A friendship forged on and off the ice has taken two hockey players from the West Shore all the way to New York, with a stop at Shawnigan Lake along the way.
Megan Bouveur and Zosia Adamek met at a young age while playing in the Juan de Fuca Minor Hockey Association. The two moved on to play for Shawnigan Lake School’s U-18 female hockey team before earning scholarships a year apart to Long Island University.
Bouveur, 18, is in her second year playing centre for the LIU Sharks, a Division 1 team based in New York City.
“The team is doing well and practising hard,” noted Bouveur, who grew up in Highlands. “We’ve had some adversity with COVID, but hope to get some games in starting in January.”
She is in the Bachelor of Health Science program and will decide what direction that takes further down the road. Although Bouveur admits moving to the other side of the continent has been a challenge, she believes the semester she spent playing hockey in Campbell River at 14, and the two years at Shawnigan Lake, were instrumental in preparing her for being away from home, friends and family.
“You learn independence,” she said. “New York’s a special place. We’re a 45-minute train ride from Times Square, which is pretty cool. I’m much more comfortable this year. You still have to continuously earn your spot, but it’s nice that the coaches know how you play when you have one year under your belt.” She called being chosen as one of the captains this season “quite an honour.”
The pandemic has scuttled plans to come home for Christmas, so Bouveur will remain in New York until the school year is completed.
Bouveur is looking forward to Adamek joining the team next year. “She’s a great teammate,” she said. “I love meeting people from far away here, but it’ll be special to play with a good friend from where we grew up.”
Adamek is “super excited” about the chance to play with Bouveur again.
“I’ve been looking forward to going there for so long,” said the 18-year-old Langford resident. “It’s always been a dream of mine to play for a major American university, and having Megan there is a total plus.”
Adamek notched the first four-goal game for Shawnigan Lake last season and was named to the league’s all-scholastic team. She had planned to head to Long Island this season but decided to remain on Vancouver Island because of COVID-19, opting instead to play another year with Shawnigan Lake.
“I really appreciate Long Island University being so understanding and letting me start next year,” said Adamek, who plans on taking veterinary courses.
“I’m so grateful to my parents for giving me this opportunity,” she said, adding the decision to attend Shawnigan Lake School played a major role in her development. “Carly Haggard is an amazing coach and was very helpful taking me through scholarship applications.”
Zosia’s father, Mike Adamek, is proud of what his daughter and Bouveuer have accomplished. “I watched them growing up together in JDF hockey,” he said. “My dad Rudy started the Juan de Fuca association back in 1971, so it’s really special for our family. He picked Zosia’s name before he passed away as a tribute to our Polish heritage. The fact he named her and she grew up playing in the rink he helped build is really cool.”