Green Mountain Tourney is Jan. 6-7

BRATTLEBORO — The surname on the back of Ryan Little's jersey is deceiving.

She actually has big dreams, a gigantic heart, and a huge amount of skill.

Little, of Guilford, is one of three former Brattleboro Hockey Association players currently skating for a women's college team. She is a junior at Boston College, Dummerston's Laura Rollins plays defense at William Smith, and Keene High School graduate Alyssa Roof is on the University of New England's team.

And they have all played in the Green Mountain Girls Hockey Tournament, which will hold its 26th annual event at Living Memorial Park on Jan. 6-7. Brattleboro will enter a U12 and a U14 team, with the 16 opponents coming from the New England states and New York.

"The absolute best thing about it is that the girls have a fabulous time. They also make a lot of new friends," said Brattleboro coach Elizabeth McLarney, who once played ice hockey at Brown University.

When asked about BHA players to keep an eye on during the tourney, Angela Jobin was the first name that came to McLarney's mind.

"She is a 12-year-old and will play goalie for both of our teams. She is phenomenal. She is just fantastic," stated McLarney, who will coach both teams along with Gordon Little, Rod Inman and Joel Ladzinski.

Juliana Miskovich, Willow Romo, Grace Szipila, Julie McDermid, Alyssa Leonard, Lilly Carignan and Baylie Houle were the other names that the Brattleboro coach rattled off as BHA standouts.

The History

Girls such as the talented Emmalee Cherington once played on the BHA boys teams until Marcia Steckler and Marli Rabinowitz fought to put the association's first all-girls team together in 1998.

"The boys tended to accept the girls as equals on the ice, but the locker room environment reverted to the general playground rules. The girls weren't included in the chat or the after-game socializing. They were 'team' but not really," said Steckler, adding that the difference in physical development made it unfair at the Pee-Wee level when checking came into play.

Steckler and Rabinowitz posted flyers around town and found ice time for the brand new girls team in 1998. They had just six skaters at their first practice, however that turned into a full roster of ages 10-17 two months later.

"Their attitudes were amazing and they were the most determined and enthusiastic gang you could ever wish for. We drove them from game to game while they sang and chattered in the back seats of Marcia's van. They were in middle and high school and very self-motivated," stated Rabinowitz.

She will never forget the team's first game, which took place in Troy, N.Y.

"Our team was getting penalty after penalty. After the first period, we talked in the locker room and had to explain to these excited and revved up young women that this was not the NHL and there was to be no checking or throwing of elbows. They were disappointed, but we had no further troubles."

The players on that team were: Emily Tyler, Leah Wilson, Jennifer Skye, Rachel Tepfer, Amanda Slyk, Myshell Anderson, Lili Bookwalter, Chrissy Shultz, Megan Corry, Jill Lapoint, Catie Shuman, Lylah Bailey, Katie McCullock, Liz Campbell, Kaela Davis Lane and Jess Nichols.


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