QU Alaskan Set to Leave Mark
It takes about 14 hours to get from Wasilla, Alaska to Hamden, Connecticut. But even that cross-national, cross-country flight did not stop Jordan Elkins from coming to Quinnipiac.
“You know it has to be a long ride whenever you’re from Alaska,” the freshman hockey player said. “I’ve gotten used to it.”
Elkins heard about Quinnipiac from former assistant coach Lisa Giovanelli, who ran a clinic in Anchorage. She was noticed by the coach, and soon found herself a recruited hockey player.
Hockey has been something Elkins has grown up with. Starting at the age of five, she worked her way up playing with boys until her early teenage years.
“Ever since I started, I’ve been playing with boys,” the 18 year old said. “I didn’t know anything different.”
So when she started playing with girls on Alaska’s state team, there were both pluses and minuses.
“Well at first I was called for a lot of penalties, because the guys are allowed to be a lot more physical than girls,” she said. “But my speed really helped out–I felt like that was a big advantage from playing with guys.”
From playing on Team Alaska, Elkins became used to traveling more and more, but she still finds some things a bit odd in Connecticut.
“First of all, it’s really hot here,” she said. “It’s hard getting acclimated to that. Plus, the scenery is a lot different–some people think that Quinnipiac is pretty hilly, but I’m used to mountains everywhere.”
Elkins is currently residing in Dana with two of her freshman teammates, and the trio takes on a grueling preseason schedule.
It starts on the ice at seven a.m. most mornings with drills and practice for an hour and a half. From there, it is usually another hour or so of workouts and strength training off the ice. So around 10 a.m., when some QU students are rolling out of bed, Elkins is grabbing a quick breakfast and headed off to class.
The rest of the day is a melange of studying and classwork for Elkins, a journalism major, who can be often found deep in the recesses of the Arnold Bernhard Library.
“It’s a tough schedule, but I love it,” Elkins said. “All the professors are really nice, and I’m having a lot of great experiences. Plus, I was about ready to get out of Alaska.”
Speaking of Alaska–not only is Elkins one of the few Alaskans at Quinnipiac (yes, there is more than one), she has a special Alaskan connection: vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin.
“Everyone knows everyone in Wasilla,” she said. “When I started playing hockey with her son, we got to know each other.”
Elkins became especially close with Palin when her hockey team traveled.
“Because I was the only girl, I roomed with Sarah and her daughter (Bristol),” Elkins said. “We hung out, went shopping–did girl stuff.”
Looking for an inside scoop on the real Sarah Palin? Elkins had only good things to say.
“She is one of those moms who wouldn’t cheer for just her son on the ice,” she said. “She is dedicated, she puts people first, and she’s easy to relate to. At her house, it was like an open-door policy–I could always go talk to her.”
Elkins, however, who’s discussed her relationship with Palin to several media outlets already, was quite ready to be known beyond her connections. And with her hockey talents and positive mindset, it appears quite likely. She’s already developed a YouTube audience from her “Nice hit by Jordan Elkins” clip.
“I want to be part of building a new face for Quinnipiac hockey,” she said. “I’m going to keep doing what I’ve always done, and try to leave a good impression wherever I go.”