The Huntington sisters opened their Division I hockey seasons Dec. 13, but not as a teammates.
Instead, the two Prior Lake High School graduates faced off against each other in back-to-back games. Katie is in her third season at Quinnipiac University, while Charlotte is in her second year at Sacred Heart University.
Both schools are in Connecticut, and Katie’s team got the best of her younger sister’s squad, winning 6-1 in the season opener and rolling to a 9-1 win the following night.
Katie, a 2018 Prior Lake graduate, scored her first-career collegiate goal in the opener, while adding an assist. She was a goal-scoring machine in her stellar Lakers’ career with 123 goals in her five seasons, including 35 in her senior year. She also had 68 career assists in high school.
For Charlotte, a 2019 graduate, she played in 32 games for Sacred Heart as a freshman and scored twice. At Prior Lake, she scored 19 career goals and added 43 assists in her four varsity seasons.
Katie said seeing her younger sister wearing a different jersey than hers makes her smile.
“I’m so proud of what we have accomplished so far in our hockey careers,” Katie said. “We grew up battling and pushing each other to be better, and this competitiveness day in and day out is what helped get us both playing at the Division I level.”
“Playing against Katie’s is always a big sisterly rivalry,” Charlotte said. “But it’s also funny. Sometimes, I’ll accidentally cheer her on forgetting that we’re on different teams now. Ultimately, it’s a proud moment for the both of us to be playing at our dream level of hockey.”
Charlotte is a two-sport athlete at Sacred Heart. She’s also on the women’s golf team. She’s studying in the school’s five-year Jack Welch School of Business program.
Katie is studying to become a physician assistant. Not only is she playing hockey, but she’s involved in the school’s EMT campus program.
“While being a full-time student and athlete keeps me busy, I wouldn’t trade it for anything,” Katie said. “Being an athlete has also given me a team that doubles as a second family away from home.
“It definitely has helped make 2020 easier, knowing that we as a team are all facing the same COVID-19-related challenges,” she added.
For Charlotte, playing college hockey has been a different experience for her than in high school.
“It’s more competitive, fast-paced, and the team environment feels more like a family,” she said. “Plus athletics has given me more outlets to be a better student-athlete on and off the ice.”
Katie and Charlotte faced each other twice last season as well with Katie’s team also winning both of those contests. Family couldn’t see this year’s games in person due to the ongoing pandemic, and instead had to watch them streamed on ESPN+.
Quinnipiac and Sacred Heart are only a 20-minute drive apart, but the schools are in different conferences. In last year’s games, the sisters had a lot of family there.
Some wore blue and gold to support Katie and some were in red and white to support Charlotte.
“It is tough on the family to pick a favorite team,” said Tom Huntington, Katie’s and Charlotte’s father. “As a family, we are lucky to have the daughters playing and going to school just 20 miles apart. Last year, the family was able to catch several games because of the closeness of the facilities.”