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Local hockey player circles career goals skating for Sharks

18-year-old from Collingwood striding forward in women's hockey with D1 college hockey lined up

An 18-year-old from Collingwood is making strides in the world of women’s hockey.

From playing as the only girl on a boys' team to securing a spot on a college hockey team and earning sponsorships, Haley Beckett's journey represents dedication and determination. 

"I am passionate about sports and hope that I can be a role model for all young girls who are trying to achieve their dreams," said Beckett. 

She started loving hockey when she was very young because her parents loved it, too. She was put on skates at the age of two and it quickly became a central part of her life. She starting playing with the Collingwood Blackhawks, where she was the only girl on the team.

“I learned a lot playing with the boys. I think it gave me an advantage,” she said. 

At the age of 13, however, Beckett recognized the need to transition to a girls' hockey organization in order to gain recognition. She made the switch to play for Barrie, which proved to be a nurturing environment for her growth, both as a player and a person. 

While the experience came with its share of challenges, she said she's eternally grateful for the support she received from the organization.

“Certain coaches and certain people really helped get me to where I am,” Beckett said. “If I didn’t go to Barrie, I don’t think any of these opportunities would have come.”

She also loves playing with and against girls. 

“Some of the girls have become my best friends,” Beckett said. “My team this year has become a family and it’s nice to have that because everyone is like-minded, everyone wants the same thing.”

Now in her sixth year with the organization and second year playing for Barrie’s U22 team, Beckett is leading in both points and goals and working diligently toward securing a championship.

The next chapter in Beckett's hockey journey will take her to Missouri in the fall, where she further her education while playing American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) Division 1 women’s hockey for Maryville College. 

“It’s going to be a change, for sure. I am excited to say the least. I feel like it will be a good change,” she said. 

Despite her young age, Beckett said she is well-prepared for the transition, both academically and athletically. She's eager to embrace the challenges of living away from home and the competitive environment of college hockey, where she will be one of the youngest players on the team.

“I am going to miss my team,” she said. “But it will be a nice change to play with girls from all over the world.”

Not only is Maryville currently top five in the ACHA, but Beckett chose the school for its strong sports management program and proximity to both the NHL's St. Louis Blues and Major League Baseball's St. Louis Cardinals, which could open up opportunities in the sports industry in the future. 

“I went down for a visit and it felt like home,” she said. “I think getting my foot in the door in my freshman year will open up a bunch of opportunities for me."

Beyond her achievements on the ice, Beckett has garnered sponsorship from Swift, a stick company, and, most recently, from Thrive Protein. 

“The fact that people are recognizing me and wanting to help me succeed is pretty amazing,” she said. 

Beginning this exciting new journey, Beckett remains grounded and humble, never forgetting her roots and staying committed to her goals.

“I’ve played hockey my whole life,” she said. “Seeing myself grow as a person and a player has really opened up my eyes and the connections I’ve made throughout the years.”

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Maddie Johnson

About the Author: Maddie Johnson

Maddie Johnson is an early career journalist working in financial, small business, adventure and lifestyle reporting. She studied Journalism at the University of King's College, and worked in Halifax, Malta and Costa Rica before settling in Collingwood
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