BIRD’S CREEK – “I said yes, I would give him one season,” was Melanie Howran’s response to a hockey coach when he asked if she and her husband would like to put their daughter in hockey.
That was about 20 years ago. Victoria (Tori) Howran is currently signed with Ottawa of the Professional Women’s Hockey League (PWHL).
“We obviously never went back,” Melanie said with a laugh. “That’s OK because I still had a figure skater in the family.”
Melanie is a figure skating coach, her other daughter Ashley was in figure skating and Melanie wanted Howran to be a figure skater, too. Melanie said Howran started skating before she was even a year old.
The coach who approached Melanie and her husband, Duane Wiltshire, said he got to watch Howran skate in a youth program his son was also in. He recalled telling Howran’s parents, “her stride is very much like a hockey player. She would make a great hockey player.”
He said Howran came out the next year and, “right away, Tori started to dominate over all the boys, over all the girls.” He said it wasn’t her puck skills but her skating that put her above the other players. Her puck skills, he said, came later.
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