Shelburne girl hits the ice with U.S. Women’s Hockey Team

Photo by U.S.A. Hockey
Nine-year-old Kayla Kruk joined the US Women’s National Hockey team practice in Boston Tuesday thanks to Make-A-Wish Vermont.

When Kayla Kruk was asked what her wish would be from Make-A-Wish Vermont, the Shelburne resident did not even hesitate. She wanted to meet the U.S Women’s National Hockey Team.

Kruk’s wish comes true this week as she joined the U.S. team in Boston for practice on Tuesday and then was to get a chance to watch them in action as they took on Canada last night.

“Sometimes wishes take awhile to get off the ground because they take some time to figure out what their wish is,” said Shawna Wakeham-Smith, director of wish granting for Make-A-Wish Vermont. “She knew immediately that she wanted to skate with the U.S Women’s National Hockey Team.”

Kruk is a long-time hockey fan or at least as long as a 9 year-old can be. She’s a member of the University of Vermont women’s hockey team through TEAM Impact, an organization that matches children facing life-threatening and chronic illnesses with college teams to improve their quality of life.

With her family already geared up to go to Boston to watch Team USA, Make-A-Wish reached out to the team to see if they could make the experience more special.

“They have been very responsive and very excited,” Wakeman-Smith said of the U.S. team’s reaction to Kruk’s wish. “They have been asking lots of questions about Kayla and getting to know her before she arrives.”

One face will be familiar for Kruk, U.S. forward Amanda Pelkey. The former UVM player – and Barre native – knows Kruk through her time with the Catamounts and will now get to skate with the fellow Vermonter.

Pelkey was named to the national team in March and will take part in the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea. The match-up against Canada is part of a kick-off tour leading to the Olympics games.

The U.S. team was to face off against Canada last night at Boston University.

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