Throughout its 53-year history, the Johnstown Warriors Cambria Youth Hockey Program in Pennsylvania never had a youth all-girls team (12 and under).
That all changed this season, and you have to give Pittsburgh Penguins star Sidney Crosby the assist for making it all possible.
The team, also known as ‘Crosby’s Girls,’ is made up of 17 players. Each member of the squad started out in hockey via Crosby’s unique Little Penguins “Learn to Play Hockey” program.
"Every single girl, all 17 of them, started with Little Penguins. That's why we have a team now,” head coach Sheri Hudspeth said to Michelle Crechiolo Penguins.com. “This doesn't happen without him. We are so grateful.”
They can’t be it if they can’t see it! @PWHPA #DREAMGAPtour come play @1stSummitArena in Johnstown PA. 3700 seat arena home of Slap Shot, #Hockeyvilleusa and @JtnWarriors #girlshockey #ForTheGame #ItStartsHere FHERDA 🏒 pic.twitter.com/DfnaMPnsy8— Sheri Hudspeth (@Coach_Sheri) October 13, 2019
So on Oct. 10, Hudspeth surprised the team when she brought them to PPG Paints Arena for the Penguins’ match against the Anaheim Ducks.
“We told the girls that since they all played Little Penguins, they're here to see the big Penguins,” Hudspeth stated. “They came off the bus just screaming.”
Somebody looks excited to see Sidney.
Judging by this photo, I’d imagine it wasn’t too hard for Crosby to spot them out in the crowd.
For the first time in its 53-year history, the Johnstown Warriors Cambria Youth Hockey Program rostered an all-girls team.— Pittsburgh Penguins (@penguins) October 14, 2019
How did they get their start? All 17 players participated in Crosby's Little Penguins program.
The story of 'Crosby's Girls': https://t.co/S1RHvNWZmG pic.twitter.com/MPBoQIbstv
As a thank you to the Penguins’ captain for helping make the team possible, the players left a signed hockey jersey to go along with autographed individual 8x10 photos of all members and a plaque which contained a note of appreciation.
Crosby couldn’t help but be taken away by the impact his program had.
“I think that's really cool,” Crosby said to Crechiolo. “That's what it's all about. It doesn't always work out that way, but the fact that they made a team and are all continuing to play is great. My sister Taylor grew up playing hockey, and sometimes growing up, we had girls on our team. The fact that there's enough girls to make a full team tells you that girls' hockey is doing pretty well. It's great to see.”
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