Northern Capitals goalie from Houston playing well

17-year-old Karsyn Niven continues to produce on the ice

Niven has two shutouts in her first four starts of the 2021-2022 season. (File photo/Houston Today)

Niven has two shutouts in her first four starts of the 2021-2022 season. (File photo/Houston Today)

After struggling during the 2020-2021 season, which was cut short after exhibition play due to COVID-19, the Northern Capitals U18 AAA female hockey team is off to a much better start this campaign.

A big reason for the team’s early success is the play of Houston resident and starting goaltender Karsyn Niven. Niven played well during her brief first season with the team, but now that there’s a full schedule of games back, she’s taken her game to the next level along with her team.

“I think now that we have real games to play as opposed to just exhibition, and there isn’t any fear of the season being cancelled, so that’s made everyone more motivated and focused,” Niven told Houston Today.

The Northern Capitals currently have four wins, with three losses and an overtime loss, good for second place in the league. Niven has started in four of the team’s eight games so far, already posting two shutout victories. “There’s a lot of little details that I’ve been tweaking with during the offseason,” she said.

“We have a new goaltender coach named Kris Joyce whose been helping a lot. Honestly it’s just been about coming to practice every day focused, and getting better with every opportunity that I have.”

READ MORE: Northern Capitals final roster is set ahead of season opener

Niven’s passion for the game was born before she even became a teenager. “I played ringette when I was younger, and one night my family was at dinner at friends house. The head coach of the Houston Flyers was there, and said that they didn’t have a goalie, so I stepped in and played all season.” said Niven, who continued to play boys hockey until she turned 15.

Niven told Houston Today that her hockey aspirations don’t end with the Northern Capitals, as it has been a goal of hers for four years to play at the Usport level at either the University of Calgary or Mount Royal University. She has gotten some interest from various Usport coaches, though nothing has progressed to an official offer as of yet.

The Capitals continue their season on Oct. 23 and Oct. 24 against the Vancouver Island Seals.

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Eddie Huband
Multimedia Reporter
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