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Great Falls native Celeste Brown signs with National Women's Hoc - KXLH.com | Helena, Montana

Great Falls native Celeste Brown signs with National Women's Hockey League

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Celeste Brown signs contract to play pro hockey Celeste Brown signs contract to play pro hockey
Brown enjoyed a great 4-year career at the Rochester Institute of Technology Brown enjoyed a great 4-year career at the Rochester Institute of Technology
GREAT FALLS -

Great Falls native Celeste Brown left her home to chase her dream of playing college hockey, and enjoyed a great 4-year career at the Rochester Institute of Technology, which included a NCAA Division III National Championship as a freshman. 

And most recently? She became the first woman from Montana to sign a professional hockey contract. 

"I dedicated my life a lot this," said Brown. "So to just stop playing (after college) is a pretty scary thought. So this was the next step and this is what I want to do."

In June, Brown signed with the New York Riveters of the newly-formed National Women's Hockey League. 

Even more impressive is how she earned her contract. 

The NWHL consists of four teams in the hockey-rich Northeast. 

Each team held an open tryout and Brown attended all four of them -- even making the eight-hour round-trip from Boston to Long Island twice in the same weekend. 

"I remember at one of the tryouts, I thought I was mentally drained," Brown said. "But one of my sisters told me I could do anything for 48 hours. So I kept that in mind and by the end of the weekend I made it through."

Growing up in Great Falls meant opportunities to play hockey year-round were few and far between.

In fact, even today when Celeste visits her hometown in the summer there's no ice to skate on so she trains in the pool at the Peak Health & Wellness Center.

But lack of opportunities never stopped Celeste from chasing her dreams -- instead she created her own opportunities.

And she hopes the example she sets can be something that future female hockey players can aspire to.

"I'm just happy that I can help pave the way for future young girls who want to keep playing," Brown said. "That's overall my main goal and I think that's the main goal for every player in the league and every female player that keeps playing."

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