Commitment, dedication and determination best describes Goaltender Anna Quattro.
She made a decision to leave Buffalo to focus on hockey and her education when she was a junior in high school.
Anna attends PEAC School for Elite Athletes in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The decision came after she played her early years with Amherst Youth Hockey and the Buffalo Hornets.
“I know that Buffalo has very talented hockey players,” said Anna. “But the talent is diluted because they all play for different teams. If you put all the top players on one team they would go far.
In Toronto it’s about getting better as a player, working hard and developing as a player and as an individual,” she continued.
Anna choose PEAC because of the coaching staff which includes Kim McCullough who played at Dartmouth College and works with the provincial and national Canadian teams and Sandy Sampson who has coached goalies for over 15 years and has numerous former players playing university hockey and on Team Canada.
Being part of a program like the one at PEAC isn’t easy.
Anna gets up by 8 a.m. each morning; attends two classes, has a one-hour hockey practice; attends another class and then has an off-ice workout.
“We train four days a week and workout two days a week,” said Anna. “All the students are athletes.”
PEAC also trains athletes in freestyle skiing, snowboarding, soccer, tennis, squash, swimming, bowling, lacrosse, basketball and baseball.
The school motto is “Where athletes come to learn.”
PEAC’s ice hockey team plays against prep schools in the Ontario area.
In addition to education and hockey, Anna explains that nutrition is a large part of the program.
“We must stay away from junk food, no pop,” she said. “We have lots of protein and carbohydrates and we must drink plenty of water.
“When you’re on the ice ten hours a week and working 3 to 4 hours a week off-ice, you need to stay hydrated in order to stay healthy and that hydration is water.” She explains.
On the academic side, you must be extremely focused on your grades because they are as important as hockey, Anna went on to explain.
“If you don’t maintain your grades, you won’t get accepted to a university and then you won’t get to play hockey,” said Anna, who is the only netminder for the Monroe County (NYS) Lady Eagles.
In Canada you must be accepted to a university first, and then you can work on getting on the university’s ice hockey team.
Anna, who plans to be a pediatric oncologist, has just been accepted to Queens University in Kingston, Ontario. She now can pursue the coach to work on being named to the University’s hockey team, which is ranked third in Canada. Academically the university is ranked the best in Canada.
Her love of hockey began later than most. She was playing field hockey in eighth grade when her coach asked her if she could skate. She told him yes and that weekend she was on the ice playing hockey in Amherst.
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“It’s a good atmosphere,” she says about the sport. “You have to work to get what you want, no one hands it to you and you have to have dedication.”
Her dedication and determination help her while she lives an hour and half from her family.
“I matured because I don’t have someone there telling me what to do all the time,” she continues. “I’m responsible for my own actions because there isn’t anyone there to fix something for me.”
Anna billets with a family who also has a hockey player from Ireland.
“She’s 19 and came to Canada because she loves hockey and felt she wasn’t getting a fair shake at home,” explains Anna. “Ireland has one ice rink in the entire country so they don’t have the same commitment level as we do.”
Her advice to young players seeking hockey beyond house and travel is to work hard.
“On and off-ice,” she stresses. “Girls must remember they are student-athletes and that everything in the classroom is just as important as out of the classroom.
And secondly, but just as important…
“Everything is not about yourself, it’s about your team.
“You play for the name on the shirt front, not the name and number on the back,” she put very wisely.
Anna’s goals beyond university are to play for Team USA. To do that Anna keeps up with what the American coaches are doing, she has played in New York State district competition and attended goaltending camps.
“It’s all important to take that next step,” said the seventeen-year-old. “Don’t give up on your dreams because you never know where you’re going to end up.”