Senior reflects on her time on the ice

Senior+forward+Abby+Cleary+sits+during+an+interview%2C+Feb.+26.+The+team+finished+their+season+with+a+3-1+loss+against+Hockey+East+No.+1+Northeastern+University+Feb.+28.%0A

MADDY DEGELSMITH/The Vermont Cynic

Senior forward Abby Cleary sits during an interview, Feb. 26. The team finished their season with a 3-1 loss against Hockey East No. 1 Northeastern University Feb. 28.

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Senior forward Abby Cleary said she began playing hockey around the age of four or five.

Now, with the little time she and the other seniors on UVM’s women’s hockey team have left, Cleary is bringing that passion to the kids of UVM’s Campus Children’s School.

“We’ve been showing them around the locker room, and we get to go to their classroom and hang out with them,” Cleary said. “They’re so little, and they just love being on the rink and seeing all the gear because it’s so much bigger than them.”

Cleary brings that leadership onto the rink as well, especially with the younger players, she said.

The team is made up of seven first-years, eight sophomores, six juniors and four seniors, according to UVM athletics.

“Once you get on the ice everyone is kind of together,” Cleary said. “Just being so much older than the first-years and sophomores, it’s kind of like our chance to lead them.”

As the women’s (10-18-8) season draws to an end, the team has tied their last home game against University of Maine, Feb. 22.

Cleary and the three other seniors on the team were all honored for their senior night at the game.

“[Senior night] was exciting, but also sad at the same time,” Cleary said. “It was nice because we all came together. We had a nice banquet with everyone, so it was a good way to kind of wrap things up.”

Senior forward Ali O’Leary was honored as well and has played with Cleary throughout her two years at UVM.

“She’s very fun to be around,” O’Leary said. “She doesn’t take anything too seriously, but when it comes to playing she always has her game ready mindset on.”

O’Leary said Cleary is also a kind person.

“I don’t think you really know how thoughtful and caring she is until you really get to know her,” O’Leary said.

After Quinnipiac University asked her to leave, Cleary transferred to UVM just before her junior year, according to a January 2018 Q30 article.

She played in 49 games at Quinnipiac, according to UVM athletics.

Cleary starts her week with an 8 a.m. class Monday mornings and is so exhausted by the end of the day that she’s usually asleep by 10 p.m., she said.

When she’s not in class Cleary is usually at the rink. Almost every weekday she’ll be at the rink practicing from 2-6:30 p.m.

As a public communications major, Cleary said she might go into public relations after college, but is unsure at the moment.

The team played Maine twice Dec. 6 and 7 2019, and won both games 3-2. Cleary said the second game was her favorite game she’s played in.

“That was a really big weekend for us,” Cleary said. “We all rallied together, and we got the sweep, which was great.”

Cleary ended her season with four points from her four assists throughout the season. In her junior year, she had seven points after scoring two goals and making five assists, according to UVM athletics.