Margaret Maloney ’23
The Friars men’s basketball team began the NCAA Tournament in brilliant fashion starting Thursday, March 17 against the number 13 seed, South Dakota State University. The Friars came out victorious 66-57 with Al Durham ’22GS and Noah Horchler ’22GS scoring 13 points each. In the Round of 32, the Friars faced the number 12 seed, Richmond University. Ed Cooley’s team dominated, winning 79-51 with 16 points from Horchler. On Friday, March 25, the Friars will play Kansas University in the Sweet 16.
The Friars’ women’s basketball team competed well in the first round of the Big East tournament, where they fell short to Georgetown University in the first round. An important highlight to note from this game is Emily Archibald ’25 hit her career high 21 points in the game. The team has a lot to be proud of this season, especially two players who earned All Big East recognition, Janai Crooms ’23 and Kylee Sheppard ’25. The Friars conclude their season with an 11-19 record.
Men’s Ice Hockey
The No. 20 Providence College men’s hockey team landed 47 shots on goal but came up short in a 4-2 Hockey East Quarterfinal loss to No. 12 ranked University of Massachusetts Amherst on Saturday, March 12 at the Mullins Center. The Friars had a great season and should be proud. They finished the 2021-22 year at 22-14-2 overall. Moreso, Brett Berard ’24 and Max Crozier ’23, who were named to the Hockey East third team.
Women’s Ice Hockey
The No. 7-seeded Providence College women’s hockey team was defeated by the No. 2 seeded University of Vermont, 4-1, in the quarterfinal round of the Hockey East Tournament on Saturday, Feb. 26. An important shoutout goes to the goaltender Sandra Abstreiter ‘22GS, who was named to the All-Hockey East Second Team as announced by the Hockey East on Friday, Feb. 25. Abstreiter has made 779 total saves and had three shutouts this season. She was recently announced as a semifinalist for the Women’s Hockey Goalie of the Year Award. The Friars conclude the 2021-22 season at 16-14-6 overall.
Stephen Foster ’22
The Providence College Men’s Basketball Team won three games last week, bringing their record to 24-3 overall and 14-2 in Big East Conference play. They defeated Butler University 71-70 in overtime on Sunday, Feb. 20 and were victorious over Xavier University with a score of 99-92 in triple overtime on Wednesday, Feb. 23. The Friars clinched the Big East Regular Season Championship on Saturday, Feb. 26 for the first time in history with a dominating 72-51 win over Creighton University. Fans young and old stormed the court to celebrate the victory and stayed to watch players and coaches cut down the net in celebration. The Friars wrapped up conference play at Villanova University where the Wildcats came away with a victory in a tight contest 76-74. The final record for the Friars in conference play was 14-3.
The Providence College Women’s Basketball Team went 0-3 in three games this week, bringing their record to 11-18 overall and 6-14 in Big East conference play. They were defeated 62-68 in overtime by St. John’s University on Sunday, Feb. 20, lost 51-57 to Marquette University on Friday, Feb. 25, and struggled against No. 7 University of Connecticut on Sunday, Feb. 27, losing 31-88. The Friars begin the Big East Tournament on Friday, March 4 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.
Men’s Ice Hockey
The Providence College Men’s Ice Hockey Team won two games this week, bringing their record to 21-13-2 overall and 12-11-1 in conference play. They defeated University of Maine in both home games, winning 4-2 on Friday, Feb. 25 and 3-2 in overtime on Saturday, Feb. 26. The Friars play their last game of the regular season and host their senior night on Friday, March 4 in an exhibition match against the U.S. NTDP Under-18 (USA Hockey National Team Development Program). Their run in the Hockey East Championship begins soon after.
Women’s Ice Hockey
The Providence College Women’s Ice Hockey Team went 1-1 in the Hockey East Tournament last week, bringing their season to a close. They defeated the College of the Holy Cross 3-1 on Wednesday, Feb. 23 at home. However, they could not overcome the strength of No. 2 University of Vermont on the road, losing 4-1 on Saturday, Feb. 26 in the quarterfinals. Lily Hendrikson ’25 scored the lone goal for Providence. The Friars end their season with a record of 16-14-6 overall and 12-12-3 in the Hockey East conference.
Margaret Maloney ’23
The Providence College Men’s Basketball team is currently ranked No. 11 in the country with a record of 20-2 so far in the 2021-2022 season. Their most recent win at home against the Marquette Golden Eagles was one of the best games the Dunk has ever seen, according to Ed Cooley: “The Dunk was electric.” Shortly after, Justin Minaya ’22GS was named Big East player of the week on Monday, Jan. 31. The Friars then traveled to Queens, NY, to face St. John’s where they once again achieved victory and won 86-82. To wrap up the weekend, Cooley’s team defeated Georgetown University behind Jared Bynum’s ’23 career high of 32 points.
The Providence College Women’s Basketball team is currently 9-11 and is smack in the middle of the Big East conference. The Friars’ last game was against the University of Connecticut, the top-ranked team in the Big East, where they put up a huge battle. Janai Crooms ’23 scored her career high of 27 points against the Huskies, shooting 73 percent from the field. The Friars played great defense against the Huskies, which shows a promising outcome for the rest of Big East play. The Friars will be hitting the road for the next two games against Marquette and Depaul.
Men’s Ice Hockey
The Providence College Men’s Hockey team is currently ranked No. 17 with a 17-10-2 record. The Friars grabbed a huge win against University of Massachusetts Amherst on Friday, Jan. 28. Riley Duran ’25 scored both of their goals for a final score of 2-1. He was later named Hockey East Rookie Player of the week on Monday, Jan. 31. The Friars then faced Boston University for an away game where they fell short with a 5-2 loss. Patrick Moynihan ’23 and Nick Possion ’24 were the scorers for this game. The Friars played back-to-back games with an away game at UConn, then a home game against Vermont on Friday, Feb. 4 and Saturday, Feb. 5.
Women’s Ice Hockey
The Providence College Women’s Hockey team currently holds a record of 9-12-5 overall. After facing the University of Vermont twice, Boston College, and the University of Maine twice, the Friars put themselves back on top with a 4-1 win against College of the Holy Cross on Tuesday Feb 1. Caroline Peterson ’22 had two of these goals, along with Hunter Barnett ’22, and Ashley Clark ’25. The Friars faced Holy Cross two more times on Saturday, Feb. 5 and Sunday, Feb. 6, with two 3-2 wins in overtime and a 4-3 win against Merrimack College on Tuesday Feb. 8.
Stephen Foster ‘2
The Providence College Men’s Basketball Team won their two games this week, bringing their record to 16-2 overall and 6-1 in Big East conference play. They defeated Georgetown University 83-75 on Thursday, Jan. 20 and were victorious over Butler University with a score of 69-62 on Sunday, Jan. 23. Coach Ed Cooley recorded his 210th victory as the Friars head coach and moved into second place on the PC All-Time Win List with the win over Butler. As of Monday, Jan. 17, the men’s basketball team is ranked No. 21 in the Associated Press Poll and No. 21 in the Coaches Poll. They have been nationally ranked for five consecutive weeks.
The Providence College Women’s Basketball Team went 1-2 in their three games this week, bringing their record to 9-9 this season. They were defeated 62-42 by Seton Hall University on Sunday, Jan. 16 and 71-56 by Villanova University on Friday, Jan. 21. Providence rebounded on Sunday, Jan. 23 as they traveled to Washington, D.C. to take on Georgetown University, who they beat 66-58 in overtime. The Friars previously beat the Hoyas on Dec. 5 at Alumni Hall. The women’s basketball team is currently leading the Big East in field-goal percentage defense (.351), blocked shots (119), and blocks per game (6.6 bpg).
Men’s Ice Hockey
The Providence College Men’s Ice Hockey won their two games this week, bringing their record to 16-9-2 overall and 7-7-1 in conference play. They defeated Boston College in both games, winning 7-0 on the road on Friday, Jan. 21, and 2-1 by a shootout at home on Saturday, Jan. 22. Providence is now fourth place in the Hockey East and trails first-place University of Massachusetts Lowell by seven points in the standings. Next week, the men’s hockey team travels to play UMass on Friday, Jan. 28 and Boston University on Sunday, Jan. 30.
Women’s Ice Hockey
The Providence College Women’s Ice Hockey Team lost their two games this week, bringing their record to 8-9-5 overall and 5-8-2 in conference play. They were defeated by the University of Vermont in both games, losing 1-3 on Friday, Jan. 21 and 1-4 on Saturday, Jan. 22. Providence is now eighth place in the Hockey East and trails first-place Northeastern University by 31 points in the standings. Next week, the women’s hockey team hopes to turn their streak around as they travel to Chestnut Hill, MA to play Boston College.
Luke Sweeney ’24
The Providence College Men’s Basketball Team started their preseason this week against head coach Ed Cooley’s alma mater, Stonehill College. The team played well as they eased into competition with a Division II school that they have started their season with since the arrival of Cooley as head coach. The Friars beat the Skyhawks 96-71 and were able to see their entire bench play. The team will start their regular season on Tuesday, Nov. 9 against Fairfield University, and then play two days later on Nov. 11 against Sacred Heart University. Both home games help the Friars prepare for their first major test against the University of Wisconsin on Nov. 15.
The Providence College Men’s Soccer Team won at home on Saturday, Oct. 23, taking down unranked University of Connecticut 2-1. PC took the first lead of the game thanks to a goal from Luis Garcia ‘23, but the Huskies equalized following a goal from Okem Chime. Providence’s Brendan McSorley assisted Kevin Vang for the game winning goal in the 87th minute. The team will take on Villanova University on Saturday, Oct. 30 on Chapey Field.
Women’s Ice Hockey:
The Providence College Women’s Hockey Team has been off to a hot start this season with a 3-1-2 record. The team currently sits at a ranking of No. 11 in the country and looks to move up as the season progresses. Losing to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on Saturday put the team back a bit, but they look to rebound on Sunday, Oct. 31 against Boston University at home.
The Providence College Women’s Soccer Team had a strong week, as they played the University of Connecticut Huskies on Thursday, Oct. 21, and then the University of DePaul Blue Demons on Sunday, Oct. 24. The Friars tied to UConn 1-1 and then beat DePaul 1-0. The win against DePaul came in double overtime after a close game all the way through. Fifth year senior Amber Birchwell scored the game-winning goal off an assist from sophomore Meg Hughes. They will play Seton Hall on Thursday, Oct. 28 at Chapey Field for the team’s senior night.
Joseph Quirk ’22
The Providence College Field Hockey team had a rough week, dropping a Big East game at the University of Connecticut this past Friday before losing a home game to Virginia Commonwealth University on Sunday Oct. 3. The Friars were shutout in both games, meaning they have now been shutout in three straight games. After the two losses, the Friars dropped their record to 5-7 overall and 1-2 in conference play. They lost the game Friday in Storrs, CT by a score of 3-0 and the home tilt Sunday 1-0. The Friars next play Friday, Oct. 8 at home vs. Temple University.
Men’s Ice Hockey:
The Providence College Men’s Ice Hockey team kicked off their season at Schneider Arena this past Saturday, Oct. 2 against the United States Marine Academy, also known as Army West Point. The Friars won their home opener in routing fashion, beating the Black Knights by a score of 7-0. Goals were scored as soon as a minute into play and six different Friars put the puck into the net. Sophomore Brett Berard ’24, a New York Rangers draft pick, led the scoring notching two goals himself. The Friars next take on Merrimack College to open their Hockey East play at home Thursday, Oct. 7.
Women’s Ice Hockey:
The Providence College Women’s Ice Hockey Team also began play this weekend with an exhibition this past Friday, Oct. 1 at home against the Boston Pride. The Boston Pride is an LGBTQ+ hockey organization that creates a supportive environment for people of different sexual/gender orientations to have fun and play hockey. The Friars won the game 3-2, when Hunter Barnett ’22 scored the game winner with only 13 seconds remaining in regulation. The Friars were out-shot 23 shots to 31 in favor of the Pride. The Friars open Hockey East play this Friday, Oct. 8 at home against the University of New Hampshire.
The Providence College Men’s Soccer team tied a Big East game against Marquette University this past Saturday, Oct. 2 in Milwaukee. The score ended tied at two goals apiece and sent the Friars record to 6-1-2 overall and 2-0-1 in conference play. Both teams scored their two goals in the second half of regulation play and would remain scoreless throughout the overtime period. Providence held the edge in shots and corner kicks while Marquette fared better in the saves and fouls categories. The Friars’ next game is Wednesday, Oct. 6 in Queens, NY to face St. John’s University.
March Sport Shorts
Week of 3/11-3/17
By Ben Bilotti ’23
The Providence College Women’s Volleyball Team played a two-game series against the University of Connecticut Women’s Volleyball Team on March 12 and March 13. PC won both games three sets to one and improved their record to 5-1. In game one, Emma Nelson ’23 stood out with 14 kills, including a go-ahead kill in the first set. Jennifer Leitman ’23 and Elena Leontaridou ’23 both had 12 kills. Allison Barber ’21 also impressed, accumulating 45 assists and 16 digs. In game two, Barber continued her success with 39 assists and 10 digs. PC looks to continue their hot start to the year against St. John’s University on March 19 and 20.
The Providence College Women’s Soccer Team hosted Villanova University on Sunday, March 14. The Friars dominated the match, beating the Wildcats 4-0. They improved their record to 5-1-0 on the season: the program’s best since 2010. Hannah McNulty ’21 shot and scored the first goal of the game. After that, Samantha Adams ’24 did not waste much time, scoring 14 minutes later for her second goal of the season. In the second half, Elayna Grillakis ’22 scored her first goal of the season before Meg Hughes ’24 added the final goal of the game. PC’s defense went to work in the match, only allowing two shots on target. The Friars will look to continue their winning ways at St. John’s University on March 18.
The Providence College Men’s Ice Hockey Team faced the University of Connecticut on March 14 in hopes of advancing to the Hockey East Semifinals. The Friars bested the Huskies, beating them 6-1 in dominant fashion. Six different Friars shot and scored. Parker Ford ’23 scored first early into the first period. In the second, Uula Ruikka ’24 and Nick Poisson ’24 scored within 60 seconds of each other to put the Friars up 3-1. Tyce Thompson ’22, Brett Berard ’24, and Max Crozier ’23 each added a goal later in the game to solidify the impressive 6-1 win.
The Providence College Women’s Ice Hockey Team fell 3-0 to the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the first round of the NCAA tournament on March 16. This was the second-ever NCAA tournament appearance for the No. 7 Friars, the only other time being in 2005. Goalie Sandra Abstreiter ’21 did all she could to will the Friars to a victory, tying her season-high with 41 saves, but the Friars could not get anything going against the talented Wisconsin defense. The loss marked the end of a fantastic season for the Friars, one that also saw them make it all the way to the Hockey East finals.
Above and Beyond: Friars Make Playoff Run
Coach Kelly, Friars Always Competing
By Scott Jarosz ’21
The 2020-2021 season has been one to remember for head coach Matt Kelly and the Providence College Women’s Ice Hockey Team. After the team’s 2019-2020 campaign came to a close with a loss to the University of New Hampshire in the Hockey East Quarterfinals, both Kelly and his team were itching to get back on the ice to prepare for this season.
Unfortunately, due to the impact of COVID-19, the team’s return to the ice was delayed. The delay was certainly not what PC wanted, especially after the team’s early exit from the Hockey East Tournament. However, despite the team’s strange offseason, they made the most of it and focused on controlling what they could. Their hard work has produced great results thus far in the 2020-2021 season.
Despite the different feel of this season, Kelly approached the year with the same game plan as always. When asked about his approach, Kelly responded, “When it comes down to just the game and our game plan, it was the same mentality going into it. It’s ‘win as many games as you can, win the league, get to the NCAA tournament, and compete for a national championship.’” He continued, “Those are our goals every year and that’s our vision every year and we don’t waver from that.” Kelly has also ensured that his players and staff stay healthy, reiterating that everyone’s health during the pandemic is the top priority.
Kelly’s determined game plan paid off from the very start. PC began the season on a seven-game winning streak, starting 6-0-1 during that stretch. Kelly attributed much of the team’s success during those first seven games to an excellent power play and exceptional goaltending. Kelly emphasized, “Whenever you can chip in a special team’s goal and then you’re able to get two or three more five on five [goals], you’re putting yourself in a good [position] to win the game.”
He added, “We were getting great goaltending too. Great goaltending can take you a long way, especially early in the season.” Kelly explained that goaltending is especially important early in the season when other areas of the team’s game are still developing, and that a few extra saves can be the difference maker. Both an effective power play and great goaltending definitely gave PC a boost during the opening stretch of the season, and the team has continued to build off of that.
Sometimes, teams rely on one or two key players to propel them throughout the season and lead the team to victory. However, when asked if there was any one player on the team who has exceeded expectations this season, Kelly could not point to one specific player. “I would say everyone on our team [has exceeded expectations] from last year to this year. Their game has developed and grown.”
Elaborating on this point, Kelly said, “We talk a lot in our program about having a beginner’s mindset. Get better every day [and] learn something new every day.” Kelly concluded his response to this question by emphasizing how impressed he is by his players. “Each year that I’ve come back and started a season, I’m surprised by everyone.” He continued, “It’s fun to see as a coach that we have a group of [players] that are very dedicated to improving their craft and always getting better.”
While Kelly stressed that every single player on the team has done a great job of working hard and improving every day, he highlighted one player in particular that has truly been a catalyst for the team’s success this season. “To compete at a high level, to win a Hockey East Championship, to win a National Championship, you need an elite goalie, and I feel like she [Sandra Arbstreiter ’21] has been playing very elite this year and we’re very impressed with how she’s come along over the last two years.”
Arbstreiter’s statistics certainly prove that she has performed at an elite level this season. Through 17 regular-season games, Arbstreiter has recorded 424 saves and boasts an impressive save percentage of 92.8 percent. PC has won 10 of those 17 games and Arbstreiter’s excellent goaltending has been a major reason for PC’s success.
The Friars finished the regular season with a record of 10-6-1, good enough to rank No. 10 in the country and also earn a No. 3 seed in the Hockey East Tournament. As a No. 3 seed, PC was matched up against No. 6 seed Boston University in the Hockey East Quarterfinals.
This matchup between PC and BU marked the first time the two teams would meet this season. When asked what his team would need to focus on to be victorious over BU, Kelly spoke highly of the visiting Terriers. “They’re a really good team. They’ve got really good goaltending and they have a very high-end forward in Jesse Compher. I know Brian Durocher, the coach, very well…and he always has his team prepared and ready to go, so we [need] to make sure we’re ready to go too.”
In addition to preparing to combat BU’s strengths, Kelly discussed the importance of focusing on his own team’s strengths, as well. “Defense is huge,” he emphasized. “You want to limit their opportunities and chances. [Our defense] has been good all year but [we want to] keep tightening that up and working on that.”
Along with focusing on the team’s strong defense, Kelly explained the importance of staying competitive during the final stretch of the season when teams begin to get fatigued. He explained that everything comes down to, “Are you willing to outcompete your opponent every shift, every puck battle, every period, every minute of the game?” He concluded, “If you’re willing to do that, more times than not, you’re going to come out on top.”
When asked what his biggest takeaway from the regular season was, Kelly expressed how proud he is of his team for what they have accomplished and how they have adjusted. He continued, “They’ve been incredible at doing all the right stuff to get us to this point… Some teams out there don’t have this luxury to be playing this weekend in the playoffs. I’m just super proud of them and all they’ve done and overcome this year to get to this point.” Kelly certainly has a great deal to be proud of with his team. Not only have they exceeded and outperformed expectations on a daily basis, but they have also done everything in their power to beat adversity in an unprecedented season.
With all of this, PC entered their Hockey East Quarterfinal matchup on Feb. 28 ready to play. PC took the lead over BU at Schneider Arena just two minutes into the first period thanks to a wrist shot goal by Brooke Becker ’24. PC did not slow down from there, as Caroline Peterson ’22 notched the second goal for the Friars just over two minutes later. Then, on a power play in the second period, Hayley Lunny ’21 scored PC’s third goal of the contest.
Entering the game, BU had killed off a remarkable 97.1 percent of opponent power plays, making Lunny’s goal all the more impressive. The Terriers scored the following goal in the second period, but Peterson answered with her second goal of the game to extend PC’s lead to 4-1 heading into the third period. BU attempted a comeback, scoring two goals in the third period to cut the score to 4-3. However, BU’s valiant effort proved to be too little too late, as the Friars secured the victory by a final score of 4-3.
The impressive win earned PC a spot in the Hockey East Semifinals, where they will take on the University of Maine. PC will look to continue to build on its already impressive season by making a deep postseason run, as they are now just one game away from the finals. Doing so will mark a great success for a team that has exceeded expectations all year, just as coach Kelly emphasized.
“This article was printed prior to the semifinal game against UMaine. You can visit Friars.com for full results”
Women’s Hockey: Simply Terrific
Friars Break into National Rankings
By Liam Tormey ’22
Sports Assistant Editor
The Providence College Women’s Hockey Team held a record of 5-0-1 when the fall semester ended in mid-December. At the start of the new semester, the Friars are ranked 10th in the country with a 9-4-1 record.
Due to COVID-19 concerns, the Friars played only eight games while classes were out of session. Series against Boston University and the University of New Hampshire were both canceled. In the eight games that they did play, PC went 4-4-0.
To begin the winter break, the Friars hosted the University of Maine for two games on Dec. 18 and 19, 2020. The team split the weekend series against the Black Bears with a 4-0 victory and a 2-1 loss. In the victory, Sara Hjalmarsson ’22 and Annelise Rice ’21 led the way. Hjalmarsson recorded three assists while Rice scored two goals. Goaltender Sandra Abstreiter ’21 finished the night with a shutout, 23 saves, and her second shutout game of the year.
In the loss, Maine grabbed a goal in the first period before the Friars tied it up in the second, but an early third-period goal by the Bears sealed a victory and a split of the weekend series.
After a break due to the holiday season, PC was scheduled to play Boston University in a home-and-home series on Jan. 8 and 9, but due to COVID-19 health and safety protocols, the weekend series was postponed and has yet to be rescheduled.
Instead, the Friars traveled to the College of the Holy Cross on Jan. 9 to start off the new year against the 3-7-0 Crusaders. After falling in a 2-1 hole, the Friars would tie things up in the second with a goal from Hayley Lunny ’21. The Friars then exploded offensively in the third, as Lindsay Bochna ’24, Bailey Burton ’23, and Lauren DeBlois ’23 all netted goals to secure a 5-2 victory. The Friars ended with 48 shots on net and improved their record to 7-1-1.
Three of the Friars’ four losses since the winter break have come against a very strong Northeastern University squad. PC traveled to Boston for the first time this season on Jan. 12 to take on the Huskies. Unfortunately, the play of Huskies goalie Aerin Frankel and her 32-save shutout led to a Friar defeat.
Before their most recent games against Northeastern, the Friars got back on the winning track in a home-and-home with Merrimack University. The first period would remain scoreless, but Hjalmarsson got the Friars on the board in the second period. Ciare Barone ’22 would build the lead with a goal right before the end of the second, and Bochna would seal the deal with an empty netter to secure a 3-0 victory. Abstreiter made 22 saves in the shutout victory.
On Sunday, Jan. 17, the team again handled business against the Warriors. Isabelle Hardy ’23 put one in the net just 51 seconds into the contest. However, Merrimack would tie things up before the period ended and took the lead in the second. This proved to be of little issue to PC, as they rode another three-goal third to a 4-2 victory. Peterson, Burton, and Claire Tyo ’24, were the heroes in the third this time, as they helped push the Friars to an impressive 9-2-1 record.
The Friars’ most recent series was during the weekend of Jan. 22 in a home-and-home against Northeastern. Unfortunately for the Friars, the results were much of the same from the previous meeting. Prior to the game, the Huskies ranked fourth in the country. PC cut the lead down in the second period to make it a 2-1 game, but two goals in the third period lifted Northeastern to a 4-1 victory.
Saturday’s game was not much better. Northeastern jumped on PC from the start, riding three powerplay goals to a 5-0 win.
These results would bump the Friars down to No. 10 in the nation, the position in which they currently sit. Last weekend’s meeting against UNH was canceled due to COVID-related issues within the program. Like many teams in this altered season, the Friars will have to now wait and see when they are scheduled to play next.
Nevertheless, the Friars have enjoyed a tremendous start to their season. Hjalmarsson has been a major factor in the team’s success so far. She leads the team in points this season with 14 and has tallied five goals and nine assists. Additionally, Rice is tied for first in the nation with three game-winning goals this season.
Abstreiter, the senior goaltender from Freising, Germany, has appeared in every game for the Friars. She currently has a save percentage of .930 and a goals against average of 1.91, and is ranked 12th in the nation.
Another major part of the Friars’ success over the first 14 games of the season has been the power-play. The team is fourth in the country in power-play percentage at 24 percent with 12 power-play goals overall.
PC currently sits third in the Hockey East standings just behind Boston College and Northeastern with a strong 9-4-1 record and will look to continue to climb even higher in the rankings.
Former Friars Make History as First Female NHL Scout
A True Trailblaxer, Cammi Granato ’93 Is No Newcomer to Breaking Barriers
by Liam Tormey ’22
Cammi Granato ’93 has been the first to achieve a lot of things in her life. She was one of the first women to be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, she was the first to captain the United States Women’s Hockey Team to an Olympic Gold Medal, and now, she is the first female scout in National Hockey League history.
Growing up in Downers Grove, IL, Granato was one of six siblings. Her household was hockey-centric, as her entire family loved the sport.
“My family had a direct impact on who I was as a person and an athlete. I grew up in a team environment. Everything was family first,” Granato said while describing her upbringing. Her brothers were very influential in shaping the hockey player she would become. Tony Granato would go on to have a very successful career in the NHL and is now the head coach of the University of Wisconsin’s Men’s Hockey Team. Her other brother, Don, is now an assistant coach for the Buffalo Sabers in the NHL.
Although it was never easy having to play with her brothers all the time, Granato admitted, “I followed my three older brothers everywhere they went. They never took it easy on me, I always had to keep up if I wanted to play.” When they started to give her a hard time, she recalls her brothers saying, “Do not tell mom.” When she was halfway up the basement stairs, ready to express her frustrations to her mother, she realized, “They will not let me play again if I do this.”
The hardships of being a woman in a male-dominated sport never made Granato back down. Her brothers helped shape her into a player who was confident enough in herself to play at the highest level. Granato says she is most appreciative of “the standard they set for me.”
Her journey came with challenges, however. As a teenager, Granato was “the only girl. [She] never played against a girl until [she] was 18.” Playing with her brothers for a club team, she had to deal with constant whispers and snickers from a whole host of people. Granato recalls getting to the rink one day only for the figure skaters to “turn off the lights on me in the bathroom and call me weird and giggle at me.”
This was only one of the many obstacles she met in the rink. Granato remembers getting intentionally blindsided on the ice one time and suffering a concussion as a result. Another time, a coach told her before the game that he would break her collarbone if she played. A teammate’s father even told Granato’s coach his son would not play if a girl was playing.
“At the same time, I was shielded by all of the noise,” said Granato. “My coach was terrific, I had my family behind me, and they all accepted me.”
Granato’s path to Providence College was one she never thought possible. It all started when another PC graduate caught her eye. Cindy Curley ’85 was Granato’s first inspiration as a woman in hockey; Curley quickly became her role model. “I knew about her when someone sent me a pamphlet in grade seven. My mom said, ‘Did you know girls played hockey in college?’ In Illinois, we had no idea that women played.”
Granato came to PC in 1989 and admitted she was homesick the first month because she was so close with her family. Everything changed when she was able to get on the ice and be with her team. “Once hockey started,” Granato said, “I realized I had this instant team and the friendships started to form. The memories for me were formed within the day-to-day.”
The records show Granato found her home at Schneider Arena. During her time at PC, she won Rookie of the Year, ECAC Player of the Year three times, and helped PC win back-to-back conference titles. She still leads the program in points (256), goals (139), and remains second in assists (117). She was inducted into the PC Hockey Hall of Fame in 2013. “Those four years were amazing,” recalled Granato.
In the 1998 Winter Olympics, there was a women’s ice hockey competition for the first time in history. Granato got the opportunity to captain the inaugural USA Women’s Hockey Team. The result: a gold medal.
“Being able to participate was surreal and being able to compete for a gold medal, who would have thought it was even possible?” Granato said. She sees playing on the Olympic team as one of her biggest accomplishments. “It doesn’t get any better than that,” she said. “The pinnacle for me, playing in the Olympics and winning the gold was incredibly memorable. It is something I am very grateful for.”
In 2010, Granato was one of first two women to ever be inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame. It was never her goal while playing to get into the Hall. She admits, “I never thought about that, about getting into it. I had never aspired to do it because I didn’t know it was possible.”
When the opportunity finally arrived, it meant more for her than just being inducted: “I was humbled and honored. I knew it was not just about me, it was about women. I knew there were women before me who deserved it. It was a representation for women, and I see it as a day of recognition of women. It was special.”
Granato is now the first female scout in NHL history. While living in Vancouver, she heard that Seattle was the destination for the new NHL expansion team and immediately thought it would be the perfect fit.
Rob Francis, the general manager for the Seattle Kraken, played with Granato’s husband, Ray Ferraro, and asked for Granato’s number. “He offered me the position and I just thought it was a great fit,” she recalled.
After Granato was named one of the Kraken’s scouts in 2019, Francis spoke to the media and told them that, “I know she’s a female pro scout for us, but her résumé is why she got the job— not because she’s female.”
Currently, Granato is scouting the professional players in the NHL, specifically in the Pacific Division of the Western Conference. “The position itself was super natural to me,” she said. “I love analyzing the game and that has come from being in a family of coaches and brothers who love watching game tape.” She added that “sitting up in the press box with ten other guys is not something I’m not used to.”
Granato is very excited for the opportunity to continue to be involved in the game of hockey. She says for the future, “I definitely want to stay in the game and be at the level I am at. It is really enjoyable being a part of an organization especially like Seattle. The environment is great.”
After all, hockey has been a part of Granato’s life since day one. “Hockey in general is just a part of me. I don’t know life without hockey. It’s second nature to me.” Granato says she has more goals for the future, ones she wishes to keep to herself, but for now she is happy with the balance between her family at home and her team in Seattle.
A trailblazer in every sense of the word, one can only wait and see what barrier Granato will break next.