The Ultimate Hockey Fans
From December 2008 until February 2012, every time goalie Lindsey Minton took the ice as a member of the UNH women’s hockey team, her father, Rex Minton, was in the stands. Every single time. Her mother Leslie’s attendance record is almost as good.
And while you may be thinking there’s nothing special about that because lots of parents attend their kids’ athletic events, there’s this: the Mintons live in Texas.
For the past four years, through good fortune and semi-retirement, the Mintons have rented property in New Hampshire during the hockey season so they could attend their daughter’s games. Rex Minton says he got a great deal: he was able to support his daughter, and came to love the team at the same time.
The first year, they rented a house in Hampton Beach. The last three years, they were at Seabrook Beach. Many of the games were played back to back; in between, the Mintons would fly home to Dallas.
“We didn’t want her to miss out on the traditional college experience just because we were nearby,” Rex Minton says. “We’d go to the games and then we’d go home and let her do her thing.”
Her hockey thing included her first career shutout during that first game in the Wildcat goal on Dec. 8, 2008. In 2009, she was named UNH Rookie of the Year. In February 2012, she had a career-high of 37 saves while playing against Boston College.
“She’s done well for herself,” Rex Minton says. “Playing for UNH has been a great experience for a girl from Texas.”
And a great experience for a dad who’s had a love of hockey since his days of living in Chicago where he played in a youth league.
Lindsey Minton is a 2008 graduate of Episcopal School of Dallas, where she lettered in field hockey and lacrosse. She was also into soccer, and played on a boys’ baseball team. She and her twin brother, Mark, started skating when they were four years old. Lindsey spent a year figure skating but once Mark started playing hockey, she decided that’s what she wanted to do, too.
At the time, there were only a few ice rinks in the Dallas area, (now there are about 25) and no girls’ teams. Minton played with a boys' league until she reached high school.
“She was lucky to have played with the boys because there was better development and that helped her,” her father says. “Once the boys started checking, we started investigating girls’ teams.”
Their search took them to Colorado, to a USA Hockey-sanctioned team that was top-ranked in the state. Minton spent her high school years flying up on weekends two or three times a month. The team won U.S. national bronze medals three of the four years Minton was on the team, and, from 2005-2007, she led the tier-one team to a Midwest Elite Hockey League second-place finish.
During the four years she played for the Colorado team, Rex Minton never missed a game. While at UNH, her mother was able to make it to three-quarters of her games. Mark, who attends Texas A&M, was there when the Wildcats played their Frozen Fenway game during her sophomore year. Older brother Adam, who played college club hockey, saw her play three times.
“It was very exciting for me to have my family there,” Lindsey Minton says. “Being able to have my dad at every one of my games certainly was an extraordinary gift. My mom was amazing as well. I realize how incredibly fortunate I am to have parents who are so devoted to me.”
As she is to them. When she graduates in May with a degree in business administration, Minton plans to return to Dallas and pursue a career. She has had offers to coach in Texas but for now wants to focus on finding a job.
“While I have enjoyed my time here in New Hampshire, I am definitely a Texas girl at heart and I have missed my family very much,” Minton says. “I hope to stay connected to hockey by continuing to play in rec leagues with my brothers and maybe even coach one day. I’ve played this sport for 18 years, and I don't think I’ll ever be able to give it up completely.”