If you already know Haley Skarupa, it will probably not come as a surprise to you that she created her own Google Doc to answer our questions. And basically wrote this whole article for us.
With that said, we'll do our best to fill in the gaps. Haley is a Rockville, MD native (where Kristie is right now!) and finished up her education at Boston College last spring. Though she played for the Connecticut Whale this NWHL season, she lived and trained in Boston during most of the winter, joining us at IPF and basically never missing a workout despite her 60 mile commute to practice.
With the recent USA Hockey situation, the state of the NWHL has become of the utmost importance. Similarly to the relationship between US Soccer and the NWSL, the professional hockey league environment has a huge impact on the development of the players and the way in which athletes in the pool can continue playing and improving. Haley spoke very highly of the NWHL and the opportunity it provides.
"The NWHL has been very helpful for my development as a player. It provides us with competitive games to stay in shape and help work on our skills that we practice throughout the week. I think the NWHL can continue to contribute to USA Hockey’s success, because it promotes the sport of women’s hockey, attracts the interest of young girls and gives us players a solid foundation to work from and compete with."
Haley believes in the growth of the sport and has seen evidence of improved youth development.
"I think women’s hockey is growing tremendously around the US, especially in areas where it didn’t used to be as popular. I am from Maryland, which isn’t necessarily considered a “hockey hotbed” and there are a lot more girls' youth teams in my area than there used to be when I was growing up playing there. I think the key to making it bigger is just encouraging girls to try it out and have fun with it. Running clinics and camps is always a good reminder for me about how important it is to grow the game."
Perhaps this is a testament to her being one of the most recent college graduates in the group, but Haley took all of our questions very seriously. She provided great follow-up evidence to support all of her answers (throwback to the paragraph hamburger, anyone?) She even carefully considered the less serious questions that Steph helped me come up with.
"If I could choose any other Olympic sport to play, it would be swimming. Not trying to be mainstream or cliché at all with this choice, I am just a horrid swimmer and think it would be pretty cool to be able to beat anyone in a race on land, let alone in a pool. I also think it would be pretty incredible to be given the opportunity to win 75 gold medals (i.e. Michael Phelps) as opposed to 1."
And in response to the Sporting Chic company debate regarding the proper way to board airplanes:
"Almost always sneak in earlier. I fly Southwest a lot and it is pretty cutthroat there. People are always trying to look at each other’s boarding passes, as well as asking around who is in what group, and then going to the front desk to tell on the cutters. I have seen it all. I always get my boarding pass on my phone, because the font is much smaller and people aren’t able to see which group I am. If I am assigned B30, for example, I will usually cut it down to around B8 and then pray no one asks which group I am. If by chance they do ask around, I just gradually turn my head and exit the line slowly. This has about an 88% success rate."
Haley- thank you for making this article easy for me to write. God knows I have a lot on my plate proof-reading Kristie and Steph's work and stressing out about giving the new interns our passwords.
Reading out of order? Episodes 1-5 on Haley's teammates are here.