Home Is Where Her Heart Is

Hayley Scamurra’s Olympic Dreams Taking Root In Her Own Backyard

As far as hockey family ties go, Hayley Scamurra’s run pretty deep. The Williamsville, N.Y., native grew up in a household with three older brothers who all played hockey and a dad who spent time in the NHL with the Washington Capitals.


It is safe to say that it was an easy decision to follow in her family’s footsteps and she has not looked back since.


“It was always a lot of fun especially since we had our backyard rink. That’s where I was introduced to the game and where I feel in love with it, too,” said Scamurra, a forward with the U.S. Women’s National Team. “I wanted to be like my older brothers and play with them and have fun. It was fun growing up in that environment.”


The lessons learned competing against her older brothers on that backyard rink have paid off as the 26-year-old is living her dream as a member of Team USA. The time she has spent with such a dedicated group of athletes have helped Scamurra grow as both a player and a person.


“It’s on such a large scale and you’re playing with the best players in the U.S. and it’s a very humbling experience,” she said. “I’ve learned so much by playing with these other women and seeing how they train, how the perform and it’s been a huge learning experience for me. I think it’s made me a better player, too.”


Although the 2020 IIHF Women’s World Championship was cancelled due to the global pandemic, Scamurra continues to look forward to getting back on the ice with her teammates.


In the meantime, she continues to push herself to get better every day to raise her game as she keeps her eye on the ultimate prize, a spot on the U.S. Olympic Team. 


“I hope to continue making the team and going to camps and hopefully make the 2022 Olympic team. That’s the ultimate goal, but before that I just try to focus on the small goals prior to that and just keep thinking about those,” said Scamurra, who competed in the Rivalry Series against Canada and scored the winning goal in the fourth game of the series.


Aside from her time spent with Team USA, Scamurra’s talents have been spread wide. She spent her collegiate years playing for Northeastern University before being drafted by her hometown team, the Buffalo Beauts.


“It was definitely super exciting getting drafted by them,” Scamurra said. “It was just kind of a full circle moment and getting to play for my hometown. There’s definitely a hometown pride feeling and playing for them was so fun.


“The interactions with the fans being from the same town I think was really enlightening, it was just a different type of bond and something I cherish for sure.”


It didn’t take long for Scamurra to become a fan favorite, scoring on her first shift in pro hockey and then helping the Beauts win the Isobel Cup in 2017. The following season she led the Beauts in goals and tied for the team lead in points on her way to being named Rookie of the Year.


All her focus and dedication derives from knowing that she should never be afraid of going after what she wants, and a solid support network back home. 


“For me it’s all about not being afraid of making mistakes and putting your all into whatever you’re doing because if you’re afraid of making mistakes then you’re not going to be performing at your best,” Scamurra said.


“That applies to hockey and life and something I’ve been working on and trying to get better at.”

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