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Former Patriot seeks athletic success as professional female hockey player

Sami Sparber, Staff Reporter

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After graduating from Stevenson, Megan Bozek ’09 left her hometown ice hockey rink and entered the Mariucci Arena at the University of Minnesota.

In her senior year, Bozek served as team co-captain, setting a school defenseman record of 57 points. Five years later, she would go on to play hockey at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Games for the United States team.

Bozek is an Olympic silver medalist and a recent draftee to the Toronto Furies of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League.  In the 2014 Winter Olympics, Bozek tallied four assists and one goal in the United States team’s five games. She is currently moving to Canada in order to join the Toronto Furies.

Despite playing professionally since the Winter Games, Bozek has not forgotten her roots. According to Bozek, she has fond memories from her time as both a Stevenson student and athlete.

“[Stevenson] is such a friendly place,” Bozek said. “For such a big school, I really felt at home and welcomed.”

With a schedule that sometimes consisted of more hockey than school, Bozek relied heavily on the Stevenson staff to provide a healthy balance that would allow her to balance her sport along with academics.

She and the school worked hand in hand to help make Bozek’s big dreams of professional ice hockey a reality before college.

“Stevenson was so accommodating,” Bozek said. “I missed quite a bit of school for hockey, and it was so much easier knowing that I didn’t have to stress about how I was going to pass my classes or get good grades.”

From Freshman to Junior year, Bozek balanced travel hockey teams including Team Illinois and Chicago Mission with the high school hockey team, then known as the Glenbrook Combined Team. These time-consuming commitments at two different skill levels set her apart from most of Stevenson’s student athletes. However, Bozek’s attitude contributed to her own as well as the teams’ success.

“Megan had direction,” Chad Dauphin, Assistant Athletic Director, said. “She knew what she wanted, when she wanted it done and she wasn’t going to let anything get in her way.”

With alumni like Bozek, it’s possible that Stevenson could have its own girls’ ice hockey program in the future if there is a demand for it and enough girls are interested in playing, Dauphin said.

Currently, a Stevenson boys’ hockey program exists and interested girls have the option to play for the Girls’ Combined Team, part of the Metro Girls’ Division of the Chicago Metropolitan High School Hockey League (CMHSHL).

After Bozek gained national attention for her team’s silver medal in the Sochi Games, the hope for Stevenson’s own girls’ ice team rocketed. Camy Gould, Stevenson representative for the Girls’ Combined Team hopes other girls will be encouraged to try ice hockey and join a school team.

“We’ve been trying really hard here to get the ball rolling,” Gould said. “School support is in place. Now, we just need local rinks like Twin Rinks to create girls’ programs to feed skaters to our team.”

Bozek’s dedication to the sport she loves has taken her far. Bozek has worked hard to achieve her dreams. The talent and passion that Bozek has is hard to come by, Dauphin said. The Athletic Department hopes that her legacy will inspire others.

“I left Stevenson on top of things,” Bozek said. “I knew I was prepared for the future.”

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Former Patriot seeks athletic success as professional female hockey player