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Courtney Tamulis, 28, has had a lifelong dream of playing ice hockey. As a child she played roller hockey and in college at Colorado School of Mines, she won the intramural championship with her floor hockey team. But she never had the chance to suit up and take the ice until Jan. 4, when she attended a clinic hosted by the Denver Women’s Hockey League.
Tamulis was one of over 20 women who attended the Hockey 101 clinic held at the Apex Center ice rink.
With her Avalanche jersey on, Tamulis took the ice alongside her college floor hockey friends with the hopes to learn how to work together as a team on the ice and learn enough skills to make a team.
Hockey 101 is put on by the Denver Women’s Hockey League three times a year, just before the start of the season, to encourage women who are new to the sport to give it a try.
“Some are Arvada hockey moms, they already have kids playing the sport so they want to try it, but they’ve never had the opportunity to,” said Patty Formosa, marketing and social media manager for the league. “So we give them the chance to come try it for free. There’s no cost to the ice for them, they rent skates for free and borrow gear for free.”
For Alexandra Hall, 27, her eagerness to give ice hockey a try sprang from seeing her husband play.
“I’ve watched a ton of hockey and this is my change to play,” Hall said. “I can discuss hockey very well, but I’ve never played — never suited up before.”
The Denver Women’s Hockey League started in the late 1990s and runs three seasons a year with two leagues — recreational and competitive. About 40 women play in each division. The recreational league has coaches so those new to the sport continue to get guidance throughout the season.
“It’s a lot of fun,” said Formosa, who will be coaching a rec team this season. “It’s competitive and you want to win, but also everyone makes new friends. It becomes a second family.” It’s a great community.”
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