Women’s Hockey

-by Brigitte Schmittlein- Boston women’s college hockey is better than ever. Of the seven women returning from the Sochi Olympics to play college hockey in the US, five are returning to Boston teams. One is returning to Boston University, two to Harvard, one to Northeastern, and one to Boston College. While these four college teams have been strong in the past, the uncommonly high number of Olympic athletes has increased both level of play and competition within the region.

Olympic hockey player Kendall Coyne currently plays for Northeastern. Not only did she contribute to the US team’s silver medal, but she also was the leading scorer, with six points and four assists.

The BU women’s hockey team, currently ranked seventh in the league, houses Olympic player Marie Poulin. Poulin competed for Canada’s national team in the Sochi Olympics, scored the game winning goal in the finals against the US, and brought home a gold medal. Now, Poulin is captaining the BU team, and hopes to win an NCAA championship game, as the team was beat out by teams from the Midwest in the past two years.

Marie Poulin heads back to BU after a win in Sochi. (abcnews.go.com)
Marie Poulin heads back to BU after a win for Canada in Sochi. (abcnews.go.com)

The Harvard team is currently number six in the league, with two returning US Olympic players: forward Lyndsey Fry and defender Michelle Picard (who played hockey at Nobles!). Not only does the Harvard team have two Olympic athletes, but the coach, Katey Stone, is also returning from the Sochi Olympics. Over Stone’s coaching career, she has coached 378 victories and was the third coach in women’s college hockey history to win 300 games. With 18 successful seasons coaching the Harvard team, Stone was chosen to coach the 2014 US team in Sochi.

Boston College, ranked number one in the league, has olympic forward Alex Carpenter. Carpenter commented on how the skills she learned playing for team USA have helped her during the college season, “I remember my first couple games with the national team I would get knocked around… So that was one of main focuses was not to get knocked around like that and I think now that I’m more sturdy both on and off the puck that will be an advantage for myself.”

Boston College Women's Hockey. (snipview.com)
Boston College Women’s Hockey. (snipview.com)

All four of these teams will be competing in the annual Beanpot tournament, a tournament that began in 1961 to determine which women’s college hockey team was the best in the city. Boston College coach Katie Crowley remarked on this year’s Beanpot’s increased importance, “You’re jockeying for who’s gonna win that first national championship.” As the tournament is coming up in early February, The Panel encourages Winsor students to check it out!