“I think it really encourages them to be better and just get to one up the boys because we finally get the chance to one up them.”

It started with five players driving three times a week three hours to Bloomington, Illinois just to skate. Now, two years later the Quad City Lady Blues have a roster of 12 and are the only girls hockey team in the state of Iowa.

We feel pretty honored to be the girls to set the standard,” center Cecelia Spector said. “Create the history. Set the way for the people who come after us.”

It’s just so important,” goalie Erica DeDecker said. :It definitely builds stronger bonds and resilience for hockey and those who want to go play in college.”

We’ve encouraged more girls to get involved and see this whole organization bloom and become something,” forward/defenseman Alayna Arndt said.

For these girls, it’s all about the love of the game. Coming together for only three practices a week. Only half the roster is from Davenport. Others come from Cedar Rapids, Geneseo and Galesburg.

I’ve played this sport my whole life and have a deep passion for it. I definitely wouldn’t want to be on another team anywhere else,” DeDecker said. “This is the closest team we have here and it’s a great group of girls.”

There’s just a special bond out here with the teammates you play,” Spector said. “It’s something you can’t experience in another sport and can’t recreate.”

We know were a smaller team but we put in a lot of effort so we know as long as we can keep our heads up,” Arndt said. Then were probably going to do really well.”

The Lady Blues have traveled as far as Kansas City and Omaha just to play other competition. That bond traveling has brought them closer together.

We all get along really well and spend a lot of time together so our bond together is just stronger than a lot of other teams,” Arndt said. “That’s a real benefit to our team.”

I like playing teams from further away and I like long road trips but I definitely think it’s the friendships,” DeDecker said. “Every time we go to Des Moines we go to the big mall there so just hanging out with each other brings stronger bonds and competition to the sport.”

Travel has definitely brought us closer,” Spector said. “We rely on our teammates a lot to get us places whether it’s a tournament or someone’s parents can’t make it we end up having to go with another teammate. Lending a helping hand and bonding on the road definitely helps us.

The team has taken pride in what they’ve accomplished and say the program’s future is bright.

Considering the age level we play against and being a younger team. Less experience team. We’re doing absolutely phenomenal,” DeDecker said. “We’ve definitely grown in our playing skills and it’s definitely for the better.

I would love to see more teams in Iowa as we are the only one right now,” Arndt said. “It would be cool to have more competition in the state and maybe even have more teams at this rink.”

A lot of girls help out with one goal learn to play and there are a lot who are coming in through that way,” Spector said. “Seeing them grow up and love the game as much as they do is a really great experience and hoping to have them on the team one day would be awesome.”

For more information on how to get involved with the team go to the QCHA website.