By Josh Howald
Minnesota State snagged a sniper.
Hannah Davidson, above, and Ripley's Laura Irwin are 1-2 in scoring this season with the K-W Rangers of the PWHL. (submitted photo)
Kincardine’s Hannah Davidson will head south in September after accepting a full scholarship offer from the NCAA Division 1 Minnesota State University Mavericks.
“This is something I have always wanted,” said the 17-year-old Monday morning. “I knew I wanted to play in the States, it has always been about going to play in the States.”
Davidson is currently attending high school in Kitchener and billeting with a host family while she plays for the Kitchener Waterloo Rangers of the Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL). It’s her second season with the Rangers, and she currently leads the 5-2-1 Rangers in scoring with five goals and 10 points.
Davidson visited several NCAA schools before deciding on Minnesota State. She committed to the program after a recruitment visit to the school three weeks ago.
“It was the last school that I visited, and I liked the atmosphere,” she said. “They offered the program I want to take (criminology and law enforcement), and they play in the WCHA (Western Collegiate Hockey Association).”
Along with Hockey East, the WCHA is considered the top NCAA division in women’s hockey, and includes hockey powers like Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ohio State and the University of North Dakota.
“They have a good team, middle of the pack. They want me to come in and put the puck in the net, be a goal scorer,” said Davidson. “It will be a big jump and there are some things I will need to work on – I need to get bigger and stronger – but I’m going to be ready.”
No doubt she will be ready. She plans to once again train with Kincardine Bulldogs coach Jeff Alcombrack in a group with Garrett Meurs, Garrett McFadden, Ryker Killins and Ben Scheel, all playing at an elite level this season.
“The boys always push me to make sure I’m working as hard as I can,” said Davidson, “and Jeff has been amazing, I couldn’t have done it without him.”
Davidson wanted to thank Alcombrack and her training partners, as well as her previous coaches within the KMHA and the Saugeen-Maitland AA Lightning, where she played before joining the Rangers last season. Ripley’s Laura Irwin also plays for the PWHL Rangers, and actually sits second in team scoring, one point back of Davidson with five goals and four assists.
“We’re playing good hockey right now. My teammates are amazing,” said Davidson. “We’re all just one big family.”
The Rangers will be on the road this weekend for three games, in Whitby, Etobicoke and Barrie. Billeting in Kitchener makes life a little easier to manage, but Kincardine is always on her mind.
“It’s been so overwhelming, just crazy,” she said of the response to her scholarship. “All my friends and family have been so supportive, and Kincardine is a huge hockey town – you wouldn’t believe all the congratulations I have received from town. I will be happy and proud to represent Kincardine as well as I can.”