Juneau-Douglas High School senior hockey player Kathryn Noreen had just delivered a nice check in front of her own goal on Friday night, sending an opposing player to the Treadwell Arena ice.
From her blind side another opponent took her down, then for good measure used his stick to push her head back onto the frozen surface and lift himself off it.
Noreen smiled, got up and went in search of a body to take into the boards.
“I like how intense it is and once you are out there nothing else matters,” Noreen said of playing hockey. “It is all about the game and that is all you are focused on.”
Noreen was selected by coaches and media as the Player Spotlight this week for her time on the ice against the Soldotna Stars.
“Kathryn really performed well in the games last weekend, “ JDHS coach Luke Adams said. “She played both smart and physical against a quality Soldotna team. Our rotation of players has created a lot of competition for ice time amongst our team and she has met each challenge we have thrown her way head on. Her attitude always remains positive, even at times of adversity and she is a great role model for our younger players in the program.”
Last season Noreen played more as the season approached its finish. This year she has fallen right into the shifts on the ice.
“I feel like last year I kind of stepped it up at the end of the season and started playing more and earned everyone’s respect,” Noreen said. “I started off this season delivering a big hit and everyone was kind of proud of me for that and I felt pretty good.”
Aside from hockey, Noreen’s hobbies include skiing, hiking and anything associated with the outdoors.
“I am an outdoorsy type of kid,” Noreen said.
Her favorite food is any type of pasta, favorite movie is the all-time hockey classic “Miracle,” she has read The Hunger Games series four times and she doesn’t have a favorite song but will listen to pretty much anything.
Noreen is also a professional businesswoman: she spends summers commercial fishing on her father’s boat, the F.V. RITZ in the summers.
“Its fun and I make money,” Noreen said. “Last summer I ran the boat.”
Noreen has been accompanying her father since she was little, became the main deckhand, and is now a captain.
“I couldn’t even tell you the amount of pounds I caught last summer,” Noreen said. “A lot. Chums, the big quantity fish we catch. It is fun hanging out with my dad and being on the water. The most interesting thing out there was all the sharks we caught.”
What most people don’t know about Noreen is how different she is off the ice than on it.
“I am really shy,” Noreen said. “At first. It used to be worse.”
Noreen is in her eighth year of hockey. She is in her third year with the Crimson Bears and played four in the Juneau Douglas Ice Association’s house league.
As a high school sophomore Noreen left for a season in Fairbanks to play with Alaska Ice Breakers girl’s comp team.
“I think it helped me a lot,” Noreen said. “It helped me learn the game better and be smarter on the ice with my decisions.”
That isn’t an issue anymore. The once shy and indecisive skater has become a full-fledged force for JDHS.
“I can dish it,” Noreen said. “I don’t want everyone out there to think I am weak so I am definitely going to go out and hit as hard as I can and compete just like the boys. I don’t think there is a big disadvantage. I think I have to work harder to be noticed but I definitely feel like I am right in there.”