BY RANDY SCHULTZ –During her time playing as a forward for the Kenmore/Grand Island Girls Varsity Hockey Team, Jenna House was your average scoring player. She didn’t put up the big goal scoring numbers. Nor super assist numbers for that matter.
Instead she played the game that a lot of players shy away from: defensive forward. For her efforts she was recognized for her style of play. House will be taking that defensive style package to play for the University of Southern Maine women’s hockey team this season.
“I really felt at home after talking with the coaches at the Southern Maine,” said House. “They made me feel wanted on the team.
“The coaches told me that they love the way I played the game. They have a plan set up for me.”
Could it be as a defensive forward?
“I hope to be the same style of player I was here for Kenmore/Grand Island,” remarked House, who is considering either sports science or nursing. “I just hope to grow as a hockey player and as an individual on the team.
If there is one person who has a pretty good idea what that plan might be is Kenmore/Grand Island head coach, Jeff Orlowski.
“Jenna did a great job for us,” said Orlowski. “She played in Sectional Final games and two State Final games.
“She didn’t put the points up there like other forwards do. But she was the best defensive forward I had. I put her out there against every other team’s top lines and she was able to shut them down. I have to give a lot of credit to our assistant coach, Matt Miller, for working with Jenna on her defensive skills.
“And we played against some very good teams with some very good players and lines. I will miss her out there.”
Orlowski also pointed out some other good qualities that makes House such a good player.
“The best thing about Jenna is her attitude,” commented Orlowski. “She carried the team for the last two years. She was the mentality of the team. She would do whatever you wanted her to do on the ice and never complained about it.
“She did her job. She worked hard. And she kept everyone else motivated. She was happy all the time. She enjoyed playing hockey.
“She has that extra something in her that a lot players don’t have. And that ‘something’ will take her to that next step.”
House has some great memories of the time spent playing for Kenmore/Grand Island.
“All four years that I played were amazing,” remarked House. “This past year didn’t go exactly the way we wanted it to go.
“But my freshman and sophomore years going to the sectionals and states and we ended up winning Sectional titles was amazing.
“I knew what my role was on the team and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
“Now I’m looking forward to my role for Southern Maine. It will be exciting.”
(Photo of Jenna House on her signing day)