Women’s Hockey East will face the 2013-14 season without two of their superstars.
Harvard and US National Team head coach Katey Stone and her USA Hockey staff announced their picks for the US National Team Monday. The roster includes two impact players in Hockey East last season: Northeastern’s Kendall Coyne and Boston College’s Alex Carpenter. The current Harvard (ECAC) roster is represented by defenseman Michelle Picard. All three will train with the National Team and will not be available to play college hockey this upcoming season.
Selection camp invitees Emily Field (BC), Haley Skarupa (BC), Paige Savage (Northeastern) and Amanda Pelkey (UVM) did not make the roster and will be available to their college teams for 2013-14.
BC, Northeastern and Harvard’s coaches have been preparing for a while to play without Coyne, Carpenter and Picard this upcoming season – it was often mentioned in interviews throughout last season. While their absences may not be as big of a factor as they could be, it’s what those teams didn’t end up losing that could make a difference. Field and Skarupa availability to Boston College this season is great for the Eagles’ offense. Both finished with 29 assists last season, demonstrating their chemistry with their teammates. Field was one of BC’s most consistent contributors. Skarupa was a motivated spark plug on the ice, and finished the season second in the NCAA in freshman points.
Northeastern gets Savage back, and she should be able to come out of Coyne’s shadow after an up and down rookie campaign.
And for Vermont, Pelkey’s return gives them an experienced boost to their young roster, but the fact that BC and Northeastern will have some players they may have been expecting not to have may limit movement the growing Vermont program could have within the Hockey East ranks this upcoming season.
Looking for more women’s college hockey news? I’ve been sharing instant thoughts and links via my Tumblr account, including quick thoughts on Merrimack’s Monday hiring of Erin Hamlen as their first women’s hockey coach.
Also, if you’re interested in looking back at Carpenter and Coyne’s 2012-13 seasons, the work I did for New England Hockey Journal last season should help.