Sports Hockey

Becky Conroy returns to Canada

By Christina Van Starkenburg

After spending a year playing hockey abroad, Pembroke native Becky Conroy received a warm welcome back to the country. On Aug. 26 she was drafted to the Canadian Women's Hockey League (CWHL) where she will play for the Brampton Thunder.

“I was hoping to be picked by Brampton, and I am really excited (to play with them),” she said.

Conroy spent this past season playing for the Salzburg Eagles in Austria. While she loved playing for them and she really enjoyed all of the traveling that she was able to do in Europe, she is excited to be back on Canadian soil. In Austria she struggled a little bit with the gentler style of play, so she's excited to get back to playing the game the way she played growing up without picking up tons of penalties.

“I think (playing in Canada) will be pretty similar (to what I'm used to). I'm lucky with the fact that most of these girls are coming out of playing university hockey,” she said. “In Austria I was getting more penalties than I'd like because of the different style of play; hopefully, it's more of what I'm used to here.”

In addition to the more familiar style of play, Conroy is excited for the chance to improve her skills in the CWHL.

“I think the level of talent in the league is going to be a challenge. I know the girls that I recognize on my team and other teams are going to be a challenge,” said Conroy. “And all of the Olympic players are usually playing in that league. It'll be really exciting to play with them and against them.”

But the thing that Conroy is most excited about, more than playing in Canada or playing with the Olympic women, is simply playing hockey.

“I love (playing hockey). I'd do it every day if I could. To get the change to travel and play last year was amazing, and to (be able to play) again this year. The chance has been amazing.”

Christina Van Starkenburg is a Daily Observer multimedia journalist


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