National Champion Hockey Player Clair DeGeorge

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) — A talent who grew up in Anchorage burst onto the national stage Sunday when Clair DeGeorge lifted the Women’s National Ice Hockey Championship trophy.

“It’s pretty surreal, I still don’t have many words for it,” DeGeorge said.

Ohio State beat Minnesota Duluth 3-2 in the NCAA Frozen Four Women’s Championship on Sunday, and the Buckeyes needed every goal to win their first championship, including DeGeorge’s game-breaking score in the final. framework.

Tied 1-1 less than a minute into the third period puck drop, DeGeorge charged down the ice behind teammate Paetyn Levis, both chasing a loose puck. Levis and Minnesota Duluth goaltender Emma Soderberg met outside the crease, where the puck flowed to DeGeorge, who had only her and two Duluth defenders in the way. of a critical purpose.

“I looked up and I was like, ‘God, I can’t miss the net here, I’ve got an empty net, this is a big one,'” DeGeorge recalled. “So I went to my backhand and then managed to get it through those two players into the net, so it was pretty amazing. I just turned around and celebrated with my teammates.

DeGeorge also contributed to the win with a nice shovel pass between the legs behind her that scored Ohio State’s first goal.

Raised in Anchorage until age 13, DeGeorge’s phone hasn’t stopped ringing since the last game buzzer on Sunday.

“It was awesome, all my old coaches texted me and it’s really cool,” she said. “Even some little girls and stuff when I posted on Instagram and they all congratulated me, which is just awesome to see that I’m having such a big impact on young girls in Alaska.”

Clair DeGeorge of Anchorage poses with a trophy before boarding a plane.(Clair DeGeorge)

Although DeGeorge, who spends his summers in Anchorage, has not had the opportunity to interact with many of his young followers, the fact that the Anchorage product even has the opportunity to serve as a role model for them is significant for her, noting that she doesn’t have many female hockey players to look up to.

“I didn’t even know college hockey was a girl thing until high school,” the former Bemidji State standout said. “…It’s a great feeling, just because I didn’t grow up knowing that I can be a leader and show other girls that there’s an opportunity for them to play varsity sports and get scholarships – go get a great education and go for a national championship too is huge and hopefully they too can realize they can make it too.

DeGeorge will return to Anchorage this summer and attend local youth camps, but will travel with a bit more gear this time.

Zoe Hickel, also of Anchorage, is an assistant coach for the Ohio State women’s hockey team.

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Catherine J. Martinez