JOHNSTOWN, CAMBRIA COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ Plus) — The Johnstown Warriors filled their first all-girls hockey team.
“Johnstown is a very close-knit community and I think hockey is one of those ties that brings us all closer together. To be a part of the first girl’s team is really special,” says Assistant Coach Boston Bradley.
This is the first time in the Johnstown Warriors 53-year history that they’ve had an all-girls hockey team.
The team started with a donation from the Sunnehanna Foundation on behalf of the famous Warrior, Don “Jet 9” Hall and his family.
There are 17 girls on the team, all ages nine to 12, and each girl attended Sidney Crosby’s Little Pens Learn to Play Program, including Lexie Feathers and Halle Clement.
“His camp taught us all the basics that you’ll need to learn how to play hockey, like you’re crossovers and how to skate,” says Feathers.
“I think it goes to benefit for me to move on and get better at hockey,” says Clement.
Last Thursday, those girls got the surprise of a lifetime.
“We had the option to play a game or practice and everyone chose to play a game.”
The team loaded up, ready to head to the game, but they weren’t going to their game, they were going to the Penguins game.
“You could see their faces when they got PPG, that it was the real deal. They were about to witness Sid and his friends play the game that they love,” says Bradley.
The girls all held up signs for Crosby, made by HomeTeam Graphics, and at the game, Lexie’s mom snapped a photo that’s been seen by more than 58-million people.
Crosby even gave the girls a shout-out in an interview with the Pensburgh.
For Head Coach, Sheri Hudspeth and Assistant Coach, Quinn Hunter, this team can help open up the door for girls in the future.
“Hey, how do I get involved with that or people-watching like my daughter’s in dance and maybe she wants to try hockey, our daughter’s in gymnastics so let’s try hockey. It just gives them an alternative to have a competitive outlet to play a competitive, physical, strong sport as a girl,” says Hudspeth.
“I think it will get the younger girls out who might be shy to do so or never thought they’d go out on the ice or had bigger brothers that played and they were too scared to do it…it’ll show them it’s a sport for everyone,” says Hunter.
These girls are only getting started, but Bradley thinks the opportunities are endless.
“The NHL is all boys but WNHL and these girls leagues are taking off and I think to see what the next level has in store is great for everyone.”