It’s safe to say that Tori Hickel has a little bit of ice water in her veins. Growing up in Anchorage, Alaska, she, and her older sister Zoe, looked forward to the coming winter months when the state was shrouded in darkness and cold. That’s because when the temperatures dropped, they would lace up the skates and hit the ice to play ice hockey.
“On the pond, it didn't matter if we had icicles on our eyelashes or frostbitten toes, we were out there for the pure passion and joy of it.”
At age three, Tori started chasing a puck across a frozen pond in her neighborhood and hasn’t stopped since. That drive to succeed on the ice was by her competitive edge with her sister; both became two of the most successful female hockey players to ever emerge from The Last Frontier.
After four years of playing hockey at Northeastern University, she played professional hockey in Sweden and Canada, where she helped lead her teams to championships. A hard-skating defense woman and forward, she relished mixing it up on the boards and attacking the crease night after night. Her years of chasing the puck in Alaska’s tight-knit hockey community with returning college players and local skaters, both male and female, on the local ice had honed her skills to a fine edge.
When she returned to her home after several years abroad, Tori decided to work to ensure that more of the ladies in her state might be able to experience the highs that she and Zoe tasted. These days she works with a team of U-19 women, helping them hone their skills as they prepare to head off to colleges across the country. But rest assured, she still straps on the gear whenever she can and jumps at the chance to hit the ice to mix it up. She is one with the ice, and that will never change.