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Hockey Community Stands With Glenbrook Defenseman Madeleine McGuire During Family Health Issues

By Ross Forman, 07/26/23, 6:00PM CDT


The co-op Glenbrook girls high school team had the No. 7 seed in the 8-team Illinois High School Hockey State Tournament this past season, with No. 2 Fenwick their opponent in Willowbrook.

“Everyone was convinced that we were going to get blown out, especially since we were missing a number of players, so, we had this mindset that it didn’t matter what happened, we were just going to have a fun time playing,” said Madeleine McGuire, a Glenbrook defenseman. “We played our best game as a team all season. Personally, I played the best game of my season. It was a very satisfying end to the high school season.”

The favored Friars needed overtime to topple Glenbrook, 3-2. Still, McGuire and her teammates were smiling despite the sadness of ending their season.

“I had an amazing time on my Glenbrook team,” she said. “I was so happy to meet, play and become friends with girls from other club teams. It also was a great opportunity to play high school hockey as a student coming from a small, all-girls Catholic school. Everyone on my team made me feel welcome; it was so much fun to play (on Glenbrook). I was glad I didn’t have to give up playing hockey to go to the school that is the best fit for me.”

McGuire, 15, who lives in Wilmette, will be a sophomore this fall at Regina Dominican High School. She also will play this upcoming season for the North Shore Warhawks U16 Green team, as she did last season.

“I am a defensive defenseman. I want to keep the other team scoreless and protect my goalie. I really enjoy the battles in the corner and in front of the net,” said McGuire, whose youth career included time playing for Wilmette Tribe and Wilmette Braves – and she twice was named her team’s alternate captain, has received the NIHL Academic Excellence Award and the AHAI High School Academic Excellence Award.

“A big influence on my hockey career was my first coach as a mite. He was the one who taught me how to skate and that I should never give up on the sport. His older daughter also ended up playing at the same clubs as me, and we became friends. Another influence on my career has been the captain of the U.S. Women’s National Team, Kendall Coyne Schofield. Not only has she been a great inspiration with her leadership on the ice, advocacy for the sport and support for her community, but she also has been a great friend to my family when my mom was sick.”

Julia McGuire was battling breast cancer in 2021-2022, her second cancer diagnosis having lived with a blood cancer called MDS since 2014. “Hockey is one of the things that helped my family navigate through,” the health issues, she said. “Not only did it provide an outlet and place for me to have fun during such a challenging time, but the (hockey) community and the friends we made helped my family so much. My teammates brought us dinner while my mom was having surgery and during treatment; they also drove me to games and practices and were incredibly supportive. They even put patches on their jerseys to support her.

“I don’t know what my family would have done without hockey and our hockey family helping us through such a tough time.”

McGuire is excited for the upcoming season, especially with added confidence from the spring season, plus improved speed, stickhandling, shooting and more.

“I cannot wait for the season to start,” she said. “Going to Glenbrook practices and games are the highlights of my week. I love playing with my friends on the team. I also really hope that we make it into the Scholastic League this year and get a chance to compete at state. I think our team (has) a chance to do well this year.”

McGuire’s hockey career started when she was 8 – her first game was a scrimmage on a small rink near her house. “I could barely skate or hold a stick properly, but I just remember having the time of my life. Everyone on my team was so excited to play hockey and I remember, after the game, being inspired to become the best player I could be,” McGuire said.

“The highlight of my career was in my second year of U12, during the final game of a tournament in Minnesota. We had been in the lead the whole game, until two penalties were called on my team in the last minute. We were playing short-handed, 5-on-3, and the other team scored on their power play. Unfortunately for me, I was the only defense on the ice when the other team scored. My coach was so mad at me that he didn’t let me play the first half of overtime or the first round of the shootout. When only one person from each team scored on the shoot-out, the game was still tied, and my coach reluctantly let me take a shot in the shoot-out. I ended up scoring, winning the game and the tournament bracket for my team.”

The favorite game of her career was against Shattuck-St. Mary’s this past spring, with McGuire playing on her club’s U19 team. “I played well and was so proud of myself with how well I played against such a good team. It really gave me so much more confidence in my play and helped develop stronger skills,” she said.

Off the ice, McGuire is a distance runner in track and field, and is learning to play the guitar. “I am both a Dominican Preacher and Allworth Scholar at my high school,” she said. “I enjoy learning, working hard to get good grades, and choose to focus a lot on school. I also am a volunteer leader at Pickles Group, an organization where kids help kids whose parents are in cancer treatment.”

SLAPSHOTS WITH … Glenbrook defenseman Madeleine McGuire

Favorite NHL Team: San Jose Sharks

Favorite NHL Player: Connor McDavid

Favorite Sports-themed Movie: Space Jam

Favorite Pre-game Meal: Starbucks refresher and protein bar

Celebrity You’d Like To Meet: Taylor Swift

Best Hockey Tip, and who was it from: “It came from my first coach, Coach Joe. He told me to never give up on hockey. It sounds like something that everyone hears from at least one person, and my hockey career, like any other, has had its ups and downs. However, I always remember what Coach Joe told me and never gave up on the sport I love, no matter how hard it was at the time.”

Best High School Uniform (other than Glenbrook): Loyola