University City

49ers team taps some unusual talent on the ice rink

Scanning the roster of UNC Charlotte's club hockey team, the player listed as a noticeably slight 5-6, 130 pounds stands out.

One has to wonder how the left winger from Warwick, N.Y., can stack up against teammates that stand an average of 8 1/2 inches taller and weigh an average of 45 pounds more.

The answer? She makes up for it with her toughness.

Junior Carrie Hallahan is playing her first season at UNCC and is one of at least a couple of players the 49ers have who could be considered unconventional. As far as anyone knows, Hallahan is the only female player in the Blue Ridge Hockey Conference.

Will Hasket may be one of a kind, too. At 32, the senior defenseman was old enough for college when some of his teammates were in grade school.

Among his teammates are four players from Canada: Jamie Rowsell from Newfoundland, Darrell Prantera and George Boukas from Ontario, and Marc Cardin from Quebec. Rowsell, Prantera and Boukas are all housemates in Charlotte.

Hasket showed up for the first tryout this season just like any other first-year player.

Hasket has earned the nickname "Reggie," the name of the older veteran player/coach from "Slapshot," the 1977 movie about a team of castoffs. The film and the name are venerated by many hockey players.

Hallahan, 21, is used to being the only female on mostly male teams. She was the captain of her high school boys team during her senior year.

During her freshman year at High Point University, Hallahan played in an otherwise all-male recreation league not affiliated with the school. After spending semesters at two community colleges, Hallahan enrolled at UNCC last spring.

She turned into one of the team's most loyal fans last season and showed up for tryouts this fall. A member of the 49ers' fourth-shift line of forwards, Hallahan doesn't get much ice time, but that doesn't deter her.

Hallahan is a member of the team without any conditions related to her gender. "The locker room is a big part of the game for me," said Hallahan. "... It was a problem in high school, but it's not now that we're all adults."

While having four players from Canada may be unusual, most of the 49ers hockey players are from northern climates. Having female teammates is routine in their home environments.