Katie Hinton‘s older brother needed a goaltender for his basement mini-stick matches and his then four-year-old sister seemed like the perfect target. Over 10 years and many duels later, Katie credits those basement battles for helping her fall in love with goaltending – a position she has been playing at the “AA” level in the GTHL since Minor Atom. Now in her Midget season, Hinton’s crafty play between the pipes for the Streetsville Tigers has earned her a selection to the 2019 Midget “AA” All-Star Game on February 5 – a first for a female player.
“I have been super lucky. I’ve been coached by some awesome people and they’ve really been able to boost my confidence and show me that this is really where I belong to play,” said Katie, who is the only girl currently playing in the seven-team Midget “AA” loop. “I feel like this [the Midget “AA” All-Star Game] will be an awesome milestone to complete after playing so many years in the GTHL.”
Katie’s selection to the Midget “AA” All-Star roster was spearheaded by her longtime coach Joe Borg, who has coached Katie since her Minor Peewee season.
“She’s a great team player and always takes the opportunity to lead,” explained Borg. “She’s won a lot of games for her teammates.”
With options for all-girls hockey aplenty, Katie has considering switching to play with an all-girls team in the past, but couldn’t part with the familiarity of playing with the boys she’s grown up with.
“The thing I like the best about playing with the boys would be how competitive and fun they are to be around,” explained Katie. “The guys I play against are really skilled and I feel like playing at this level is helping me improve my game.”
Playing at an elite level with the boys didn’t come without its fair share of doubters. As the players got larger and shots got harder, Katie never let any of it discourage her from pursuing her role.
“If you really enjoy it, then all you have to do is put in the work and just be the best you can be and you will be able to compete with whoever you want,” said Katie. “Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something.”
The 17-year-old grade 12 student will hang up her GTHL hat after this season and head to London to join the London Jr. Devilettes – an all-girls junior team.
“I have been in love with this game since I was four and I don’t think I will see myself stop playing any time soon.”
The Midget “AA” All-Star Game will take place Tuesday, February 5 at Scotiabank Pond. Puck drop is at 7:30pm. Admission is free.