Just another hockey player; the only girl on Digby Bantam team

Jonathan
Jonathan Riley
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By Karla Kelly FOR THE DIGBY COURIER NovaNewsNow.com

Kaylyn Meuse takes off down the ice, her blonde ponytail flying out from under her helmet as she races neck and neck against 13 male hockey players in the team’s ‘gut busters’ drill.

Coming to a power stop that sends a shower of ice in the air, Meuse and her teammates complete the drill that opens their Monday night practice at the Digby Area Arena.

Meuse is the only girl on the Digby Bantam Ravens team but to the head coach and the rest of her teammates she is just another hockey player.

Wes Trimper who has coached Meuse for pretty much the last nine or 10 years said she fits right in with the rest of the guys.

“Kaylyn stuck with the game even when she was the only girl on the team and I think the turning point for her came in the Peewee level when the players learned to body check,” said Trimper. “She stood her ground and came through with flying colors.”

 “Kaylyn is an asset to the team and is respected by her teammates,” he said. “She doesn’t seek the spotlight; she would rather be behind the scene, playing her role on the team.”

Trimper describes Meuse as one who doesn’t show her frustrations about a game, a bad call made by a ref, a player or a play that she was involved in.

“She seems to be able to keep her cool and this often helps the rest of the team keep their composure as well.”

The head coach said Meuse is developing good hockey skills including a good hard wrist shot and he teases her about taking a slap shot.

“Kaylyn plays defence and has a good hard wrist shot. I know she would have a good hard slap shot from the point because her wrist shots are so good and accurate,” he said. “That’s my goal before I’m finished coaching Kaylyn is to get her to take a slap shot….just one.”

Teammates Braden Trimper and Easton Addington have played hockey with Meuse since the three of them were in the Initiation Program (IP) when they were five and six years old.

“There is no difference; she is like everyone else on the team,” said Trimper.

Meuse said not only have the other players accepted her but their parents and other teams’ parents think it is pretty cool for me to be playing hockey.

“I have played long enough in the league that just about everyone knows me,” said Meuse. “I have developed friendships with the girls who play on the other teams and the boys as well.”

Meuse began skating in the Canskate program in Digby when she was three years old and said her older brother Josh inspired her to learn the game of hockey.

“I was always at the rink watching Josh play hockey so I joined the Initiation Program along with three other girls when I was five,” Meuse said. “I really liked IP, you learn the basics and there is a lot of skating.”

There were four girls playing Tim Bits hockey but by the time Meuse was in the Adam level she was the only girl on the team.

Meuse says the only difference being the lone girl on the team is the dressing room.

“I got my own dressing room when I started the Peewee level which is good cause there’s no line up for the bathroom,” laughs Meuse.

Not only is Meuse an avid Mooseheads’ fan, she followed closely the Canadian men’s’ and women’s’ Olympic hockey games.

“Watching hockey helps but I went to three summer hockey camps at Acadia and that improved my game quite a bit.”

Heather Meuse said her daughter grew up in the Digby rink and feels the hockey experience has been good for her.

“Kaylyn has been going to the rink since she was a baby,” said Heather. “Playing hockey and skating her way up through each level has kept Kaylyn focused and active.”

 The 13-year-old from Cornwallis has one more year of Bantam and three years of Midget then that will be it for minor hockey.

“I don’t know if there will be hockey for me after Midget but I hope so,” she said. “I love hockey and being on the ice. I don’t mind being ‘one of the boys’ who is just another hockey player.”

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  • Jonathan Ettinger
    March 15, 2014 - 21:19

    WTG Kaylyn! Go get em girl!!!

  • Steve Meuse
    March 15, 2014 - 18:38

    Kaylyn is a First Nation Youth who also lives at Bear River First Nation 50% of her time with her Dad Steve Meuse and step mom Tina Dixon , the other 50% is living with her mom Heather Carpenter - Meuse and step dad Cliff Huton. Between all people involved , Kaylyn has much need support from both sides. Today, Mar 15 / 14 , Kaylyn has been asked to play with for a First Nation Hockey team in the upcoming Aboriginal Tournament held at Indian Brook, Shubie , N.S during the Easter weekend . Particulars about the tournament or Kaylyn's partisipation have not yet been finalized.

  • Auntie T
    March 15, 2014 - 13:34

    Way to go Kaylyn! Enjoy! :)