The Women’s Hockey East Association is pleased to announce the selection of 23 student-athletes representing eight different programs to its first-ever “All-Star” game. The Hockey East All-Stars will take on the 2006 U.S. Women’s Olympic Team on Sunday, Dec. 11, at UNH’s Whittemore Center, as part of Team USA’s Hilton Family Skate to 2006 Tour. The tour is designed to pit Team
USA against elite-level competition in preparation for the 2006 Winter Olympics.
The forward trio of Nicole Hekle (UNH), Karen Thatcher (Providence) and Jaclyn Hawkins (UConn) gives the Hockey East team instant scoring credibility – they combined for 69 goals and 80 assists last season. Forward line combinations will be one of the most interesting aspects of the game, as the best talents from different teams will get the opportunity to play together. Boston College’s first line of Sarah Feldman, Deb Spillane and Becky Zavisza will likely remain together for the game, but the remaining lines will offer unique mixes.
“We are excited about sending Hockey East’s best to meet America’s best,” said Hockey East Commissioner Joe Bertagna. “The coaches have assembled a talented squad and with a good portion of the roster comprised of freshmen and sophomores, we are optimistic about the future of our conference.”
Zavisza was one of five first-year players selected to the team. UNH teammates Kayce Bellamy and Angela Taylor were also named to the squad, as was Boston University blueliner Amanda Shaw. BC’s Maggie Taverna was selected as an alternate alongside Friar junior Kristin Gigliotti. Both skaters can play forward or defense and will take the place of any player who is unable to
compete in the game for any reason.
NCAA restrictions limited representation to a maximum of four players from any single program and four different teams filled that quota. UConn and Providence each boasted at least one player at each position. UConn goaltender
Kaitlyn Shain is the favorite to start the game, but will be challenged for that designation in the coming weeks by Northeastern’s Marisa Hourihan and PC’s Jana Bugden.
UConn’s Heather Linstad, the senior member of women’s Hockey East coaching fraternity with 211 career victories, will act as head coach of the All-Star squad. Assisting her will be Providence’s Bob Deraney, who has steered three successive Hockey East tournament championship squads, and Boston College’s Tom Mutch, one of Ben Smith’s assistants on the U.S. Women’s Olympic Team that won gold in the 1998 Olympics. Erin Whitten Hamlen, a 1993 graduate of New Hampshire and now an assistant coach at her alma mater, rounds out the Hockey East coaching staff. Whitten Hamlen was a standout goaltender at UNH from 1989 to 1993 and on Team USA’s World Championships entries from 1992 to 1997.
The 2006 U.S. Olympic Team is loaded with America’s best at every position, including former Northeastern All-American goaltender Chanda Gunn, and former UNH sniper Tricia Dunn. Dunn won the gold medal as a member of Team USA at the 1998 Olympics and was also on the silver-winning squad in 2002. Katie King, an assistant coach at Boston College the last two seasons, will be Dunn’s teammate once again as she skates against two of her constituents from last year. Providence’s Rush Zimmerman, the 2005 Hockey East tournament MVP, is a high alternate on the squad and recently helped Team USA to win the silver medal at the Four Nation’s Cup in Finland. Team USA has already defeated the WCHA All-Stars in back-to-back games, 5-1 and 5-2, and will take on the ECACHL All-Stars next Tuesday, Nov. 1, in New Haven, CT.
Face-off for the Hockey East contest is slated for 2:00 p.m. on Dec. 11. Tickets will be available at the Whittemore Center box office, and Comcast’s CN8 will televise the game live throughout New England.
The Women’s Hockey East Association is an eight-team, Division-I college hockey conference, with offices based in Wakefield, Mass. Charter members UNH, Northeastern and Providence combined to win 15 ECAC conference championships prior to the new league’s inaugural season of 2002-03.
No Player, School Class Pos Height Hometown
1 Kaitlyn Shain, Connecticut Sr G 5-5 Calgary, AB
2 Martine Garland, New Hampshire So D 5-10 Toronto, ON
3 Abbey Kaknes, Vermont Sr F 5-4 St. Charles, IL
4 Amanda Shaw, Boston University Fr D 5-9 St. Thomas, ON
5 Jennifer Houlden, Connecticut (A) Sr D 5-4 Richmond Hill, ON
6 Becky Zavisza, Boston College Fr F 5-8 Suffield, CT
7 Sarah Feldman, Boston College So F 5-6 Fall River, MA
8 Sonny Watrous, Providence Jr F 5-8 Albuquerque, NM
9 Cara Hendry, Boston University Jr F 5-9 Calgary, AB
10 Amy Goodney, Northeastern Jr F 5-4 Marquette, MI
11 Nikki Petrich, Northeastern So F 5-10 Flint, MI
12 Kayce Bellamy, New Hampshire Fr D / F 5-7 Westfield, MA
14 Jaclyn Hawkins, Connecticut So F 5-7 Manotick, ON
15 Maggie Taverna, Boston College * Fr F / D 5-8 Howell, NJ
17 Nicole Hekle, New Hampshire (A) Jr F 5-9 Winnipeg, ON
18 Kristin Gigliotti, Providence * Jr D 5-6 Sauquoit, NY
20 Karen Thatcher, Providence (C) Sr F 5-7 Douglas, MA
21 Deb Spillane, Boston College So F 5-8 Franklin, MA
22 Natalie Vibert, Connecticut Jr D 5-4 Thunder Bay, ON
23 Angela Taylor, New Hampshire Fr F 5-11 Foxbar, Scotland
27 Jana Bugden, Providence Jr G 5-11 Corner Brook, NF
30 Marisa Hourihan, Northeastern Sr G 5-4 Hanover, MA
55 Kelly Law, Maine Jr D 5-8 Markham, ON