Emma Dunn’s Journey with Hockey

Emma+stands+by+the+goal+in+a+game+for+the+school+team.+Being+a+girl+has+led+to+differences+in+the+way+that+she+is+able+to+play+the+sport%2C+but+not+in+the+way+that+she+communicates+with+the+team.+%E2%80%9CI+don%27t+really+like+being+labeled+as+%E2%80%9Cthe+girl%E2%80%9D+because+it+takes+away+from+the+other+things+I+have+to+offer.+I+just+wanna+be+another+one+of+the+boys+and+treated+as+an+equal.%E2%80%9D+said+Dunn.

Emma stands by the goal in a game for the school team. Being a girl has led to differences in the way that she is able to play the sport, but not in the way that she communicates with the team. “I don’t really like being labeled as “the girl” because it takes away from the other things I have to offer. I just wanna be another one of the boys and treated as an equal.” said Dunn.

Lauren Rogers, Features Editor

Emma Dunn ‘22 has been playing hockey for over ten years, and has experienced many ups and downs since her beginning. Being a girl on a predominantly male team can be tricky enough, but the sport itself is intensely physical and can get tough as it is geared towards men who are biologically bigger and tend to be stronger, force wise, than women. 

 

Since HB is so small, the school team is combined with Derryfield High School, which adds another girl, freshman Rachael Irving, onto the team this year. Dunn has had many successes throughout her years as a player, but also faced a lot of issues as well.

 

Dunn got into hockey very young, and had multiple reasons for trying it out. “It’s been the only sport that I’ve continued. I’ve played lacrosse, soccer, football, and field hockey, but none of them felt right to me . I’ve spent so much time training and learning, it makes me forget any problems I have off the ice and focus on the game. I love skating and love the physical aspects of hockey. To me it’s such an interesting sport to play and watch. Hockey is an escape from reality nothing outside the ice matters in that moment it’s just the game,” said Dunn.

 

One of the people who helped her the most along the way was her dad. “I never had any family who played hockey, so the idea of the sport was foreign to me but my parents, especially my Dad, were always there to support me. My dad would sometimes help coach on the bench and would always push me to try my best which brought me to where I am today.”

 

Her favorite player who stood out to her was Zdeno Chara, former Captain of the Boston Bruins. “ As I got older I started to keep up with professional hockey. I remember seeing Chara playing for the Bruins and was amazed by his height. I was always the tallest on my teams growing up so seeing someone tower over others I became less insecure about my height.”

 

As far as the physical side of hockey, that has never bothered Dunn. “I remember getting into a fight with a guy and his teammates kept saying ‘you can’t fight a girl’ which has always bugged me because I was never the one laying on the ice in pain,” said Dunn. 

 

As for the other players of the team, they don’t notice any major differences having girls on the team. “No, It wasn’t different. The only thing was that some kids, when they got hit by a girl, got really butthurt about it,” said Matthew MacBean ‘22. “Certain people on some teams thought that it would be easy to beat a girl, so they got complacent around her. This really allowed for Emma to perform against certain teams and players,” said senior Michael McLaughlin who agreed with these statements. “I have done club teams where girls were there so it is not really different for me,” said Dunn.

 

However, out of a large group, there always tends to be a few people that stray from the group. “I’ve been on boys teams my whole life. At first some of my teammates don’t think very much of me because I’m a girl but they slowly begin to realize I’m no different from them. I’ve made so many friends in hockey but it is hard to gain respect,” said Dunn. “It’s great having another girl on the team, it makes me not feel like the odd one out. It’s hard for us to get the recognition we deserve and often get looked over because of our gender. We don’t let the negative thoughts of others stop us from showing up the practice and giving it our all.”