LAKE ZURICH | Ten-year-old Madison Zack never thought she would be named the captain of the boys Ice Dogs hockey team.
"You never really think that you're going to be captain, but when it happened, it was unreal," Madison said.
Madison is a fourth-grader at Issac Fox Elementary School in Lake Zurich.
As Madison's coach since she was 6, Jason Wright didn't think twice about a girl playing on the team.
"Right from the beginning you could tell that she (was) one of those kids who was a hockey player. The part that was interesting was she's obviously a girl. It was never really much of a thing," Wright said. "My assistant coach Larry and I said to the team, guys we're going to let you pick who your captain and assistant captains are. She was by far and away the kids' top pick on who they wanted as a captain."
And Madison knows how to fit in with the boys.
"I don't feel out of place. If you're a girl on a team and you're the only girl, you just want them to do what any other boy would do. Because then you don't feel out of place," she said. "Being a captain is being there for your teammates. If you start losing, you don't want them to get discouraged because you could come back and win."
Madison became interested in hockey at the age of 3 when she saw her cousin play. After learning how to skate, she began her hockey career when she was 6.
"She has a very competitive spirit," Wright said. "She has a tremendous work ethic and she has dedicated herself to the sport."
Madison's favorite pro hockey player is Chicago Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith.
"I like Duncan Keith because he always gives 100 percent," she said.
Even though she's still in elementary school, one of Madison's goals is playing in the Olympics some day. And a note hanging at her house declares she wants to be the first woman to win the Stanley Cup.