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WOMEN’S HOCKEY: Emma Terres infusing Beavers with pro experience, leadership

Emma Terres had a decorated hockey career. A widely respected captain on the 2017-18 Bemidji State women’s hockey team, she traveled to Germany to play professionally after college. She worked in a Versace store and traveled throughout Europe.

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Bemidji State women's hockey assistant coach Emma Terres advises the Beavers during a line change on Saturday, Jan. 22, 2022, at the Sanford Center.
Christian Babcock / Bemidji Pioneer
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BEMIDJI – Emma Terres had a decorated hockey career.

A widely respected captain on the 2017-18 Bemidji State women’s hockey team, she traveled to Germany to play professionally after college. She worked in a Versace store and traveled throughout Europe.

And now, she’s back in Bemidji, having rejoined the Beavers as an assistant coach under head coach Jim Scanlan since the 2020-21 season. But first, she had to reckon with the disappointment of ending her playing career.

“When I was overseas, I knew when I had to hang up my skates, (it) would be the saddest day ever,” Terres said. “I never wanted to do that.”

When the BSU assistant position opened, though, Terres knew it might be time to make a change.

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“I was actually going to play another year, so a third season over in Germany,” Terres said. “This job opened up. And I’ve always – when I was in Germany – told (my fiance) Jake, if that job ever opened, I’d apply. I couldn’t not apply. So then when I was offered the position, it was kind of a ‘you got to take this’ situation.”

Since she returned, she’s organized leadership councils, run holiday tournaments and become an indispensable part of the Bemidji State coaching staff. Scanlan is very pleased she made her way back.

“She connects with all the players extremely well,” Scanlan said. “It's her personality. She's very positive, very outgoing. (Players) feel very, very comfortable just going to her about anything. And it’s because of just her overall outlook. It's just been tremendous. And she's just growing as a coach, and she's hungry.”

Scanlan said he valued not only Terres’ familiarity with BSU, but also her professional experience. This gave her a different lens through which to view the game and a meaningful perspective to share with BSU players.

“She was probably one of the best captains I've had in my time as a head coach,” Scanlan said.

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Bemidji State's Emma Terres (17) skates with the puck at the Sanford Center in Bemidji.
Maggi Stivers / Bemidji Pioneer

So what experiences did Terres bring back from Germany? There was the aforementioned stint at Versace in Ingolstadt Village, an opportunity aided by her English-speaking prowess.

“I was a stockkeeper my first year,” Terres said. “And they were like, ‘Oh, you speak English? Wonderful!’ I had to go to a job interview. It was like a speed-dating job interview … I went to Versace, and they were like, ‘Oh, thank goodness, we need English!’ And I was like, ‘Perfect!’”

She wasn’t paid much to play. The team in Ingolstadt furnished her with a valid visa, but not much else.

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“My first team I went to, I made no money,” Terres said. “They basically paid for your airfare, paid for your equipment, helped you find a job … which is pretty good in the female side of it. My second year, in Berlin, I went and I got my apartment paid for … and then I got a little bit of a stipend, kind of. You don’t really make anything.”

Despite reaching the peak of her playing prowess, Terres wasn’t able to support herself via hockey alone. Yet she doesn’t regret the experience, saying the adversity helped her understand the challenges of playing past college as a woman.

“All the imports over there just want to keep playing hockey,” Terres said. “You start to learn kind of the struggle to keep playing as a female after college. There’s other leagues that are a little bit more funded … so they’re helping, but it’s something that you have to worry about. I saved a ton of money before I went over so I could travel.”

She still had an incredible time, paragliding in France and visiting 13 European countries. But she hopes that opportunities for future players will be improved.

“I had a great experience,” Terres said. “I’m not one to worry about that kind of stuff, I live in the moment. But it’s something that I hope grows, and something that players here can keep going to and have a better experience than me, money-wise, and be able to be stable over there.”

Back in the States, Terres has made her imprint on the Beaver program with the small groups she started, which help players share feedback in a more intimate setting. Scanlan has credited this endeavor with enhancing the Beavers’ camaraderie this season.

“It was probably the best thing I've ever done, and will continue to do,” Terres said. “I learned so much every month from the players. And I think it helped especially our incoming players have a voice and feel like what they say matters.”

BSU’s mettle will be put to the test once again this week against St. Thomas, with the Beavers facing the Tommies at 6:01 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 28, and 3:01 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 29, at the Sanford Center.

Christian Babcock is a sports reporter at the Bemidji Pioneer. He trekked to Bemidji from his hometown of Campbell, Calif., after graduating from the Cronkite School at Arizona State University in 2021. Follow him on Twitter at @CB_Journalist for updates on the Lumberjacks and Beavers or to suggest your favorite local restaurant.
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