Saturday, February 4, 2023

On the Beat With Samantha Isbell

National Girls and Women in Sports Day was earlier this week, but The Every Day Fan covers women's sports all year. Today, I feature my interview with professional hockey player Samantha Isbell of the Premier Hockey Federation Montreal Force, which is at On the Beat With Samantha Isbell.

Growing up in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, it was natural for Sam to find her way to the ice. Her start is a funny story though, involving her older sister. Once entrenched in hockey, Sam played multiple positions, while her sister became a goalie. Sam told the story, including how her sister and her would practice, but not necessarily against each other.

Because I love the answers from the other PHF players I have interviewed, I asked Sam about playing in the NHL. She echoed the sentiments of the other players. Whether or not a woman could play in the NHL is less important now that there are other options, most notably the PHF.

Sam expressed her feelings about being a part of NGWSD. She has more opportunities than women before her and she is helping to create more opportunities for future women players.

A longtime fan of the Montreal Canadiens, Sam was happy to have the opportunity to play for the Force. In 12 games, she has 2 goals and 8 assists (second most on the Force) for 10 points (third most) on only 23 shots (ninth most). She is also second on the team with a +/- of +3.

The Force is 6-7-1, good for 5th place in the 7 team league. They have been outscored 44-36. The Force are 9 points behind Connecticut in 4th place. There is still more than a month of hockey to be played.

Before ending our interview, Sam listed a few activities she does not involving hockey. One of which is spending time with her dogs, who make a couple cameo appearances in the video.

Sam had such a positive energy and like her PHF mates, she is proud and excited to be playing professional hockey. Although lesser known than some women's pro sports leagues, PHF seems to be building a solid foundation. As I told Sam, when the league expands, I hope Chicago gets a team, because I will be a season ticket holder.

The spirit of NGWSD goes well beyond one day. As a young writer, a successful women's pro hockey league wasn't in the picture. Now it is wonderful seeing athletes like Sam making it happen.

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