Shaker/Colonie hockey player Mikayla Carhart, right, battles along the boards for the puck during Friday's intrasquad scrimmage at the Albany County Hockey Facility. Carhart is splitting her time this season between the Jets and the Assabet Valley girls under-16 Red Major team.
Photo by Rob Jonas.
COLONIE Put a pair of skates on Mikayla Carhart, and she can do just about anything.
The Colonie Central High School junior is not only entering her third season on the Shaker/Colonie hockey team, but she's also made the Assabet Valley girls under-16 Red Major team roster -- the reigning national champions at that age group. She has also been a competitive figure skater since she was three years old.
"I love being in the spotlight," Carhart said of figure skating. "I'm a solo competitor, so everything's on you. It's your time to shine."
But if you ask Carhart where her heart truly lies, it's with hockey.
"My whole family plays hockey," said Carhart. "I have a rink in my backyard every winter, and I go out there ever day."
Carhart picked up hockey when she was five years old, and it's taken her to the highest level of the sport with the Assabet Valley girls program, which is based in Boston.
"It's a huge accomplishment because they are one of the top teams in the nation," said Carhart, who will play for Assabet Valley's top-level U16 team.
Playing for Assabet Valley won't preclude Carhart from being part of the Shaker/Colonie Jets, where she will playing with the boys as she has since the 2011-12 Capital District High School Hockey League season.
"It was always one of my goals to be the first girl on the Shaker/Colonie hockey team," said Carhart. "It's a lot more physical (than girls hockey). It's a lot faster, and you're always not going to be the best player on the ice."
Carhart has spent her first two seasons with the Jets primarily at the far end of the bench, but coach Steve Hudak said she will see an increased role on the team this year.
"I definitely see her getting ice time this year," said Hudak. "Where and what line, I'm not sure yet. But I think we'll have a team this year where we'll have four lines playing. There's not a lot of disparity between the four lines."