By James Duffy, sports editor
The Northeastern University (NU) women’s hockey team will be adding five freshmen in the fall, according to head coach Dave Flint. Forwards Bailey Coyne, Matti Hartman and Andrea Renner, and defensemen Paige Capistran and Codie Cross have all committed to come to Huntington Avenue this fall, Flint announced earlier this month.
The Huskies lost three key pieces after last season, after forward Kendall Coyne and defensemen Jordan Krause and Tori Hickel graduated. Kendall Coyne holds the school records for goals and points, and Krause and Hickel provided strong two-way play from the blue line. All three were instrumental in guiding NU to one of its most successful seasons in school history, and their departures leave gaping holes in the lineup.
Bailey Coyne headlines the freshman class, and aims to follow the success of her sister Kendall. Bailey Coyne has always had a strong commitment to athletics as well as academics, as she was an all-star softball player, honor roll student and state champion hockey player while attending the Loomis Chaffee School in Windsor, Conn..
“I chose Northeastern for both its athletics and its academics,” Coyne said in an email to The News. “I had the privilege of getting to know Northeastern first-hand through my sister’s experience. After hearing all the amazing things about the hockey program and the school as a whole, it made my choice more and more clear. Northeastern’s location, co-op program, coaches and athletics really appealed to me.”
Joining Coyne at forward are Hartman and Renner, from whom Flint expects big contributions. He praised Hartman’s skill and speed, as well as Renner’s versatility and strength in an interview with GoNU.
Like Coyne, Renner picked NU for more than just the athletic program.
“I chose Northeastern because it was the perfect fit for me,” Renner said. “It gave me so much to look forward to both academically and in the rink as well.”
Hartman added that the city was a major draw.
“I chose Northeastern because it has both incredible academics and athletics, and its location in Boston is perfect,” she said.
On the blue line, Capistran and Cross will provide depth to a defense that lost two starters. Like Coyne, Capistran played softball and hockey at Loomis Chaffee, and was named a New England Prep Girls Second Team All-Star last season. Flint called her “rock solid,” and she’ll likely compete for a chance at a starting role.
Capistran said she had a plethora of reasons to play college hockey at Matthews Arena.
“I chose Northeastern because I love what its women’s hockey program has become, and I believe I can be a part of something special,” she said. “I also love that NU is in the heart of Boston. I can’t wait to be a Husky.”
Cross is the lone international recruit, hailing from Alberta, Canada. In the 2014-15 season, she played for the Warner Hockey School of the Junior Women’s Hockey League (JWHL), where she was named Top Defenseman and was a second team all-star in the JWHL. She then represented her country at the U-18 Women’s World Championship. With the Canadian team, she notched two assists in five games and helped lead her team to a silver medal.
Flint had high praise for her game, saying that she can play a strong 200-foot game.
“She is an excellent skater, is highly skilled and can make plays at both ends of the ice,” Flint said of Cross. “She will strengthen our defensive corps and also provide some offense from the back end.”
Coyne, Hartman, Renner, Capistran, Cross and the rest of the Huskies will kick off their season with two exhibition games against the University of Toronto before taking the ice for their season opener against St. Lawrence University on Sept. 30 at Matthews Arena.
Photo courtesy Paul Stinson, Hanover Hockey Photos