USA Hockey Magazine

April/May 2020

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8 // APRIL/MAY 2020 USAHOCKEYMAGAZINE.COM O F F T HE D R AW M aggie Madigan grew up playing hockey in some of the most pres- tigious programs in USA Hockey. So when it came time to choose a college program that would allow her to continue her hockey career while furthering her education it was no surprise that there were multiple offers on the table. But when it came down to making her deci- sion, the Birmingham, Mich., native knew there was only one right choice for her. "I knew I wanted to play hockey in college, and it had been a dream of mine since a very young age," she said. "When it came to visit schools and choose a college I wanted something more for myself. I heard the call to serve my country and ended up choosing the United States Naval Academy." As she prepares to wrap up her four-year career as a Midshipman and head off for flight school in Pensacola, Fla., Madigan knows she made the right choice. L i ke a g r ow i n g n u m b e r o f g i r l s i n t h e Detroit area, she loved hockey from a young age. And with a number of top flight pro- grams to choose from, there was no shortage of opportunities. She started her career with Little Caesars before moving onto Belle Tire and then Honeybaked before returning to Belle Tire. Several s t o p s a l o n g t h e w a y p r o v i d - ed opportunities to compete f o r a U S A H o c k e y N a t i o n a l Championship. T h a t e x p e r i e n c e h a s b e e n invaluable now that she skates with the Navy non-varsity team. And the leadership skills she's developed on the Annapolis, Md., campus have helped with her hockey team- mates, some of whom only recently picked up the game. Juggling the rigors of academic and ath- letic life is a challenge for any collegiate athlete, but it's even more daunting at a service academy. Madigan's day starts early with 5:30 a.m. practice followed by morning quarters formation and breakfast before embarking on a full day of classes. After school there's more on- or off-ice training, dinner and mandatory study time before it's lights off. Then it starts all over again the next day. "There's a huge commitment that goes into making our team happen," said Madigan, who studies cyber operations. "Each and every girl makes a very big commitment and sacrifice to stay on the team as well stay on top of their academics and graduate." She credits the self-discipline and drive she learned during her time on ice with helping her bal- ance that workload. "I guess that discipline and reg- imented lifestyle has helped me a lot," she said. "I also think playing on a team all my life has translat- ed well because so much of what we do in the military is team oriented." As Madigan prepares to receive her com- mission and then head off to flight school, she doesn't plan on leaving her passion for the game in the jet stream. Eventually she would like to combine her leadership and hockey skills together to coach the next generation of players wherever her Navy travels take her. "Having had some of the best coaches when I was in high school and having a good coach now, the role that a coach plays is just so important to me," she said. "Coaches oftentimes are mentors and leaders, just like military officers. And so I definitely want to be able to kind of tie those two together, tie the sport and the military side of things together by becoming a coach one day." P STICK TAP FOR SERVICE Midshipman Serving And Skating For Her Country By Harry Thompson k "Coaches oftentimes are mentors and leaders, just like military officers. And so I definitely want to be able to tie those two together ... by becoming a coach one day." PHOTOS COURTESY OF Maddie Madigan After graduating from the U.S. Naval Academy, Maddie Madigan is planning on soaring to new heights.

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