SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Ryann Rathburn fell in love with hockey at an early age.
“I watched hockey games. I went to Crunch games when I was like two and I just started from there,” Rathburn said.
Hockey wasn’t just another sport to Rathburn. It became a way of life.
“I just love the feeling of skating and I try not to think about it at all because I think that’s more important than actually thinking because then you just do your best without having to try,” Rathburn said.
It wasn’t until the sixth grade that she realized how good she really was.
“I started playing for a summer team in Boston. I really got into hockey from there. I started scoring more. I started getting used a lot and I started being someone that people could look up to and be like we want her on the team. We want her on the ice,” said Rathburn.
Rathburn has only played on club teams through the years but has learned a lot while doing so.
“You’re in a bunch of different groups with a bunch of different people, so you get to meet new people, new coaches, and get to go through different styles of playing and coaching. You’ll remember something every year you can use all throughout how long you want to play for,” Rathburn said.
Soon, she, along with her teammates on the Syracuse Valley Eagles/CNY Bobcats 16U girls hockey team, will be heading off to this year’s USA Hockey National Championships.
“It won’t hit me until I get off the plane in Denver. It’s just so exciting because this will be one of the only opportunities I’ll ever be able to go there to nationals,” Rathburn said.