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Dangle, Snipe and Hug???

By Peyton King, 01/19/16, 11:00PM CST

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Understanding the “celly” deficit in girls’ hockey


A rare MN celly: White Bear Lake forward Sarah Moy grabs some ice after scoring a goal.

Creation No. 0016

Girls have mastered the “dangles” and “snipes,” but tend to forgo the “cellys,” usually opting for a group hug instead of an individual celebration after scoring a goal. Being a girls’ high school hockey player myself, I wanted to understand the huge celly deficit in women's hockey. I recently chatted with four of Minnesota’s top scorers, two of whom were members of the gold-medal-winning U18 National Team, to discuss the reasons for this deficit and whether we should try to change it.

According to Sofia Poinar (Chaska Chanhassen 13 goals, 33 points), Natalie Snodgrass (Eastview 23 goals, 35 points), Sarah Moy (White Bear Lake 19 goals, 31 points), and Sydney Brodt (Moundsview 13 goals, 27 points), it’s a generally accepted fact that only about 5% of girls celebrate after a big goal. This is very surprising, considering how prominent cellying has become in men’s hockey.

Alec Will, the leading goal scorer for White Bear Lake, was my spokesperson for the guys. “I would say 90 percent of guys celly after a big goal. It’s just instinct!” Will explained. “You score, you see the crowd, and you have to show off a little!”

The game of hockey is constant between the two genders, but the contagious confidence that the boys carry isn’t as present on the girls’ side. “I think a lot of girls have the confidence to celly, but are too worried about what others will think,” Sydney Brodt speculated. Snodgrass agreed with Brodt, adding that “girls just don’t want to be judged.” It is an accepted fact that girls can be judgmental at times, but then again, so can the boys. “I think a lot of my teammates freeze up after a goal and really just don’t know what to do,” Sarah Moy said, “but I like to drop to a leg and grab the ice! It gets everyone really pumped up.”


A rare photo found of a girls hockey celly

It could definitely be a confidence thing for some girls, but when I score I get excited, and it ends up being a group hug because it took a group effort to score,” Sofia Poinar commented. Sofia wasn’t the only one to describe these moments after a goal as being more team-oriented than anything else. “Today after I scored, I was planning to drop onto my knee and celly, but my team came and hugged me too fast,” Natalie Snodgrass said with a laugh. The feeling towards these moments of team camaraderie after a goal were definitely positive for all the players, but they also all agreed that a little cellying wouldn’t make these moments any less special.

“Girls’ hockey could use some more cellying, to be honest.” Poinar stated. “It’s totally okay to celebrate your hard work!” I, for one, completely agree with Poinar. Hockey culture is so large, and I think girls should embrace all parts of it. Even a celly as simple as a wave of the jersey adds energy to the game that can’t be gained anywhere else. “Cellying creates confidence!” Moy said. “It’s all part of the rush of the game. A player’s celly is like her trademark, and that’s awesome!” After digging into the celly deficit, it would appear a lot of girls have a hard time being in the spotlight, and that is something, according to Natalie Snodgrass, that prohibits many players from reaching their full potential. “Cellying is great for a team’s energy as well as individual players,” Snodgrass explained. “Scoring a goal should be a seen as a big deal. It’s important to provide a player with the opportunity to showcase her excitement!”


Hillary Knight sweeps the ice after she scores....when will more girls follow?

So, girls, what’s stopping us? We have accomplished so much, and shown previous generations that there is no limit to what we can achieve. Why stop now?

We should let go of any fear holding us back. While hockey is a team game, it’s also personal. It shouldn’t be played to make your dad or your coach happy. It shouldn’t be played to check boxes or cross things off lists. It shouldn’t be marred with the pressures of what others think or tainted with sky-high expectations that undermine the beauty of scoring a goal.

So, girls, don’t sweat the small stuff, and let yourself fully enjoy this wonderful game. Embrace the energy of your team, the inner confidence of your game, and the glorious sound of the puck hitting the back of the net. You deserve to be proud of yourself. Whether that entails a quick dab, ice grab, glass bang, or simply a big smile is for you to decide.

About the author: Peyton King is a senior captain for the White Bear Lake girls’ high school team.  


Top scorers and recent U-18 gold medal winners, (left to right) Natalie Snodgrass from Eastview and Sydney Brodt from Mounds View, wonder why more girls don’t celly.

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