Team Colorado AAA star, Broomfield native Peller taking next step with NCAA D-III UWEC commitment
Maci Peller is spending her post-grad year with the Team Colorado 19U AAA team and will soon join a handful of her teammates on NCAA teams next season.
Peller, a native of Broomfield, will play at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, starting with the 2023-24 season.
The process in winding up at UWEC actually started two years ago.
“During my junior year, I had made the decision to move from Team Colorado AAA to the Dallas Stars Elite and attended one of their showcases held in Irving, Tex.,” Peller said. “I immediately loved the coaching style of Eau Claire’s head coach, Erik Strand, and soon reached out about potentially playing for Eau Claire. The biggest factor for me was that I would be entering a competitive environment, both academically and athletically. Eau Claire offered both of those, as well as a good program supporting my major and the promise of good hockey.
“Academics have always been a priority, but balancing with youth hockey has been hard especially when it comes to billeting, given that all the schooling I did was online. I still maintained a fairly high GPA, but I think that if I had a more consistent education throughout high school, it would have potentially been higher.”
Admittedly, Peller did not grow up in a hockey family, though she did enjoy watching the Colorado Avalanche.
“I actually started by going to the Apex rink at a Learn To Skate with my best friend when I was 13, but I never thought of playing much,” said Peller. “When I started, I was awful but really did love playing and so a coach recommended I try out for the Sport Stable’s Lady RoughRiders. The rink was close enough to Broomfield that I could commute easily and after that, I slowly moved on to TC.”
Peller played 14U and 16U for the RoughRiders and then in the spring for Monarch High School.
“I will always thank Chris Lockrem for largely making me into the player I am today and obviously to Hannah Westbrook for continuing to make me into a better player now as I play for the TC 19U AAA,” Peller said.
Moving forward, Peller has achievable goals, on and off the ice.
“Short term, I would like to continue getting better day by day with Hannah and the team, and to prepare for the competitiveness of USA Hockey Nationals and next year (at UWEC),” said Peller. “My long-term goals would probably be best summarized in that I want to go as far as possible into being the best person and player I can be. I hope to study neuroscience in college and as far as hockey goes, to enjoy all four years playing at Eau Claire.”
— Matt Mackinder
(December 28, 2022)