Together: Abigail & Naomi Stow powering Stars - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Together: Abigail & Naomi Stow powering Stars

The Stow sisters during practice The Stow sisters during practice
Eau Claire Area senior Abigail Stow Eau Claire Area senior Abigail Stow
Eau Claire Area freshman Naomi Stow Eau Claire Area freshman Naomi Stow

Abigail Stow is one of the most decorated girls hockey players in Wisconsin history. But in senior season, she gets to experience something new - playing with her freshman sister Naomi, who is starting in goal.

"It's been a lot of fun," Abigail says, "Obviously, my sister and I have been close, but it's a little bit different than playing with my older sister, Makayla, because I looked up to her, and now I have to be the role model for Naomi. Or a least try to be."

But Abigail has taken that roll in stride, even starting before the season began.

"Over the summer, I would wake [Naomi] up sometimes earlier than she wanted to," she says, "We'd go and play some adult open hockey, and it was usually just us two on the ice for an hour and a half. Sometimes she'd complain about it because it was just one person taking shots over and over."

"I'd get a hundred shots, and they're hard, I know," explains Naomi, "I hate getting scored on a lot, and I get scored on a lot by her. But she's helped me a lot because she's one of the best shooters in the state."

"I said it was going to pay off in the end," Abigail says.

The results speak for themselves - Naomi has saved 92 percent of the shots she's faced this year, the best mark of any starting goaltender in the Big Rivers. \

She credits her sister for keeping her steady, "She knows what to say to me to get me focused, so that's really big, and she motivates me," says Naomi, "I've seen the games before this, and I know the people more because of her, so it makes me a lot more comfortable knowing that she's on the ice with me, and she's there if I need her. Otherwise, I don't know what I'd do without her."

Their bond is as strong as ever. And sometimes a little too strong, "I've definitely take a couple more overly aggressive penalties in front of the net this year than I should have," Abigail explains, "But it doesn't make me nervous, just a bit more protective than I have been in the past."

"Support for your sister I think comes into play a bit," says Stars head coach Tom Bernhardt, "It's neat to see at the end of a period, or if Naomi gives up a goal, or when she gives up a goal, the first person to tap her on the pads is her sister Abigail."

This year, the stars have been on a roll. winning 12 of their last 13 games, and have their sights set on a first ever trip to the state tournament. But with these two, just being together provides an extra spark.

"I want to make her freshman year a season to remember," Abigail says, "and plus I want to make my senior year a good one too."

Naomi agrees, "She really wants to win state because it's her last year, and I want to help her get there, so it also creates another motivation for me."

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