Courtesy photo

Abby Rutt, in her second year at New Hampton School in New Hampshire, is becoming a “more agile skater.”

February 2, 2013

Five young women share their stories

By Kevin Thomas kthomas@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

• DAKOTAH CLEMENT

Playing with Shamrocks – 'it's very different'

HUDSON, N.H. - When Jody Clement brought her daughter Dakotah to her first skating lesson, all the other girls wore figure skates. Dakotah had hockey skates.

Blame her mother. Jody Clement began playing hockey when she was 30 years old -- "a friend suggested it and I loved it" -- and Jody wanted to give Dakotah a chance to fall for the sport as well.

It worked. Dakotah began playing in first grade. She became a good player and, when she was older, her skills caught the attention of the Boston Shamrocks hockey club.

After two high school seasons at St. Thomas Aquinas in Dover, N.H., Clement moved to Massachusetts to join the Shamrocks. She lives in a house with 11 teammates and two assistant coaches. She takes classes online and works with a tutor, supplied by the team.

"It's very different," Clement said after a Shamrocks game in Hudson, N.H. "And I didn't realize how much of a commitment it was."

But Clement adjusted and returned for a second season this year. She will go home in March and, while finishing requirements for her diploma, plans to run track for Noble High.

Next year is up in the air.

"I'm looking at my options," Clement said. "I'm still communicating with some D-III (Division III schools), but I'm really hoping for D-I."

• MEGAN FORTIER

Her unconventional path proves 'it's possible'

WATERVILLE - Megan Fortier skates with the same crouching style she had in high school, ready to explode into a sprint. Last year, Fortier dominated on her Falmouth High team and was named the girls' hockey Player of the Year by the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram.

This year, Fortier is in college and holding her own as a Colby freshman. In fact, she skates on the top line for the Mules.

"That was a surprise," she said.

That Fortier is performing well may be a surprise to hockey observers who believe players need to join elite teams to get ready for college. Fortier did play prep school hockey her junior year at North Yarmouth Academy. But she missed Falmouth High and returned for her senior season.

"Everyone says you have to go away to be seen," Fortier said. "It's definitely easier if you do that, but I think there are still other ways. I really wanted to have a regular high school (experience) and I still ended up at a good school with a good team. (I think) it's possible to do both."

"She has good sense and she's a hardworking kid," Colby women's hockey coach David Venditti said. "She's a grinder. That's helped her. Her skill, like everyone else, needs to develop. But she works hard enough where her skills are developing."

• KATY MASSEY

'No chance'? Persistence pays off when call comes

ORONO - Katy Massey played as a regular defenseman on a good Waterville High boys hockey team. She graduated in 2011 and hoped to skate for her state school, the University of Maine. Massey contacted Black Bears coach Maria Lewis and got a lukewarm response.

"She really wasn't on the radar," Lewis said. "We were recruiting players we felt were better. She was so small (5-foot-1). We thought this kid is going to get killed."

Massey tried to keep her head up.

(Continued on page 2)

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