They say that being a goalie is more of a calling than a job and if that’s true, Elly Lowe felt the call at a young age.
The Prince Rupert Middle School student started hockey when she was five, but she had wanted to play and be a goalie since she was three.
“It just seemed like a cool position to play,” she said, still catching her breath after a string of drills at practice last week.
Lowe, 11, is in her first year as a netminder for the Peewee Rep Seawolves, and her play often earned praise this season from her coach, Vince Aceto.
“She’s competitive and she is female,” he said when asked what makes her special as a hockey player.
While female minor hockey players aren’t few and far between, they are certainly outnumbered, and especially when it comes to goalies. Lowe is one of just three female goaltenders in minor hockey — and she is the youngest. This year, she often found herself the starting goalie for the Seawolves during an outstanding season for the team.
Being a goalie is a unique, special responsibility and not one Lowe takes lightly.
“I think because you’re the only person in there on your team. You’re the last line of defence,” she said.
Although she sometimes gets stressed out while in net, she said it’s good most of the time.
What makes Lowe a good goalie is how coachable she is, Aceto said.
“She’s a coachable player, she’ll listen and she’s athletic,” he said, adding that she’s mechanically sound.
The only thing that would make her even better is if she continues to grow more and fill the net, but that’s bound to happen.
Aceto said Lowe is a super hard worker, and the sky is the limit for her.
“There’s no telling what can happen. If she continues to develop, everything is within grasp,” he said.
Lowe certainly has dreams, and she’s setting the bar high.
“My dream is to play in the Olympics some day,” she said, adding she loves to watch the Canadian women play every four years.
Like so many other players on team sports, Lowe cites the camaraderie aspect as a big highlight.
“I like playing hockey because it’s a team sport and just having fun with friends and working hard,” she said.
Right now, Lowe is competing with the Peewee Reps at the Tier 4 Peewee Rep Provincial Championships in Fernie. Winning the title would be a new hockey high for her.
“I’m looking forward to provincials. It’s my first year and (we’ll win) if we work as a team,” she said.
Tournaments like this one are a big reason she loves playing hockey.
“[I like] being with friends and getting to play against different teams. It’s always fun to have a new opponent,” Lowe said.
Her first year as a Peewee has taught her a lot of things, but the biggest has been a lesson on trust.
“You have to trust your teammates because if you’re always worried they’re going to not do something right, then it makes you worry and all these things could happen,” Lowe said.