Dedicating herself to the sport
by Matthew Ondesko: Managing Editor
Photos: Potsdam Athletics
Sometimes you just fall into the right decision.
When Hannah Barrett was looking at colleges she never really heard of Potsdam. She had a cousin that went to the school, but she didn’t even know if the school had a hockey team. Potsdam wasn’t on the radar for the goaltender.
Three years later, Barrett is having the time of her life with the Bears’ hockey team. Potsdam has been the perfect fit for her. She loves the environment and small campus that Potsdam has to offer.
“Originally, when I was looking at Potsdam, I had never really heard of the school,” stated Barrett. “My cousin had gone here, but I really didn’t think they had hockey, or anything like that. A bunch of girls on my youth hockey team started to commit to Potsdam, and the coach at the time, Jay Green, was looking at a bunch of us. He reached out to both Sara, my sister, and I. We went on our official visit. I loved the team environment, and the campus was perfect. The rink is beautiful. I knew from my first visit that this was where I was going to go."
Playing with her sister wasn’t a conscious decision in the beginning. They have been playing hockey together since they first put on skates. There was a strong chance that both would go on to play college hockey separate from each other for the first time.
Then Potsdam came to recruit both of them at the same time. If there was any chance of them playing separately that was being squashed when they both went on their visits. Now, seeing them not playing together would actually be a little strange.
“I think it would be weird if we didn’t,” stated Barrett. “We both were thinking that we didn’t really want to go to the same college. Eventually, I am glad that we both decided to come to the same college together, because I went into college knowing at least I had one friend.”
You could say Barrett is finally finding her grove on the ice. The second semester, of her freshman year, Barrett had hip surgery. When sophomore season started, Barrett was still recovering from her surgery, while realizing there were four goalies on the roster now instead of two.
That could have been a jolt to the system knowing she was going to have to jump a lot of people to get ice time. But, she just put her down and work hard to see playing time during her sophomore season.
This year, the junior has seen action in two games, but it has been two impressive outings. She has gone 2-0 with a .50 goals against average and one shutout. You could say Barrett has built off her impressive freshman campaign where she posted a .929 save percentage, 1.51 GAA, and recorded two shutouts.
“Freshman year, second semester, I had hip surgery,” stated Barrett. “We also went from two goalies, my freshman year, to four, my sophomore season. It definitely was a big adjustment. While I was recovering, I was trying to get back to where I was. I have so much respect for all the goalies. I think whoever they put in net, we have the best chance of succeeding.”
Surgery is never easy, especially for a goaltender. Goalies use their hips a lot, moving side to side to stop the puck, Being out with an injury is frustrating since Barrett was having such a great freshman year.
The first thing a player thinks when they come back from a surgery is they are going to be the same player they were before. Rehab wasn’t easy for Barrett. There were times rehab was more grueling mentality than it was physically.
“It definitely was frustrating. I think it was more mental than physical,” stated Barrett. “Personally I just wanted to do everything I could to get back to where I was. Playing at such a high level. I had hip surgery twice, my freshman year at college - and when I was 13-years-old. I think coming back at 13-years-old is nothing compared to coming back from it in college. So, I was just preparing myself mentally that I wasn’t going to be exactly where I was right away. I think that was definitely my biggest mental block.”
Having the same injury only a few years a part could be frustrating, and it was. There was doubt as to why the injury bug was always happening to Barrett. At first she was mad, but then she knew what she signed up.
She knew to be a top athlete, there was going to be some bumps and bruises along the way.
“It was a little frustrating at first,” stated Barrett. “I know that’s part of what I signed up for when I dedicated my body to this sport. If I don’t love it anymore I wouldn’t do it, but I still love it. So, I’’ do whatever it takes.”