Arizona Rubber

Arizona’s and New Mexico’s Authoritative Voice of Ice and Inline Hockey

Former collegiate star Plews takes reins of Mustangs’ new 14U development team



Julia Plews moved to Albuquerque from Illinois to grow girls hockey in New Mexico.

And so far, she’s loving every bit of it.


This season, Plews is coaching the New Mexico Mustangs’ new 14U development team, a huge sign that the game is progressing in the state.

“It also means girls hockey is increasing in popularity here in the desert, and I think a big part of that is the awesome work that all of our adult hockey community and hockey parents have done to grow the game, especially during Try Hockey for Free sessions each summer and spring,” said Plews. “I believe we had about 150 boys and girls come out during the spring event, which was the best kind of chaos.”

plewsPlews said the focus of the 14U team is twofold—to learn skating, shooting and passing skills and basic hockey language in a fun environment, while simultaneously getting up to speed on team systems.

“It’s a fun age group to work with, since the maturity level is such that we can connect on a cerebral level, make that impression on how to do the little things right and pay detailed attention to skills and drills,” Plews said. “We are lucky to have a variety of skill levels at practice, though, and the girls can really take off and use their experienced teammates as mentors.”

Plews, who played at the University of Illinois, came to the Mustangs through her friend and fellow coach Kristina Lee, who invited her to join her on the bench of the Mustangs’ 12U development team last year.

“She has a ton of enthusiasm for working with these girls, and I had a great experience working with the team, parents, and coaching staff,” said Plews. “A year later, I’m head coaching a brand-new development team.

“When it comes to hockey in New Mexico and the Southwest in general, there are relatively few population centers, so the dedication level of parents and kids is really something. It’s hard to predict how things will evolve, but I’m optimistic about the enthusiastic hockey community here.”

Top photo/Jason Sievert

— Matt Mackinder

(Nov. 6, 2018)