground and head in the right direction. “The men’s team has donated equipment like jerseys as well as sticks and pucks,” Waterman said. “They have also offered to help out with fundraising which is a huge help for us.”
Poirier said he believes the women’s team will be structured similar to the men’s team in terms of operation. “The men’s team is run on tuition, which is a pay-to-play type system,” Poirier said. “We also do a lot of different fundraising such as holding clinics and writing letters to people who support hockey within the community which also gets our name out there and that is what makes up the bulk of our budget.”
The Lady Owls said they hope to have a team on the ice by next semester and are planning on playing scrimmages to start out and then move up to playing other club teams.
“We hope that by next semester we can have a regular practice schedule along with organizing a few scrimmages, so that’s our big goal right now,” Waterman said.
“There have already been a few club teams from around New England that have contacted us about playing some games,” Sleeman said. “Once we get out on the ice and get everything going we hope to expand as much as we can.”
Like the men’s club hockey team, the women’s team will need time and funding to get off the ground. But their hopes are high.
Cody Guerrero can be contacted at