Behind the Mask: Nicole Jackson

Roots, growth, and a personal tribute keep Jackson grounded away from home

Welcome back to Behind The Mask! Our first featured goaltender this season is Nicole Jackson of Göteborg HC (SDHL) and Team Great Britain. Jackson’s mask is striking with its black, red, and silvery grey paint and the proud Göteborg lioness illuminated in a paw print.

Who painted your mask?

A friend I have known for a while back home [Thirty-Nine Designs] did my helmet for me.

You’ve got Manchester and Göteborg both highlighted, as well as the Tre Kronor and the Three Lions. What does it mean to you to have both Sweden and the UK represented?

Being from the UK, we are not known for ice hockey and playing in Sweden where the sport is a lot bigger is massive to me. From the UK we only have a handful of players in the SDHL, so compared [to] where we have come from and played against, it’s a massive achievement to play the game against the talented players in the league.

Manchester is my roots and where hockey started for me, but Sweden is where I want to push myself to be the best I can be against the best.

Lastly, the backplate is full of symbolism. There’s the Ice Hockey UK logo which is pretty self-explanatory, but also a cancer awareness ribbon, some geographical coordinates, some initials and a nickname. Can you walk me through it?

The black plate is really dedicated to things back home that mean a lot to me and the reason why I am where I am today.

The Ice Hockey UK logo reminds for me where I came from and all the hard work I put in to get to play in the SDHL. Cancer is a worldwide issue and I think everyone should unite to fight the disease. Also, cancer is something that has affected my family and I’m grateful for the organisation and their work. Family means everything to me and being out here I definitely go through phases where I really miss home. The geographical coordinates are of my home.

The initials and nickname [“My Little Malteser”] are for my partner. Playing in the league and everything I do outside takes so much of my time and we joke about it sometimes and say we are like “ships in the night,” we hardly see each other. So this is for my partner because they support me at the rink and away from it, and help when I need it.