In my most recent installment of the Green Mountain Gals, I sat down with former UVM forward Brittany Zuback. The Thunder Bay, Ontario started playing hockey when she was five years old as her brother played and her dad was coaching at the time. All through her life, she would incorporate hockey into everything including art projects.
During the Summer of 2012, Zuback got the opportunity to represent her country during a three-game series against Team USA in Lake Placid, New York. “Yeah, that was awesome. Especially being a kid from Thunder Bay, I didn’t ever think I would get that chance and you always dream of putting that jersey on,” said Zuback. That series, despite being on different sides, would be when Zuback would meet Amanda Pelkey. The former Olympian would end up becoming Zuback’s linemate at UVM.
Taste of Home
When Brittany was originally looking at schools, she was in contact with Wisconsin and Cornell, but fell in love with Vermont the second she saw it. “It reminded me of home. Thunder Bay is on Lake Superior and UVM is on Lake Champlain,” said Zuback. She also mentioned there’s a lot to do in Burlington, including hiking and skiing.
There’s no question that Zuback enjoyed her four years at UVM, playing in 137 games, putting up 44 points and 53 assists for 97 points, including 16 power play points which are tied for first in UVM history. If her name sounds familiar, it’s because she would score the game-winning goal in triple overtime during UVM’s quarterfinals game against Providence College. “After the game, my legs were so cramped up that I had to get Sarah Campbell to piggy-back me to trainers room,” said Zuback. However, that moment triumphs playing for Canada and is the best moment of Zuback’s career.
Women’s Hockey Still Needs To Grow
Once Zuback left UVM, she moved to Toronto to continue her education, but something was missing in her life and that was hockey. “I didn’t have that second family and I tried playing rec hockey, but that wasn’t doing it for me,” Zuback said. She then decided to enter the CWHL draft. “When I joined the CWHL, the conditions were better in college,” said Zuback.
Like most players I talk to, Zuback agrees there needs to be one league. “How can you call it a professional league when you don’t have all the best players from Canada and the US. She does mention how players want to join the NWHL, but can’t because of the conflict with players jobs.
There’s a lot that Zuback believes that needs to improve for it to work. “I think the arenas need to be nicer, not only for the fans, but for the players as well,” said Zuback. One interesting thing Zuback mentioned is that the players who have jobs and play need to be recognized as well. When asked if the last year’s All-Star Game is a step in the right direction, Zuback replied, “A little bit, but we need to see more than the same 13 or 14 players.” Ultimately she believes that the NHL needs to step in to help the league.
Life as a Chiropractor
Zuback is currently spending time at home in Thunder Bay after being away from home for almost nine years. She’s been running her own practice as a chiropractor since getting her license in September. She enjoys working with athletes, but has also found it rewarding working with older patients. “It’s pretty rewarding working with older patients who have been in chronic back pain for years and have seen other chiropractors who haven’t helped,” said Zuback. The link to her site can be found here.