Grab the Mike with Vicki Movsessian

When did they start playing hockey? Who were their childhood heroes? Sure we all have questions we want to ask our hockey idols.

Peggy McKenna of Malden, MA had the opportunity to talk to Vicki Movsessian of the 1997-98 USA Hockey Women's National Team. Vicki, who plays defense, is a four-time member of the U.S. National Team.

Here is a transcript of what they talked about:

Peggy: Hi. Would you have played ice hockey for your high school if you had a chance to play on a women's team?

Vicki: I definitely would have played hockey for my high school if they had offered a women's program. I grew up playing in high school for Assabet, which is an organization in Massachusetts that was predominantly the strongest women's program that they had. We only skated one game a week. We also had one practice a week that a lot of the players couldn't always make because we were playing other high school sports. At those ages it's very important to be on the ice as much as possible because those are some of the biggest developmental years for ice hockey. I know a lot of private schools do offer women's ice hockey in high school but my school did not. If they did have one I would have participated in that.

Peggy: I know you started out figure skating. How old were you when you switched to ice hockey?

Vicki: I started skating between the ages of five and six and shortly after I began hockey I started to figure skate. I figure skated for a good two and a half to almost three years. When I was eight, I had finished all of my compulsory ribbons and I decided it was time for me to leave figure skating and just play hockey.

Peggy: When you went on to college, were you offered a scholarship to play hockey?

Vicki: The colleges that I spoke to when I was looking at schools did offer partial scholarships. At that time I was not offered a full scholarship. I went to Providence College mainly on an academic scholarship. I had very little hockey money at that time. I think a lot of programs were falling away from giving scholarships to women in hockey. It wasn't until a few years after I graduated that they really brought it back. In the last three years a lot of the schools that do offer hockey have looked back into their programs and put more money in so they can offer more scholarships for hockey.

Peggy: Do you think in the future there will be a women's professional league?

Vicki: I hear a lot of talk about it. I'm not quite sure if it will actually come to fruition. Although I hope that women do have a place to play outside of the national team because you can't go on forever and there is a gap after you graduate from college. Working with the national team, I'm not sure if the program will be full-time on a non-Olympic year. It's important for those players to have a place to play. I'm optimistic. I'm really concentrating my efforts on the Olympic team.

Peggy: Just one more question. Will you continue with hockey in some form when you finish with the Olympics? Maybe coaching?

Vicki: I feel like I'll always be involved with hockey at some level. After I graduated from college I was the assistant coach at Northeastern University for two seasons. I enjoyed that very much. I also go back to the youth programs in my area and work with the young kids. It's important for me to give back to the program as much as it's given me. I know that I always will be involved.

Peggy: Great! Well, good luck with your upcoming games and good luck with the Olympics.

Vicki: Thanks, Peggy.

Peggy: Sure.

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