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Boston Shamrocks Defenseman Taylor Tom Benefits From Playing In The Mecca Of College Hockey

Thursday, October 26, 2017, 10:57AM
Boston Shamrocks Defenseman Taylor Tom

By James Murphy

Boston Shamrocks U19 defenseman Taylor Tom is used to being away from home and having to integrate herself into new communities. So while she always has nervous excitement when she starts anew for a new team in a new place, it's never been a scared nervous. However, the fact that she knew already knew of her teammates in twins Keyana and Keyara Lea, has helped her latest transition moving to Massachusetts. "It's helped for sure but I had already moved away from home when I was 14," Tom pointed out. "I moved into Balmoral Hall in Winnipeg where I didn't know anyone, so every time I come to a crossroad in my life, I know that I'll be OK starting new even if I didn't know people, but definitely having them here, it definitely helps a lot."

What's been even better for Tom and many of her teammates is how welcoming Shamrocks Residence Hall house parents Pan and Joe Abbott are to the girls. "It's actually really great," she said. "Pam and Joe, they do everything to make us feel at home. They take us everywhere. Say if we want to go to a university or college game, they're always down to see if it fits with our schedule and theirs. It's really nice being in a home where their more than just two people, they make the effort to try and know us and know how are day went. Even to know how many brothers and sisters we have at home too, they definitely help a lot."

That has made the adjustment on and off the ice that much easier and more enjoyable for Tom.  "I'm really excited to be here this year and it's been really fun," Tom said. "I'm meeting new people basically from everywhere - Canada and the States - it's really nice to have such a different dynamic of girls and then we all come together to play the game we all love."

Besides her teammates and living arrangements, Tom is really enjoying and trying to benefit from  the area she lives in. The Greater Boston area and New England, is not only a college/university epicenter, but could be considered the mecca of college hockey. Tom loves being able to see the players she's tracked growing up in person rather than on her computer. "It's definitely good for the girls here to be able to go and personally watch these games instead of say what I would do last year, I'd go and watch the highlights," Tom said. "I'd watch the girls that you would know about because they'd be talked about on all the shows or you'd see them on Twitter, well the good ones. But now being able to go to the rinks and watch the games, and see all of the players, and to get a little bit of a taste and what it actually takes to be there, is really nice to do that."

On the ice, Tom is focused on becoming a better 200 foot defenseman.  "I definitely want to get a lot faster and a lot quicker with making my plays," Tom said. "Definitely getting a lot more defensive in my game because I used to be a forward. So now it's like I have the offensive ability but I just want to keep getting better at the defensive side to be a well-rounded defenseman."

Thankfully for Tom and her fellow Shamrocks blue liners, they now have recent college hockey star (North Dakota) and current Boston Blades defenseman Jordan Hampton as an assistant coach focused on the defense.  "I honestly love being around her," Tom said of Hampton. "I love her as a person and I love being with her on the ice. She's able to give us tips that I never heard of and these little things we can do to help improve our games. it will make such a big difference over time."