…no, not a girl playing hockey, an article about hockey in the Cincinnati Enquirer!
This article was interesting to me, since I wasn’t aware of any high school hockey existing in Northern KY. I was curious, so I did a little searching and found this article in the Louisville Courier-Journal, which indicates that hockey doesn’t yet operate at the varsity level in Kentucky, but there are a dozen or so club teams for high school students playing in a league founded seven years ago.
I find that very exciting. Those who spend a lot of time complaining about expansion and the NHL’s TV deal and how hockey will never be popular in the US miss a lot of what happens at the grassroots level down here. I knew that NHL expansion cities like Columbus and Nashville have seen an explosion in youth, high school, and adult recreational hockey. I wasn’t so sure the same thing was happening outside the NHL footprint, but if a high school league can be created and operate in Kentucky, a state with no pro teams at the present time, maybe this sport is a little healthier than people think.
Here’s hoping more teams are created and they eventually get recognized as a varsity sport. And here’s hoping Marissa “Mink” Smith gets to live her dream of playing D1 women’s hockey.