BY RANDY SCHULTZ –
At 16, Maggie Scannell, currently a member of the U.S. U18 Select Team, can’t remember a day in her young life that she hasn’t loved the game of hockey.
“My dad and brother both play hockey,” recalled Scannell, a native of Wynantskill, NY, a small town just east of Albany. “They got me into it and I’m so glad that they did.
“I was about three or four years old when my dad would take me to public skating, He would go out on the ice and hold me up while I tried to skate.
“It wasn’t long after that when I began playing organized hockey.”
Her hockey career began with a mite team in the Troy-Albany area. From there it was on to squirt and pee wee hockey in Troy-Albany.
Then it was on to the Clifton Park Jr. Dynamo boys team. For one season she even skated in tournaments for the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite 14U girls team.
As a seventh grader at Algonquin Middle School, Scannell attended the Ice Hockey World Selects Invitational in Geneva and Chamonix in Europe with the Midwest Select team. They finished first in the tourney, defeating SHD Global team from Russia.
“Playing for Pittsburgh got me out there in the girl’s hockey world,” said Scannell. “But by the end of that season (2019-2020) I talked with my Dynamo coach and my parents and we decided that it was time for me to move on to girl’s hockey on a regular basis.
“We looked around at a couple of different programs before deciding on heading west for Shattuck St. Mary’s.”
The past two seasons Scannell has played for Shattuck St. Mary’s, one of the nations top hockey development programs, in Fairbault, Minnesota.
Last season Scannell, a forward, really blossomed as a player, scoring 46 goals and 69 points for the Sabres.
“We really had a great team that worked well together,” said Scannell, the daughter of Christine and Bryan Scannell. “We had really great energy on the team.”
With all the success Scannell has had on the ice, which included local and national tournaments, somewhere along the way she began being noticed by USA Hockey.
She participated in the 2021 USA Hockey Girls U18 Select Player Development Camp, attended the 2021 USA Hockey Women’s National Festival, represented Team USA at the 2022 IIHF U18 Women’s World Championships and most recently was invited to participate in the 2022 USA Hockey Women’s National Festival in Buffalo, NY.
From Buffalo’s National Festival Scannell has gone on to play for the USA U18 team against a U18 team from Canada as part of a U18 Series being held in Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
“Winning the silver at the Women’s World’s was a great experience,” commented Scannell, who has an older brother, Owen, as well as a younger sister, Zoe. “I love USA Hockey.
“It’s been a great experience every time I’ve had the opportunity to participate in something with them.”
Scannell is very proud of her hometown of Wynantskill.
“It is a little town just east of Albany,” commented Scannell. “I live in a little neighborhood with the best people ever.
“When I participated in the World’s, when I got home those neighbors had decorated our home with American flags in the front yard and decorated the driveway with chalk art.
“When I’m away from home with USA Hockey or at Shattuck’s, they will text me and let me know that they’re watching my games or just want to know how I’m doing. They are just great people.”
So where does Scannell go from here?
“I will be at Shattuck for two more years,” answered Scannell, who will be a junior this year. “I have great coaches there, I can improve on my skills with the ice they have and I will begin to look into colleges.
“I do plan on going on to college and play hockey there.”
What is her ultimate goal?
“To develop as much as I can and play at the highest level each step of the way,” remarked Scannell.” “That’s what I’ve done all the way along in my career.
“Playing boys hockey in the beginning helped me a lot. I had really great people along the way and it was a great experience for me.”
Hockey won’t be the only thing that Scannell will be concentrating on while in college.
“I’m really not sure what I will do, but I’ve always been interested in science,” said Scannell. “Maybe something in research or engineering.
“My parents are both teachers so I’ve really been big into the academic side of things. We will just have to wait and see.”
(Photos by Janet Schultz Photography, NY Hockey OnLine)