Springwater Sports Heritage

Founding Benefactor: The McGuire Trust

Springwater Sports Heritage

Interview with Brooke Stoddart

When did you start playing hockey? For who, what level? When did you know you wanted to be a goalie?
I started playing hockey at the age of 5, I remember watching my older cousins playing and always wanted to join them. At first my dad really didn’t want me to jump right into hockey so instead they put me into figure skating and you could imagine that didn’t last very long. I was quickly put into a tyke league that was a part of the Brampton organization that only consisted of two teams. At that age you rotate goalies and everyone has the chance to strap on the pads. When it was my turn to play we ended up winning our game and I got a shutout. At the end of the game the whole team flooded the ice and jumped on me, it was from that moment on that I knew I wanted to be a goalie. The feeling of being able to steal the game from the other team was incredible.

What championships have you won…..provincially or other of significance?
2014-2015 CHA Conference Champions
2013-2014 CHA Conference Champions
2008-2009 Ontario Winter Games Gold Medalist

How did you choose RIT? What program are you enrolled in?
When I was looking at schools I had a couple key things I was looking for the first one being close to home. I know that I wanted to be close enough that it wouldn’t be too far for my parents to drive for home games and that it would be possible for me to go home when needed. When looking at RIT it was only 4 hours away from home the ongoing joke is that it is far enough away that my parents can’t show up without warming but it is close enough that they can come when I need them most.  The second thing I was looking for from a school was that the population wasn’t to overwhelming. Growing up in a small town you get used to the small town feel and when you’re thrown into a big city you feel very lots. I did not want to feel lost when I got to school I didn’t want to feel overwhelmed with the size and be unable to find my classes.  The next thing I was looking for was atmosphere; when going to play for a school you want to have the best atmosphere possible like everyone says college/university will be the best 4 years of your life so make the most of it. I wanted to play somewhere where the fans were loyal as they make playing the game that much more exciting. Our fans at RIT are one of the best you will find in women’s college hockey, from our pep band to our corner crew that attends every home game and sometimes even our away games depending on the distance. We honestly have the best fans out there and I wouldn’t want to play in front of any other crowd and I am positive away teams hate coming to play us when they have the corner crew on their backs the whole game. It really doesn’t do it justice to talk about it one really has to experience it to know the true feeling you get when sitting in our Gene Polisseni Center. After all that my final decision was made to attend RIT it met all my criteria and you could tell right from the beginning it wasn’t going to be a team that was full of clique and problems. The team was a family and everyone got along.
Currently my Major is New Media Marketing with a Minor in Exercise Science.

What does a typical game day look like for you?
Typical game day at home starts off a morning skate with the team just to get our legs going and sharpen up the little things needed before the game. If we are playing on a Friday at home for the most part I arrange my class schedule to I have minimal to no classes that day so I can focus only on the game. After morning skate depending on how my legs feel I may hop in the cold tubs that are set up in our training room, just to make sure my legs aren’t feeling heavy for the game. Then we will have team meal to make sure everyone is putting the right fuel in their bodies that they will need to have energy for the game that night. Then I will go home relax watch TV until it is time to get ready for the game. I will typically arrive at the rink two and a half hours before game time in order to get all my game time routines done. Starting off with getting changed into my workout gear throwing my head set on and tossing the ball at the wall for about 10- 15 mins. Then it’s time to just let loose dance around the locker room with some of the girls and keep our selves relaxed before the game. Some people like to be serious before a game but I find that gets me to uptight and I won’t be ready for the game. After team off ice warm up I tend to go out onto the bench sit on the boards and listen to some of my favorite pregame music then it’s time to get ready.

What does your off-season entail in terms of training?
For the most part after our season is done we tend to have a week or two completely off giving us time to let our bodies recover from any injuries that we may have. Then off season training start, we start with our regular testing to have a baseline of where our fitness is and set our goals for improvement over the summer. Then spring and summer training starts depending on the phase we are in in our training we either workout 4-5 days a week for roughly 1 ½ to 2 hours a day. Then we are on our own to find ice to keep our bodies in game shape, so I am on the ice 2-3 times per week.

What are your hockey goals?
It had always been a childhood dream of mine to play Division I hockey in the states and now that I have achieved that goal my hockey goal it will only grow from there. Moving forward my goal is to become the starting goalie on the team. Coming in as a freshman everyone has their turn of being the back up as there is another girl in front of you with more experience. This upcoming year hold a big opportunity for me as I have the chance to become the starter if I work as hard as I know I can and perform to the best of my ability. With that being said I would like to help my team achieve overall league championship along with another CHA conference championship as we are the defending champions two years running. One of my biggest goals is to help my team win the National Championship as is every NCAA hockey player’s goal. It is not an easy one to accomplish but it is more than capable to do so and looking at our teams the last two years I think we are making big strides towards this goal as we keep learning year after year what it takes to play against the big schools.

What are your career aspirations?
Once hockey is over my plan is to come back home and go to school at Georgian or go to Texas to get my Fire Fighting degree, then hopefully get a job in that field. Along with that as of right now I am also looking into my father’s business and become a part time Mortgage Broker along while being a fire fighter.

Any advice for female athletes trying to reach an elite level…..
Reaching an elite level in any sport is not easy there are a lot of sacrifices that you will have to take and sometimes you will wonder why you are doing it. In the end you will reach your goal and you will have achieved something most others will never have gotten the chance to do. When days are hard remember your end goal and when you have the option to go out and party or go to the gym think first about which one is more important and which one you will be most satisfied with in 5 years, will that party really matter or will that time spent training to make you better at your sport be more benificial and get you to your overall end goal.

Who is/was your greatest motivator, coach or other person instrumental in your development? Why?
I have had a number of people who have helped me get to where I am today. My parents have been huge motivators for me I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t have them behind me the whole way. When I had days where I didn’t want to go to practice they would remind me why I was going and what my end goal would be. If I had a bad game they weren’t there to criticize me after the game but we would discuss it and then move on they were always encouraging me and believing in me when I didn’t even believe in myself some times.
Along with my parents I wouldn’t be the goaltender I am today without the help from my goalie coaches Mike Rosati, Greg and Jeremy Redquest. These goalie coaches have taught me everything I know about the game and have made me the athletic and technically sound goalie I am today. I wouldn’t be able to thank them enough for spending the countless hours training me along with putting their faith in me allowing me to get to the level of hockey I am playing today.