Sports

Women’s ice hockey laces up for new season with fresh talent

A new assistant coach headlines a series of changes for the team that finished 6-20-1 last season

By
Contributing Writer
Friday, October 18, 2013

The women’s ice hockey team will see a top-to-bottom shift this season, with a new coach, a crop of promising freshman and new in-game strategies, as they challenge for a playoff spot in the competitive ECAC, said Head Coach Amy Bourbeau.

Jillian Kirchner, a former captain for the women’s ice hockey team at Boston University, was announced as an assistant coach for the Bears this year, joining Bourbeau and Assistant Coach Andy McPhee.

“Having played in a national championship and a pair of Frozen Four tournaments, I think I bring player experience to Brown,” Kirchner said. “I will work well with a staff that has so much experience and this group of bright girls with a lot of talent.”

“(Kirchner’s) personality is what excites me most,” Bourbeau said. “Although she’s young, she really understands the game and she’s got a lot of positive energy. I can tell the girls like that about her.”

Co-captain and starting goaltender Aubree Moore ’14 said Kirchner has made a big effort to acquaint herself with each member of the team.

“She is also very organized and helps keep the team organized as a result. I’m glad that she is a part of the Brown Hockey family,” Moore said.

Moore and defender Jennifer Nedow ’14 will provide leadership for the rest of the team as co-captains.

“The players and the coaches voted for captains, and we all agreed on these two,” Bourbeau said. “The players really stand behind (Moore) and (Nedow), and they’ve done a terrific job so far.”

Along with Moore and Nedow, five other seniors bring experience to the team.

“There’s certainly been an abundance of senior leadership” Bourbeau said. “No disrespect to (Nedow) and (Moore), but all of the seniors are showing incredible leadership and are stepping up to lead the team, which is what’s making the preseason so enjoyable.”

The seniors will be integral in welcoming the team’s rookies to the collegiate level. The team will feature four freshmen this year after losing five seniors.

“We have some impact players as far as freshman go,” Bourbeau said. “Right now, there is a ton of energy on the ice, and the freshmen have definitely been a part of that.”

Bourbeau has also brought change to the team in the form of new on-ice strategies. The team will employ aggressive forechecking, a tactic of pressuring the opposing team in their defensive zone in an effort to win the puck in an advantageous position, Bourbeau said. The team will also look to create quick breakaways and move the puck down the ice as fast as possible.

Above all, the team is going into the season with a strong mindset and good team chemistry.

“Everyone seems to have a little extra spring in their step,” Moore said. “People have been working well together on the ice and there seems to be fluidity on the ice that hasn’t been there in past years.”

The team will get a taste of league competition when it scrimmages Princeton this weekend, before playing its first official match Oct. 25 against Rochester Institute of Technology (2-3).