Nela Lopušanová is a 15-year-old who moved from Sweden to Rochester to play girls hockey for the BK Selects at Bishop Kearney High School.
“Life in America,” Lobosanova said. “It’s always been my dream to move here and play hockey and go to school. So I’m very happy.”
One of her coaches, Carrie Quinn, says she is young, brave and full of opportunity.
“When it comes to men’s hockey, Patrick Kane, A.J [Sidney] Crosby, whose ability and IQ are very, very advanced for her age. “And we’re very excited to continue to build that, and obviously we’re learning from everyone. So it’s been exciting to learn from her, but also learn from the other players that are involved in our program.”
Even though her family is back home, abroad, she still finds fans here, in Rochester.
“It motivates me to do better,” Lobosanova said. “I’ve had a lot of girls come up to me and want to take a picture and just talk about hockey. I have a lot of young girls [who] He told me they were looking at me, they were watching me. It’s an incredible feeling and it drives me to do better. When they come, I want to record them. I want to play better. So of course they pay. “This is amazing.”
Quinn says she also admires the impression her player made on herself, the community and the team.
“For young girls to come up and ask her questions and just kind of look at her [is great]Quinn said. “[She’s] Very similar to some of our other players. So it’s been really exciting to see that and the growth of the game where other players are now trying certain moves that you’re trying to do. It was fun. It’s more if you can see it, you can see it and that’s all we’re trying to do is help create more opportunities for younger girls and even boys who are kind of coming through the ranks. It’s just more attention to women’s hockey, which is so important because some of these women are putting so many hours into their game and shaping what they’re working on to become the best players they can be. So I think that’s just a trend of what we’ll continue to see.
Lopušanová attributes much of her success to her biggest fans back home and her new friends on the ice.
“Just building relationships with my teammates when I play with them,” she said. “It’s so funny. I’m playing with girls I never thought I’d be on the ice with. It’s so good.”
This is just the first step towards building Lopušanová’s ice hockey career.
“I want to go to college, and I definitely want to go to the Olympics. That’s my biggest goal,” Lobosanova said.
Coach Quinn agrees and says the possibilities are endless.
“She’s going to be a player that’s going to go and play Division I hockey,” Quinn said. “We’re very excited about it.”
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