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Double trouble

  • Jaffrey twins Abigail and Haylie Drew have been selected to the first ever Team USA woman's U20 Ball Hockey team, which will compete in the Czech Republic in June. (Nicholas Handy / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Jaffrey twins Abigail and Haylie Drew have been selected to the first ever Team USA woman's U20 Ball Hockey team, which will compete in the Czech Republic in June. (Nicholas Handy / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Jaffrey twins Abigail and Haylie Drew have been selected to the first ever Team USA woman's U20 Ball Hockey team, which will compete in the Czech Republic in June. (Nicholas Handy / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript

  • Jaffrey twins Abby and Haylie Drew have been selected to the first ever Team USA woman's U20 Ball Hockey team, which will compete in the Czech Republic in June. Staff photo by Nicholas Handy

  • Jaffrey twins Abigail and Haylie Drew have been selected to the first ever Team USA woman's U20 Ball Hockey team, which will compete in the Czech Republic in June. (Nicholas Handy / Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) Staff photo by Nicholas Handy—Monadnock Ledger-Transcript



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Wednesday, January 24, 2018

For as long as they can remember, Jaffrey twins Abby and Haylie Drew have loved hockey. 

This love of hockey – spurred by many days of watching their older brother compete in ice hockey arena – has prompted a goal for the two 15-year-olds, one that will be realized this June when they compete as members of Team USA’s first Women's U20 Ball Hockey Team in Prerov, Czech Republic.

“My favorite movie is called ‘Miracle.’ It’s about Team USA, so I’ve always loved Team USA and wanted to represent America,” said Abby. “Ever since I was younger, I always wanted to do that. It was always my number one goal.”

“The sport intrigued me to be on the team,” added Haylie. “I love the sport – playing it, feeling it, and experiencing when I play. That’s what Team USA is all about.”

While their love of hockey started with their older brother, the twins wouldn’t start playing themselves until entering the fifth grade. 

Abby first began playing ball hockey – a variant of ice hockey where the players run instead of skate and use a small ball instead of a puck – begging her parents to play after finding a flyer at school for a Winchendon, Massachusetts-based arena that offered the sport. 

“I love the passion, in the game I’m so into it. Even after the game, i want to play another,” said Abby, who said tournament weekends are her favorite. “One time we played like six games in two days. It was the best thing ever.”

At first, Haylie wasn’t interested enough to play, but later changed her mind after accompanying her sister on a number of occasions. 

“When you are playing you are in the zone. The mood is perfect,” said Haylie. “I feel like over the years, I’ve developed a stronger passion and love for the game. I don’t think there is anything that would stop me from playing.”

Abby and Haylie were both nervous after they were evaluated to be on the team, as both were concerned that only one would make it. 

“I was kind of nervous, we didn't know if we were going to make the team,” said Haylie. “I honestly thought Abby was going to make it and I wasn't. It was a relief when i heard we both made it.”

“I was really excited [when we got the call in mid-December,]” said Abby. “At first, I wasn’t so sure that both of us would be accepted, since we are at the younger end of the team. My face was in shock. I was so happy.”

With about six months until the trip, the girls’ mother Jennifer Drew has started a gofundme page to help raise money for the trip. 

“It’s a little overwhelming at times because mom’s the planner, but I'm really excited for them,” said Jennifer. 

Although they are unsure, Abby and Haylie believe that they are two of the youngest girls on the team. While many would be nervous about having to play to the level of older and more experienced players, the Drews have been playing with and against people two and even three times their age in their women’s league. 

“At first, before I started playing, I thought it would be so intimidating but I actually like it way better than playing people my age,” said Abby. “I feel more comfortable with [the older players.]”

“It was more of a challenge to be playing with older people who have experienced it more but I found it more fun,” said Haylie. 

Conditioning should not be an issue, as Abby and Haylie are both currently playing on the ConVal-Conant girl’s ice hockey team. 

The Drews both admit that ice hockey has been a bit of a learning curve, as they have switched from running shoes to ice skates and are currently playing in a much colder environment, but the experience is helping them to condition themselves better for the international ball hockey tournament. 

“There’s a lot of pressure. You’re trying to not let your team or country down,” said Haylie, of preparing for the upcoming tournament. 

Maybe even more so than their country, Abby and Haylie don’t want to let each other down.

Since the two have been playing along one another for years now, its easier for the Drew twins to communicate in the game. 

Their sports relationship has bred a bit of a competition, as each sibling wants to outdo the other, but a level of respect for each other has also been forged. 

“Abby is definitely better at communicating... in a game situation she can multitask. She can play the game, watch others play, read the play, and know what to do next,” said Haylie. 

“Haylie is probably one of the fastest people I've ever seen play the sport,” said Abby. “In ball hockey, she’s always on my line on defense so I know I don’t need to hustle back on defense. She also has a great shot.”

The twins hope their strong bond becomes contagious throughout Team USA. With their first practice scheduled in February, the girls will soon meet most of their teammates for the first time. 

Abby and Haylie recognize that this is a great opportunity for them, and with youth on their side they hope to stay on the team for years to come. 

“Right now, what’s happening is my goal,” said Haylie. “I just want to focus on what’s happening so I don’t get too overwhelmed with everything else, thinking about college and everything after that.”

“This is my closer goal to accomplish but the overall goal that I’ve always had is to go to the Olympics for Team USA,” said Abby. 

Nicholas Handy can be reached at 924-7172 ext. 235 or nhandy@ledgertranscript.com. He is also on Twitter @nhandyMLT.