Like many daughters, Jordan Anderson has a few things in common with her mother.
Off the ice that is.
On the ice, Anderson, a 17-year old defenseman for the Madison (Wis.) Capitols Girls 19 & Under team, takes care of her own end of the ice first and likes the physical side of the game.
Her mom Kristi Anderson, on the other hand, is an offensive-minded forward for the Illinois Stars Women’s Over-30 team who likes the puck on her stick.
“We’re both really competitive, but we’re very different players,” Kristi said.
“I think I’m solid in all three zones, and I like rubbing out forwards along the boards and protecting our goalie,” Jordan said. “My mom likes to skate it up and score goals and doesn’t like playing D.”
The pair competed in the 2011 USA Hockey Girls and Women’s National Championships over back-to-back weekends in Michigan at the Onyx Rochester Ice Arena and the Suburban Ice Macomb rink.
“It’s a great story, and it really shows how much female hockey has grown,” said Jessie Vetter, a goalie on the U.S. Women’s National Team and an assistant coach for the Capitols.
With the Stars berth in the Women’s Nationals already locked up, the Capitols won the Wisconsin state championship, and then beat St. Louis and archrival Chicago Mission to earn the Central District title and the trip to metro Detroit.
“Beating Mission was a big deal,” said Kristi, who also helped coach the Capitols this season. “We hadn’t beaten them this season and it meant that Jordan, and I would be playing in the National Championships in the same place.”
While the Capitols won only one game in the preliminary round, and the Stars lost in the finals of the Over-30 tournament, the two could still smile about the experience.
“I was disappointed, but we played hard and just making it here was a big accomplishment,” Jordan said. “To be able to do it with my mom made it even better.”
The Andersons are close and both point to hockey as one of the main reasons why.
After playing for the Mission last year, Jordan joined the Capitols organization this season with the hope of better balancing academics and a competitive hockey schedule.
Switching teams meant more time in the car – the pair made the hour and 45-minute trip from their home in northwest suburban Chicago to Madison three times a week – but less time out of school for Jordan, a junior who is fourth in her class of 583 students at Huntley High School.
“It’s a huge commitment, but the hockey is still competitive and Jordan only missed three days of school this season,” Kristi said. “She had a really successful year both academically and on the ice. It’s been a good balance.”
The two of them usually headed to Wisconsin on Fridays after school let out, and while most hockey parents relish that car-time as a chance to talk to their kids, Jordan spent almost every minute of the commutes with her nose buried in schoolwork.
“I’m competitive in the classroom, too. I get that from my mom because my dad was a straight C student,” Jordan laughed. “I feel bad sometimes not talking in the car, but my mom understands that I have to use the time to study.”
Jordan’s father, Craig Anderson, travels for business, “so it’s just Jordan and I at hockey and at home most of the time,” Kristi said. “We have each other. I feel lucky to be able to share this with her.”
Capitols coach Bob Suter, a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic team, is happy with how the Anderson’s package deal turned out.
“Kristi is level-headed and she knows the game,” Suter said. “Jordan is very dedicated and paid attention to what we were trying to do this year. It worked out well.”
Jordan’s love for the game also comes from her mother. Kristi grew up in Sault Ste. Marie, in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula “where its hockey, hockey, hockey,” she said. “I had three sisters who were figure skaters, so I was a figure skater. But I always wanted to play hockey.”
After getting married, Kristi started playing on a beginner women’s team at Fox Valley Ice Arena in Geneva, Ill.
“I was hooked right from the start,” she said. “It was fast and competitive – it was just me.”
Jordan’s childhood memories are of making up cheers at her mother’s games and getting “all kinds of attention from my mom’s teammates.”
“My mom is so passionate about the game, and now it’s my passion,” said Jordan. “I love pushing myself and knowing you can always be better.”
Jordan and Kristi have visited several colleges in the East – and Jordan is excited about going to a school with a good combination of academics and hockey.
“She’s ready and I am proud of her,” Kristi said. “But it’s bittersweet. Hockey helped build strength in our relationship and helped us bond. I’ll miss her.”