(SAINT JOSEPH, Mo.) Hannah Klassen, a senior at Central High School, started figure skating when she was five years old.
But, a dare from her brother allowed her to take a more hard-hitting approach with her skills on the ice.
"I was kind of getting bored with skating and my brother played hockey," she said. "He was like 'Oh, I bet you couldn't play.' My dad said 'We'll suit you up.' Figure skating is seen as a sissy thing, so he didn't think I could do it. Now we're teammates so I showed him."
"One day she came up and said: 'Hey, I'm going to try hockey.' I laughed at her, but said, 'Okay, that's fine if you want to try it," her mother Angie said.
Hannah worked her way up through the age groups of the St. Joseph system, from Bantam all the way to a varsity defenceman today.
As the lone girl on the team, it's usually a toss up how opponents treat her on gameday.
"It goes both ways. Some of them lay off, thinking they've got to be nice to a girl," she said. "Others think: 'got to get her,' and they headhunt me the whole game. But, the good thing is, my team likes me now so they'll stick up for me."
But she can dish out the punishment as well, and, seeing her skills progress, told Griffs Coach Rob Starr she'd want to make the most out of her senior year.
"In the past few years, he's reserved a little bit and held her back," Angie said. "This year, she told him: 'Don't hold me back. I'm a senior and I'm going to play.'"
That move has paid off, and so has playing with the opposite gender. Hannah saw that payoff at a recent tournament when the Iowa Hawkeyes came calling.
"She plays on a girls travel team: the Kansas City Storm, and the University of Iowa is starting a women's program."
"At one of our tournaments in Cedar Rapids, a guy came up to me and said he'd like me to come play with them," Hannah said. "I was like 'Oh my gosh!' My first recruitment... I was really excited."
Though she's chosen to attend Iowa State, Hannah says she still sees more ice time in her future.
"I don't think any of the other boys get to play, so I get a leg up on them I guess."
She said she plans to take her freshman year off from hockey due to her course load and get back at it her sophomore year.