It’s a little strange to go to a Prince Albert Northern Bears game and not see Brooke Hobson out there. Hobson was a mainstay with the Bears, playing played 174 games over five full seasons, and captained the Bears to their first Esso Cup appearance last year.
But now that Hobson has graduated from the Saskatchewan Female Midget AAA Hockey ranks and playing in the states with Northeastern University, the torch has been passed to fellow blueliner Hannah Koroll.
Koroll’s captaincy began this weekend with three assists in a two-game sweep of the Battlefords Sharks with a pair of 6-2 victories Saturday and Sunday at the Art Hauser Centre.
“[Hobson] was for sure my best friend, so it’s definitely different not having her here,” the 17-year-old Koroll said. “The whole team environment was different, just because she was a strong leader and being here for so long. It’s definitely different, but for sure I think I’ve learned a lot from her about leadership and on the ice too. I hope I can fill her shoes to the best of my ability.”
Hobson may be unreplaceable, but she might not have to be replaced. Koroll is a very accomplished player in her own right.
Koroll attended Team Canada’s National Women’s Development Team and Canada’s National Women’s Under-18 Team selection camps this August. She’s also committed to the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds and is one of three Bears named on the Female Under-18 Team Saskatchewan roster this year along with Bears goalie Ryan Fontaine and forward Kate Ball.
“I think Hannah’s a very responsible player. She’s in her fourth year, very competitive and she was an assistant [captain] in the past, so I think the transition was pretty natural for us to move from Brooke to Hannah,” Bears head coach Jeff Willoughby said. “They show similar traits. She’s not an outspoken person or anything like that, but she leads by example.
“She’s a good leader for us. Hopefully she can rally the troops as the coaches aren’t always around the team. With a female team, captains are important. We feel Hannah’s the right choice for us.”
Although it’s an adjustment for everybody, it’s one that Koroll is thriving on already.
“I love it. I think I’m doing an okay job at it so far,” Koroll said. “I like the responsibility and that leadership role.”
The Bears enjoyed a two-game sweep over the Sharks to start the year with two 6-2 victories.
After scoring the Bears’ first goal of the year on Saturday, Brooklyn Anderson added another two in Sunday’s victory. Kate Ball had a goal and an assist. Kassidy Kicia, Camryn Amundson also scored, as did Jessie Herner against her former Sharks team.
Bears rookie goaltender Lexi Beuker got her first SFMAAAHL victory in her debut appearance, making 20 saves on 22 shots.
The Bears hosted the Swift Current Wildcats in a two-game set Saturday and Sunday at the Art Hauser Centre for their next action.
On Twitter: @jeff_paNOW
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