Mikayla Loewen has dreamed of playing NCAA hockey since Grade 8, and this fall the former Northeast B.C. Predators’ dream will come true.
Loewen committed to Finlandia University’s women’s hockey team last week. Finlandia, located in Hancock, Michigan, is a small private school that plays in the Northern Collegiate Hockey Association at the NCAA Division III level.
“It almost hasn’t set in yet. I get really excited at the thought of playing in the States and playing at the college level, I don’t really know how to explain it,” Loewen said.
Loewen had offers from multiple NCAA teams, but passed up a chance to try out for slightly bigger schools to join Finlandia, who offered her a commitment and a guaranteed spot on the team.
Growing up in Prespatou, going to a school with just more than 400 students will provide a sense of familiarity for Loewen, as she gets used to bigger changes like moving to the United States and playing at the college level.
“It’s nice to be going to a smaller college. I’ll get more tutoring from the professors, and the team is entering a big culture change that I’m excited to be a part of,” she said.
Loewen has played wtih the Predators for the last four seasons, and can’t wait to play actual games next season after mostly just practicing for the past year and a half.
She uploaded some film of her playing with the Predators to the NCSA athletics recruiting website earlier this season, not really expecting much to come of it.
“It was a really cool feeling. I wasn’t expecting much, and thought I would take the chance. I had Olds College reach out, and other Canadian and American teams as well,” Loewen said.
Loewen is the second former Predators player to commit to a team in the NCHA this year, after Cheree Peters signed with Concordia University Wisconsin in April.
Email sports reporter Dillon Giancola at firstname.lastname@example.org