By Madeline Sattler, News Staff
For any athlete, the ultimate goal is to compete at their sport’s highest possible level. For a female ice hockey player, that level is representing one’s country on the international scene and for sophomore forward Kendall Coyne, she is seeing her dreams become a reality.
On June 24, the Palos Heights, Ill. native was one of 25 hockey players named to the 2013-2014 US National team and one of 13 forwards chosen.
“I’m just taking it day by day,” Coyne said. “It’s so surreal.”
Coyne has been playing on the international scene since she was 15, when the US fielded a team for the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Women’s U-18 Championship in Canada. Coyne was the youngest player selected.
Since then, she has twice represented the states in the U-18 IIHF Championships scoring 22 goals and notching 11 assists. For the past three years, Coyne has been a member of the US senior team competing at the IIHF World Championships.
“A lot of us, including myself, have been in the program for a while,” Coyne said. “We all know each other and we have a common goal.”
In her two seasons for the Huskies, Coyne has 63 goals and 50 assists. She is the first Husky in 13 years to record at least 45 points in consecutive seasons. The last player to do so was Hilary Witt, who is the assistant coach for the USA Hockey program and also spent time coaching for Northeastern’s program.
Due to national commitments, Coyne will not be attending Northeastern this upcoming year and she will also miss out on the upcoming hockey season. With her numbers, the loss of Coyne is a big one for the Huskies, but the forward won’t be far from her teammates.
“We train in Bedford, so I’ll be around,” Coyne said.
After the roster was announced, the athletes were given two weeks off to rest and recuperate their bodies. Coyne plans on training at home for the month of July before heading back east and joining the team in August.
“I’m so fired up and they’re making us take two weeks,” Coyne said. “We’re all super excited to get going.”
The US team’s schedule has yet to be released, but Coyne expects to play a couple games against rival Canada.
The team will play together this fall and then another set of cuts will be made in December to determine the 21 athletes who will represent the US in the 2014 Olympics.
Obviously, Coyne said she hopes to be on that roster, but it isn’t in the front of her mind. She will focus on training, getting in shape and being the best possible athlete she can to represent her country.
“This is my dream, my goal,” Coyne said. “Hopefully, we can win a gold medal.”