After figure skating for eight years, Brooke Bestwick decided to give hockey a try when she was in 11th grade. Right from the start, Bestwick was committed to her new sport, moving from her home in Nanaimo, British Columbia to Vancouver to play for a better hockey club. She played for Team BC in the 1999 Canada Winter Games, and was able to attract the attention of college recruiters
“I loved the campus, and I loved the people that I met here [at Cornell]. I heard it was a really good school. Coming from Canada, you don’t know too much about the Ivy League and stuff like that. Once I heard about the school, I was definitely interested in attending,” commented Bestwick.
With only a year and a half of playing experience under her belt, Bestwick made her way from British Columbia to the East Hill to play for the Red. Now in her senior year, she will serve as this season’s captain as the icers face off against some of the best teams in the country.
“It’s an honor. I’d never thought I’d be in this position, but it’s great that the rest of my team respects me. They’ve given me the opportunity to lead them and be their role model, so it feels pretty good,” said Bestwick.
At 5-3, Bestwick is not the biggest player on the team, but she plays a very physical game, racking up 50 penalty minutes last season. While playing defense is her main focus, Bestwick is also an offensive threat, as she was third on the team in scoring last season.
“I think I see the ice better playing defense. I think I can create more chances, and I like protecting the goalie. I like the physical part of playing defense,” remarked Bestwick.
With the youth of this year’s defensive corps, which is composed of only two upperclassmen, Bestwick has an added challenge in helping the defense develop into a cohesive and hard-working unit and adjust to a new coach this season.
“I basically want to help the rest of the team gain experience so the program can build up the next few years. Personally, I want to have a year like I had last year,” said Bestwick. “I thought I produced pretty well for the team last year, so I have the same goals as last season. I just want to try my best and do whatever I can for the team.”
In her first three seasons on the Hill, Bestwick has had her share of accomplishments. As a sophomore, she led all defenders with 20 points, including a team-high 16 assists. Her performance was recognized by the ECAC, as she was named to the ECAC All-Star Team that played against the U.S. National Team last October at Lynah Rink. With eight goals and nine helpers last season, Bestwick was again the defense’s most prolific scorer, and was named to the All-ECAC second team.
As captain, Bestwick has already earned the praise of her teammates, who will look to her for veteran leadership on and off the ice.
“She’s definitely stepped up. Brooke is bringing it together for us. She’s a good role model, and definitely has a lot of good things to say, and she’s out on the ice showing us how to play. She’s playing in a way that we can look up to her and try and do the same ourselves,” commented sophomore defender Lara Kelly.
With a tough slate of opponents for the Red this season, Bestwick will again be called on at both ends of the ice to help the team out.
“Basically, I just want to give 100 percent and never give up. I want to win all the little battles and try my hardest and stay positive.”
Archived article by Jonathan Auerbach