Family is important to Port Hope’s Reghan Chadwick, who will head to Kington to live and play hockey this fall.
Not only her own, including parents Rob and Jenn and siblings Hannah and Carter, but teammates who become like family. The 16-year-old discovered that kind of camaraderie through hockey.
Hockey wasn’t her first sport. She skated five years with the Port Hope Figure Skating Club prior to switching sports.
“My mom was actually a figure skater so I learned a lot of skills from her and I liked how it was an individual sport and you always had to compete for yourself so I really liked that,” Reghan says.
Eventually, hockey caught Reghan’s attention as she watched her siblings play.
“All those people you meet along the way in your journey can become really close to you and that’s what I liked the most as well as seeing them have fun on the ice,” she says. “I really wanted to try it so I’ve loved the game ever since.”
Reghan’s first year of hockey was at the novice BB level with the Port Hope Phantoms (before the organization amalgamated with Cobourg to become Northumberland Minor Hockey with Nighthawks rep teams). The team was coached by Christian Eriksson, she noted.
“It was really fun, I actually really enjoyed playing hockey with the boys, but sometimes they would get a little crazy.”
After making the switch to girls hockey with the West Northumberland Wild, Reghan later challenged herself more by making the jump to AA hockey with the Clarington Flames.
“I wasn’t expecting to make the team. I just wanted that push for myself and drive, but I did make it so I was really happy for myself,” Reghan says. “Going from BB to AA was a really big change and you had to adapt to the speed and level of play, but other than that I was fine. I found that I adapted very quickly to the game and got what needed to be done.”
During her tenure with Clarington, around the peewee age group, Reghan made the transition from defenceman to power forward, regularly playing left wing.
“The coach put me on forward, said they needed a goal scorer so I went to forward and stuck with that since that day,” she says.
Reghan continued elevating her game and eventually joined the Durham West Lightning and won an Ontario championship her first season with the club. She recalls her team rallying from a third-period deficit and winning in overtime.
She adapted to the level of play in her first year, but recalls being quiet around her new teammates.
“My second year I came more around and made so many friendships,” Reghan says. “I really enjoyed that year. We obviously didn’t get to finish the season, but while it lasted it was really fun.”
After making the switch to girls hockey when she was young, Reghan found the style of play to be less competitive on the ice. She certainly made up for it in other sports, including playing rugby at St. Mary Catholic Secondary School and also lacrosse, once again with the boys.
“I really liked the competition and being aggressive was one of my best attributes because I’m more of a bigger player so I like to throw around the body a little bit,” she remarked. “It was really fun. The guys were obviously a lot more aggressive than the girls. People say they don’t go for girls, but I find they definitely make you push a lot harder so that was really enjoyable.”
Reghan enjoys training at a high level, including in the past with Team Canada player and two-time Olympic medalist Jennifer Wakefield as well as Bryce Crawford, who is a part of Wakefield’s hockey program.
“Jenn is an amazing hockey player and overall great person. I couldn’t ask for anyone better to look up to,” says Reghan, who is also a fan of Justin Williams and Matthew Tkachuk. “I’ve worked with her before when I played for Clarington. I didn’t really know her as well as I do now, but even skills with her, she’s unbelievable and definitely someone I aspire to be one day.”
Reghan is now preparing to join the Kingston Jr. under-20 team that competes in the Intermediate AA division of the Provincial Women’s Hockey League. She will live in Kingston and will be living with the parents of one of the team’s assistant coaches as well as one of her new teammates.
“I’m definitely going to miss my siblings, they’ve been there for me my whole life and throughout hockey. My parents as well, I couldn’t ask for better parents and more supportive people around me, but I’m really excited and I just can’t wait to start,” Reghan says.
Her goals moving forward include hockey as well as education, especially considering she aspires to become a lawyer one day.
“I really want to go play D1 NCAA in the States, hopefully make it to the Olympics or even play on Team Canada one day,” Reghan says of her hockey aspirations. “That’s a goal I’ve always wanted since I was little when I transitioned to hockey.”
Reghan joined the June 23 episode of the Total Sports Northumberland podcast to talk about her sports background and also chat with Matt Stajan, who played over 1,000 NHL games with the Toronto Maple Leafs and Calgary Flames.
You can listen to the questions and answers here:
You can listen to the full episode. Check out the links below.
To nominate an athlete for Athlete Spotlight, visit: http://www.totalsportsnorthumberland.ca/athlete-spotlight/