Local girls show hockey talents

HAVERHILL, Mass. – Three area girls were selected to take part in the 18th Hockey Night in Boston girls showcase at the Haverhill Valley Forum.

Proctor Academy senior and Amherst native Kelcey Crawford is helping tend the nets for the Northeast squad. Crawford said that it was fun meeting new people but also challenging to play with players she was unfamiliar with.

“It’s kind of hard getting used to a new team and people you haven’t played with before and all that kind of stuff,” Crawford said. “But it’s been a lot of fun making new friends.”

Crawford played in a key role in goal for Proctor last year on its run to the NEPSAC Division 2 championship. She said it was difficult to compare prep hockey from the level play she’s seen thus far at HNIB, but she said it had its challenges.

“It’s slower in a way, but from a goalie’s standpoint it’s much more difficult because there’s a lot more off-angle shots,” Crawford said. “Since you aren’t used to playing with these your thinking ‘what do I do’ sometimes.”

With a year left at Proctor, college beckons for Crawford. She’s talked to coaches from Princeton, Colby College and Mercyhust College, which made the NCAA tournament last season.

While there is still plenty of time before making a final decision, Crawford said that there will be a number of factors that will influence her choice of university.

“(A lot depends on) the goalies and what their situation is,” Crawford said. “How many do they have, what grades they’re in, and how good the team is. Can they be tournament bound? How high up? Obviously, what division and if I like the school or not.”

Playing alongside Crawford for the Northeast team is Bedford’s Delaney Guimont. A member of the New Hampshire Avalanche junior program for the past three years, Guimont will suit up for Bedford High School beginning next winter.

As the eighth youngest player in a field of just over 200 players, Guimont has embraced playing against the older, more experienced competition.

“It’s good because you get to play with people who are more skilled and you get better competition,” Guimont said. “It’s difficult, but it’s nice because you look up to the older girls and you get to see how they play.

Fellow Bedford resident, Lexie Stefekos, skated for the New England squad. Stefekos, also a member of the New Hampshire Avalanche, said that she was enjoying the experience of playing with girls from across the country.

“It’s really great,” Stefekos said. “It’s good exposure I guess and I’m having a lot of fun.”

After two years at Trinity, Stefekos elected to transfer to Hebron Academy in central Maine. Stefekos said that the chance to play at the prep level was something she couldn’t pass up.

“It was a good opportunity that came to me so it just seemed right to do,” Stefekos said.