ENFIELD: Getting cut from the Pro Cresting Penguins back in 2014 might just turn out to be the best thing that could have happened for Megan Forrest.
The Enfield product begins the 2017-2018 hockey campaign suiting up with the Brown University Bears, an NCAA Division 1 Ivy League hockey school. That followed two years of playing at Ridley College.
“Getting cut by them is a big reason why I went away,” said Forrest in a recent interview with The Weekly Press. “I kind of joke if I had made that team maybe I wouldn’t be at Brown. Everything worked out.”
The journey to the Bears began by her emailing the coach nearing the end of her Grade 12 schooling year. In February, she played in a tournament with Ridley in Washington, D.C. After one of the games the assistant coach pulled her aside and spoke to her about the opportunity.
Forrest graduated from the International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma Program at Ridley College and now is accepted to an Ivy League school. She went to Ridley as her and her family sought an educational institution that could challenge her, both academically and athletically. Ridley was the perfect fit.
While her schedule was demanding, Forrest took full advantage of Ridley’s evening tutorials and support from teachers to help her maintain strong grades, while still spending enough time on the ice to fine-tune her skills.
At Brown in Providence, Rhode Island, Forrest will be studying Neuroscience at Brown University.
“To me I definitely came a long way and I think the IB program helped me,” she said. “I was looking to go play Division 1 hockey in the U.S., but I never imagined for it to be an Ivy League school.
“It’s a really good opportunity.”
She wanted to thank her parents for all they have done, driving her to the rink, and her sister for being her number one fan and watching her games.
Division 1 is the highest one can play at the women’s hockey level. But the education is a bonus.
“Being able to combine my education and passion for hockey together is great,” she said. “I had no idea they were even looking at me or knew who I was.
“I was definitely surprised at getting the news I was accepted, but also excited.”
Forrest’s determination to play D1 hockey is something that other young girls can look up to.
“Coming up through hockey I definitely got cut from a lot of teams,” she said. “I was always told I had potential, but it never seemed to really show to coaches that were choosing me. I just kept working hard.”
And now, Forrest can call herself a Brown University Bear.