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Carolina Black Widows ice the hockey competition

Posted March 28, 2009

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— Step aside, guys. It's the ladies' turn to hit the ice.

The Triangle-based Carolina Black Widows is the only USA Hockey-affiliated team in North Carolina for women more than 30 years old.

Women's ice hockey team hits the rink Women's ice hockey team hits the rink

"I started at (age) 44," said hockey player Nancy Difede.

"We're the old nags," her teammate Sue Mitran chimed in.

The hockey players come from a variety of backgrounds: Mitran is a bookkeeper, Gloria Cabada-Leman is a lawyer, and Jaden Taylor is a research scientist with Wyeth Vaccines.

That diverse experience comes in handy for the team, hockey player Wendy Bard joked.

"When somebody's injured on the ice, you make sure you put your doctor on the ice. You take your lawyer with you if you have a physiotherapist," Bard said. "You've got to have somebody from every walk of life."

The hockey moms and career-driven women said playing on the side is great fun.

"It's a wonderful escape from reality. We have a lot of fun and get along really well," Cabada-Leman said.

Some of the players are Canadians who relocated to the Triangle. Others are women who had never before touched a hockey stick in their lives.

"More women play because they see us out here," Mitran said.

But for amateurs, the Black Widows have their fair share of talent: They went 13-2 in the 2009-2009 season. This weekend, they're competing in a USA Hockey national tournament. On Friday, they won one game and lost one.

Team members, though, said that winning's not their goal.

"We get out there and skate hard and have fun. That's basically what it's all about," Mitran said.


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