Merrimac’s Sam Bomba may have cost herself a chance to play women’s college hockey because she played with the boys in high school.
The former three-year starter in goal for the Pentucket boys hockey team is spending a postgraduate year playing for the Boston Shamrocks U16/U19 team in the Junior Women’s Hockey League. The Shamrocks play their home games at Ristuccia Arena in Wilmington. Bomba splits time in net with Ipswich resident Kia Castonguay, a 15-year-old freshman in high school.
“Considering I had to switch to playing with girls, I surprisingly like it a lot,” Bomba said. “I wasn’t expecting it to be a good experience, but it is.”
As a high-schooler at Pentucket, Bomba became well known around North Shore boys hockey circles for keeping an otherwise overmatched Pentucket team in games for the last three years.
She began playing with the boys at age 6, following in the footsteps of her brother, Billy, Pentucket’s only 100-point scorer in program history.
Bomba never considered seeking out a coop girls team at the high school level, believing she could earn the starting goaltender job for the boys team at Pentucket.
She did just that, starting just about every game over her final three years of high school. Before games, she would change into her equipment in the bathroom in rink lobbies, before joining the boys for a pregame meeting once everyone was dressed.
“I definitely think I would have had more of an opportunity to play in college if I switched over to a girls league,” Bomba said. “Obviously, college coaches of women’s hockey teams aren’t coming to boys games to scout players. But I definitely wouldn’t have done anything different. I loved playing with the boys. Even if I don’t play next year, I don’t regret anything I’ve done.”