So dialing it back to the beginning, we asked Hannah how she got her start in hockey in Trento. She told us
“So my sister played, but going back before that, we have two neighbors who were boys who played hockey. And my sister was their age, and she started playing because they were. And then when I started, it was with figure skating when I was three. This was super brief, a super brief stint " she chuckled. " And then before my first ice show, my Dad went and bought hockey skates. So we had to pull white covers over them, so I was about to have my first ice show, and you can’t be wearing hockey skates out there!" she laughed.
"So after that ice show I switched to hockey. I played boy’s hockey for the city of Trenton. We’re a small town, but we’re all about hockey! So I played boy’s hockey until 10U, when I switched to girls with Victory Honda, which is one of the AAA teams. In Michigan there’s not too much high school hockey, you pretty much just play AAA. I mean, they do have some teams, but the AAA teams are definitely way more competitive. So I played for Victory Honda for several years, then I switched over to Little Caesars for 16U, which I played for three years. And then I played my last year at Belle Tire, because that was closer to home and everyone was making the move over there. And I was like: I’m in! So I did that my last year, and went to Saint Cloud from there.”
"I also played with West Coast Selects. I think about 2012, I did my first tournament with them,. And the first year I got to play with them again and we went to the Czech Republic and played. And then I did it a second year and we went to Sweden, and my third year we went to Budapest, Hungary. That was super cool, I was pretty young, and that was just an unreal experience, going to play over there. I believe we won the championship every year that I played. And it’s actually pretty funny, because some of the girls I played against over there, I ended up,playing against in the WCHA. And actually, one of the Finnish girls I played against, was on Saint Cloud last year. After like a month of being together, I was like: Why are we already Facebook friends? Then we started talking, and we had met each other when we were like 12 years old! So it was super cool, and really funny that happened."
One thing you might already know about Hannah is that as a young teen she became a YouTube sensation. She was attacked by a Russian girl and hit over the head with a stick.. The remarkable video, which you can view at the link below, went viral.
That's just part of the story, and Hannah gave us the backstory. She told us
"That video is actually really funny. That’s always my favorite Fun Fact! So what happened was nothing crazy. I had just skated on the ice, I shot the puck, and I didn’t do anything crazy for the rebound. I was just skating away. She first two handed me in the side (cross check) so you’ll see (in the video) I’m kind of kneeling a little bit, and then she swung it over my head, and I did not even know what was going on. But I didn’t get concussed or anything, I was completely fine. But then my best friend tackled her, and the Russian got kicked out of the tournament. There were only a few minutes left in the game and I think I was a little distraught, but I was good. So that was pretty wild, but that accidentally got filmed by my best friend’s Grandma. She had just accidentally turned on her IPad, and that is what she caught! It was super crazy " she laughed "And I actually still have the broken stick in my basement, so it’s funny.”
Hannah had another sport she was quite successful at throughout her high school years, and that was softball. She was a four time letter winner for the Trenton High Trojans. We asked her about that and told us “I played softball pretty much my whole life. I started in coach pitch, and my dad was my coach. And after that first year he said that I’m never doing coach pitch again, so we moved up to 10U. So I played my whole life, I played travel and also played four years with my high school team. My coaches did used to get a bit mad at me because I would miss for hockey. But I have to say hockey was my favorite. I didn’t tell them at the time, but I knew it" she laughed. "I pitched, it was a lot of fun. In softball I did pitch quite a bit, since it’s the natural motion they had me throw quite a bit. But when I wasn’t throwing, I played outfield. Not a big infielder, other than pitching, so outfield."
We asked how Hannah learned to windmill pitch. not an easy skill to master, and what her pitch selection was. She explained “Again, my sister did" she laughed " So she did it first, but my Dad taught me. And then I went for lessons, yeah, my whole life, I loved my curve ball and I loved the screwball, those were my my two favorites. But umm, I did used to hit a few people, I have to say. I wasn’t sad when I did hit them" she laughed " because I did like to just rip it in there. So yeah, that used to happen."