Shute twins share their hockey story

In hockey skates since they were tod­dlers, Kelsey and Kris­ten don’t see that chang­ing any time soon

The Compass - - Sports - BY CHRIS LEWIS

Two weeks ago, Kelsey and Kris­ten Shute put an end to the AAA chap­ter of their hockey ca­reers, but are ex­cited to get the next one started.

The twins, who call Harbour Grace home, are both nearly 18-years-old, and have been glid­ing across the ice for the last 15 years, spend­ing 13 of those with a hockey stick in hand. They say they have their dad and brother to thank for ini­tially get­ting them into the sport, and that from there, the rest is his­tory.

Both Kelsey and Kris­ten called hockey not just a sport, but a pas­sion that they both share.

“Hockey is all around us all the time,” said Kelsey, “our fam­ily, our friends, our spare time — hockey is in­volved in it all, one way or another.”

AAA was the first com­pet­i­tive hockey the girls played to­gether, and only two weeks ago they played their last game. Both Kelsey and Kris­ten ad­mit­ted that, although they still have Un­der-20 games com­ing up, play­ing AAA for the last time did get rather emo­tional.

“AAA has been a big part of our hockey ca­reer, so it did get pretty emo­tional near the end of the game,” said Kris­ten.

Grow­ing up with the sport meant that Kelsey and Kris­ten spent a lot of time to­gether, both on and off the ice. Their re­la­tion­ship as sis­ters was built on the hockey rink, and they say play­ing the sport to­gether for so long acted as a way for them to bond in ways that other peo­ple of­ten don’t get to ex­pe­ri­ence.

The game helped build not only the re­la­tion­ship be­tween the two, but also the friend­ships they made along the way.

Meet­ing oth­ers

Through hockey, both girls have had the op­por­tu­nity to travel to sev­eral places in the coun­try, as well as out­side the coun­try, meet­ing and be­friend­ing peo­ple from other places, as well as strength­en­ing the friend­ships they have with their team­mates.

Kelsey says that the dif­fer­ence be­tween a friend from school and a friend from hockey are like two dif­fer­ent worlds al­to­gether, not­ing that through hockey she’s been able to make and main­tain friends from out­side the prov­ince, in places like Labrador, New Brunswick and Nova Sco­tia.

Kris­ten has spent her time on the rink as a player who skates with the puck, whereas Kelsey has been a goalie her en­tire ca­reer. How­ever, they’ve re­cently taken on po­si­tions on the other side of the rink as coaches for Un­der-12 girls teams, as well as a cou­ple of boy’s teams.

“It’s vol­un­teer work, tech­ni­cally, but it doesn’t feel like vol­un­teer work at all. It’s some­thing we love to do, and see­ing the smiles on the girls’ faces is re­ally re­ward­ing,” said Kris­ten.

“I think at this point, we look for­ward to coach­ing even more than we do play­ing,” added Kelsey, to which Kris­ten agreed.

The op­por­tu­nity to pass on the skills the sport has taught them is what keeps them ex­cited about coach­ing, and they both agreed that the feel­ing of teach­ing oth­ers what they’ve been taught, and pass­ing on knowl­edge of the game to some­one who loves it just as much is all a part of the re­ward­ing feel­ing that comes with vol­un­teer­ing as coaches.

Both Kelsey and Kris­ten feel as though some of their best mem­o­ries in their lives come from hockey, men­tion­ing in par­tic­u­lar the chances they’ve had to play na­tion­ally, and adding the en­tire AAA ex­pe­ri­ence as their favourite part of their hockey ca­reers thus far.

“Hockey’s been a part of our lives, pretty much our whole lives,” said Kelsey, “it’s taught us so much. Pretty much ev­ery day, we do some­thing that’s got to do with hockey, but we love it, so it never gets bor­ing or old.”

The Shute sis­ters say their pas­sion for hockey hasn’t fal­tered over the last 15 years, and they both look for­ward to con­tin­u­ing their ca­reers to­gether.

“There’s just no bet­ter feel­ing than play­ing the game you love with your best friend,” Kris­ten added.

There’s no bet­ter feel­ing than play­ing the game you love with your best friend.

— Kris­ten Shute


Kelsey Shute (left) and Kris­ten Shute re­cently played their last hockey game to­gether at the AAA level.

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