womens college hockey

Jack Zimmermann thought he learned everything about leading a team through his time in the Q. However, he realized he was very wrong when he first met a rag tag group of kids who were eager to call him Coach Z.

He never had to learn to be patient around players of his own age. If they were being a shitty player, he could just call them out on it. This was not the case with his team. Most of the kids were 10 or 11 years old. Half of them had never played before. Some hadn’t even been on ice before he started coaching. It was hard for him to be stern, yet gentle with them at the beginning. Eventually, he’d found a good balance. Those who he saw half-assing on the ice, regardless of whatever skill, were scolded. But those who were giving it the Coach Z 110%, were always praised. There may or may not have been candy for good playing. 

Jack had never felt prouder when he taught Hoots, an 11 year old, how to skate backwards. The way his face lit up when he said “I’m doing it!” is still one of Jack’s favorite memories. The next practice, Hoots had sprinted over to Jack and said that he had been practicing his backward skating all weekend. 

Jack’s hockey heart grew three sizes that day. 

Working with team inspired Jack to be better. If these kids were working hard, why couldn’t he? There were many times when Jack would be practicing before the kids showed up, only to not keep track of the time. There were lots of wolf whistles and cheers when he forgot to keep track of the time. 


When he decided to go to Samwell, he had been with his team for 2 years. He’d seen a lot of them change a lot on and off the ice. He promised he would keep in touch, but it was pretty infrequent. He heard from Lotter, an aggressive 9 year old, the most. In middle school, her shinnies had turned into something of an unofficial fight club. Zoomer stopped hockey in high school to join theatre, apparently he’s quite the good actor. He made sure to go to one of his musicals when he was on spring break. He got letters from at least half of the kids at least once or twice a year. Some of them were facebook friends. But again, it’s hard to keep in touch with 20 tweens. 

That didn’t stop them from all showing up in Falconers gear the first time he played in Montreal. Jack swore they cheered the loudest out of anyone in the arena. He couldn’t stop thinking about how they’d all grown so much. Most of them were in high school right now. Some were even in university. It was crazy. Once the game ended, he met with all of them. Of COURSE it ended in a big ass dog pile. 


After that, he didn’t expect to really interact with them ever again. That is, until Eric Bittle’s senior year. He is giving his official Welcome Tour of the Haus when one of the Frogs (or…as Bitty calls them, eggs. Seriously, Bitty.) asks if Jack Zimmermann really lived here. 

“Of course he did! He lived right across the hall from me”

“Cool!” the frog starts “I really hope I get to meet him again”

“Again?”

“Yeah. He coached my team in Montreal when I was 11. He taught me how to skate and everything!”

Bitty’s whole expression changed. “You wouldn’t happen to be called Hoots, would you?”

The frog nodded “Yeah! My name is Hoots!”

Women’s Hockey This Weekend

SATURDAY

1 pm - St. Lawrence @ no. 4 Boston College (NCAA Tournament)

3 pm - Robert Morris @ no. 1 Wisconsin (NCAA Tournament)

3 pm - Cornell @ no. 2 Clarkson (NCAA Tournament)

3:30 pm - Minnesota @ no. 2 Minnesota-Duluth (NCAA Tournament)

SUNDAY

3 pm - Buffalo Beauts v. Connecticut Whale (NWHL)

4 pm - Boston Pride v. New York Riveters (NWHL) 

Kelly Dyer was the first female to play Massachusetts AAA Boys’ High School hockey and Tom Barrasso’s backup. Barrasso and several other teammates refused to speak to her, believing women did not belong on men’s teams. She went on to win two ECAC (national) championships with Northeastern and later played in the Sunshine League (a men’s pro league).

She also played on Team USA, earning 3 World Championship silver medals.