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Article Published January 23, 2020

Rowen Feels at Home on the Ice

By By Peter Vander Veer

Audrey Rowen loves playing ice hockey and is a dedicated member of the Guilford girls’ hockey squad. A senior, Audrey got out to a late start this season after suffering a thumb injury with her travel team. However, she’s back on the ice and feels happy to be contributing to the Indians.

“I’d be at our team practices for Guilford, and I couldn’t be on the ice. What a bummer. I love, love, love hockey,” says Audrey. “Once I got back and hit the ice, everything just flooded out of me.”

Audrey is currently centering a line that includes Lily Mackey and Ava Bucci on the wings. She’s scored one goal so far while helping Guilford get out to a 3-3 start this winter. Audrey first got involved in ice hockey through her linemate Mackey, who is also one of her best friends.

“She went to my mom and convinced her that I should play,” says Audrey. “My dad was a little neutral at the time. Not anymore. This year, he’s full in. We set up a net in the garage, and I shoot at it with him. He’s at every one of my games.”

Head Coach Rich Binkowski says that Audrey has been a key member of his team since she joined the program in her freshman year.

“Audrey works hard every day to elevate her game. She did lose some of what would have been valuable time this year, but she’s come back nicely,” Binkowski says. “We’ve relied on Audrey for over three years, and she’s never let our coaching staff or the team down. With lots of additional work the rest of this season, I could see her being a contributing member to a college hockey team.”

One of Audrey’s goals is to continue her hockey career at the collegiate level.

“I want to play in college,” she says. “I’ve got about 10 colleges on my list and several have shown an interest in me as a hockey player.”

Audrey spent her summer training for the hockey season by running, skating, and lifting weights. She also competed for the Shoreline Sharks’ travel team in the offseason.

“I’d run during the mornings, then go right over to Northford [Ice Pavilion] and get involved on the ice,” Audrey says. “I was getting stronger and stronger.”

Audrey says that she’s always felt right at home while playing for the Guilford girls’ hockey team. As a senior, she’s encouraged plenty of younger kids to get involved with the program.

“I guess you’d call me a recruiter,” Audrey says. “The seniors and the juniors like to get the newbies involved.”

Audrey has worked with Coach Binkowski during all four of her seasons on the squad. Audrey says that Binkowski is “a wonderful two-way coach,” who runs off-ice training sessions that benefit the Indians.

“We’ll be doing pushups, and I can tell that there are some players who really don’t want to have to do that,” Audrey says. “I love it. I can’t wait for the next session to see how much better I can do them.”

While she isn’t a captain, Audrey still prides herself on being one of Guilford’s leaders on the ice. She likes the fact that there is excellent chemistry amongst everyone on the roster.

“We have a great bond, all of us, and there’s a strong hunger this year to win. It’s a different feeling,” Audrey says. “We’re all skating our hearts out every game. Everyone seems very happy. The postseason playoffs are our goal.”

Audrey has learned a lot throughout her experience as a hockey player. As important as anything, she’s learned that she gets just as much out of the sport as she puts into it.

“The effort that you put in is equal to what hockey gives back to you,” Audrey says. “For yourself and your team.”