National Championships: Ice Queen

Culver Academy’s Lincoln Brown featured in Kwame Damon Mason documentary

Lincoln Brown stands out in a multitude of ways; she’s extraordinarily talented, a huge jokester, and has the innate ability to keep the room light, especially in tense, competitive moments during the season. Most remarkably, she’s an Ice Queen. 

Featured in Kwame Damon Mason’s “Ice Queens” documentary, an all-female version of his infamous “Soul on Ice” documentary chronicling the past, present, and future of Black hockey players, Brown is cognizant of the power a title like Ice Queen holds, and she wears her crown well. 

“I want young girls to be inspired to be hockey players, and I want girls of color to know what it feels like to love hockey,” Brown said. “And if they see me being the best I can, maybe they will want to as well.”

Mason’s Ice Queens documentary provides a comprehensive history of Black female hockey players’ impact on the ice, highlighting players like Angela James and the first black female head coach in NCAA ice hockey, Kelsey Koelzer of Arcadia University. The documentary seeks to showcase those who do the unthinkable and are consistently making room for those to come after them. 

At the end of March, Brown was with her Culver Academy squad at the 2023 Chipotle-USA Hockey National Championships in Dallas, as the team looked to leave its mark coming off a historic 35-win season, the most by the program in school history. Though Culver didn’t achieve its goal of winning a Girls Tier I 19U national title, Brown and the team took one more opportunity to bond before their season concluded. 

“I’m very excited to represent Culver at Nationals,” Brown said. “I’m really proud of my teammates and coaches and it feels really good to see our effort rewarded by advancing to such a large stage.”

Brown is no stranger to a big stage, or the big screen. Featured in an LA Kings commercial for the introduction to their retro jerseys, she was emblematic of increasing representation in today’s game. 

“I felt proud to have represented hockey in this way. When the commercial came out, it was rare for a person of color to represent hockey,” Brown said. “This pushes me even more to be the best player I can be, and I want players of color representing hockey to be normal.”

Brown’s drive and passion for change helped push her team to the highest stage at nationals. 

Culver Academy girls hockey director Cory Whitaker knows that Brown may be an Ice Queen, but she is also a Culver Academy Eagle. 

“She’s an extremely talented player and has really come into her own this season. She’s grown in tons of ways, and we always appreciate the humor she brings to practice,” Whitaker said. “She has a unique ability, even in a competitive environment, to bring a smile to her teammates’ and coaches’ faces. That’s just a unique skill for someone as talented as she is.”

Whitaker was embracing the challenge that the national championships bring.

“The opportunity to play against some of the best players in the country is something we embrace as a program. We try to appreciate that opportunity as much as possible,” he said.

“There’s a quote we’ve used in practice before and it’s from Billie Jean King, it says ‘pressure is a privilege.’ You talk about not getting too high when things are going well, and not too low when things aren’t, and you need to do your job to the best of your ability and the player sitting next to you will do the same,” Whitaker said. “Our group has really embraced that, and our season has been filled with some pretty awesome highs and we’ve had our own share of lows, but we’ve come together as a group and we’re looking forward to showcasing that on a national stage.”

Not only did the Culver Academy Eagles have their teammates next to them motivating them on as they competed in Dallas, but they also had the support of the entire community as well. The Eagles pride themselves on shining on the ice and in the classroom, drawing on the unwavering support of their community. 

“Our group tries to excel in every aspect of their life, whether that’s on the ice or in the classroom. Our team GPA is a 3.97, and our kids hold numerous leadership positions all around campus,” Whitaker said. 

Along with her teammates, Brown has carried that sense of leadership on and off the ice. 

“I think when you have a group that is so willing to break barriers like [with Lincoln], it makes the community want to be a part of it and want to watch them excel,” Whitaker said. “All of the leaders on campus are just excited about what the future holds for this program.” 

 

Issue: 
2023-04

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