Girls Mix It Up On Ice

By wbng sports

February 7, 2012 Updated Feb 7, 2012 at 11:58 PM EDT

(WBNG Binghamton)

The high school hockey playoffs are now in full swing.
It's a club sport meaning it's not affiliated with STAC or Section 4.
It also means you can play for a school that you don't go to.
Well this year, there's a little something different on the ice. Action Sports reporter Gabe Osterhout has more in this week's Action Sports spotlight.

"The level of competition is much higher, it's a faster game, it's a quicker pace and I like it."
Four girls have taken a step from the travel ranks to play with the boys in the Broome County high school hockey league.
Vestal senior Gabby Gleason plays for her school.
The other three play for different schools.

Vestal sophomore Kathryn Darling plays for Maine-Endwell.
Union-Endicott junior Carrie Ostanek plays for Chenango Forks and Susquehanna Valley junior Kelly Watson is in her second season with Johnson City.

"It was pretty hard but the guys accepted me so it was nice and I'm getting along with all of them good."
The girls say the boy's game is much different than the hockey they were used to.

"With girls, there's a lot more skill. With the guys, it's a lot more physical. But with girls, we definitely try to get around each other and not really hit. But in guys, we try to check as much as we can and hit each other."
Hitting is a big part of hockey.
These girls say if they're on the ice, they should be treated like anyone else.
And that includes getting hit.

"If I'm going to be out there with the boys, I've got to play like them. I can't expect to be taken easily so I try to play just like everybody else because I'm out there just like them." "Usually the boys stick up for me a lot. If someone hits me, they'll go after them or something…its just respect. A lot of boys don't hit me though just because I'm a girl."

This season Gleason scored a goal and the four combined for 12 assists.
They all say playing with the boys has made them better, improving their skating, stick handling and decision making.
And while they'd love to see more girls in the league, they have a caution.

"If they're not good enough, they honestly shouldn't because they will get hurt. But I mean if you're confident in their skating, if they're confident they can get out of the way, they should just come out and try it."

For this week's Action Sports spotlight, I'm Gabe Osterhout.

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