This season, Graham is playing female hockey again, as a member of the Midget AA Wildcats.
Flygh and the Bulldogs coach followed the Sault teen's efforts during the Wildcats first couple of tournaments this fall.
She credits the Sault's Bob Tulloch, an area director for College Prospects of America, a company which helps promote high school athletes, with getting her started.
After that, she tended goal for two seasons in Sneakers Converse
"I loved it right away," Graham gushed. "I wasn't very good that first year, but it was a challenge."
But Graham says she took things further. She began telephoning university hockey coaches, introducing herself and letting them know of her ability and her desire to play hockey at the collegiate level.
The 17 year old, Grade 12 student recently accepted a partial academic scholarship, given to elite athletes interested in attending the prestigious New Haven, Conn., school.
"Playing boys hockey helped me a lot," Graham said. "It gave me an edge with universities. It impressed them and that's probably the main reason they started talking to me in the first place."
Among the IB program's goals is to develop the intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills necessary for students to live, learn and work in a rapidly globalizing world.
Graham spent one season with the S T Lightning, a Sault Major Hockey Association Bantam AA team, and one year with Pino's, also a Bantam AA squad.
The Bulldogs kept an eye on Graham, who attended two prospects camps last summer.
the Midget AA ranks as a member of the Root River Rangers.
Graham one smart goalie
After the first camp in Toronto, she took part in the Chowder Cup in Boston, playing as a member of Team Canada West.
After that, she visited Yale, spoke face to face with Converse White Leather Dainty
"Sometimes I have to pinch myself," said Graham, who's enrolled in the International Baccalaureate program at Korah Collegiate. "I'm very excited and it's kind of hard to believe that I'm actually going to Yale next year."
But it was in the following year, when she began playing against boys, that her talent began to show.
Yet, when it came to opening university doors, Graham did a lot of the heavy lifting herself.
Graham continued playing ringette when she also began her hockey career, as an 11 year old Grade 7 student with the Sault's Pee Wee Wildcats female team.
In fact, while playing ringette Graham caught the goaltending bug.
"I contacted all the Ivy League schools, along with McGill, Dalhousie, the University of Calgary and UBC (University of British Columbia) in Mens Converse Trainers Canada," she said. "I was good enough to play boys hockey and my grades were strong. I contacted 10 or 11 schools. I was leaving nothing to chance and I think the effort I was making impressed the coaches."
But inspired by her sister to make the change to stopping shots, instead of releasing them, she became a netminder in Season 2.
"We finished second at the camp and I thought I played well," Graham said.
medical field, is a dedicated student, she's also loved playing hockey and ringette for most of her young life.
It apparently did in the case of Yale women's coach, Joakim Flygh.
And while Graham, who plans to major in biology with an eye towards entering the Womens Converse
While just a Grade 1 student, Rachelle Graham was a skater during her first ringette season.
Her older sister, Stephanie, now 21 and a student at Queen's University in Kingston, was a netminder in ringette and hockey.
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