Northeastern’s Fiona Rice reflects on her impact upon induction into the Beanpot Hall of Fame


Ali Caudle

Northeastern women’s hockey alumnus Fiona Rice is honored as an inductee in the Women’s Beanpot Hall of Fame. From 1986 to 1989, Rice helped the Huskies to four consecutive Beanpot titles.

Sarah Popeck, news staff

At Boston College’s Conte Forum Feb. 7, another Husky entered the Women’s Beanpot Hall of Fame to celebrate her astounding accomplishments.

Fiona Rice, from the class of 1990, received the honor alongside Abby Cook of Boston University, Emerance Maschmeyer of Harvard and Mary Restuccia of Boston College. 

The ceremony occurred minutes after the Huskies won the semifinals of this year’s Beanpot competition, with many of her former teammates there to celebrate the special moment.

Now celebrating its 44th anniversary, the women’s Beanpot tournament was different at its start.

“We were one of the first teams to go to Beanpot. BU and BC were still club teams, so it was not as big of an event,” Rice said. “Beanpot was always a highlight of playing.”

Rice helped Northeastern secure four straight Beanpot championship titles, from 1986 to 1989, and was named MVP during her sophomore year. In that 1987 title game, three of the goals in their 7-1 victory game over Harvard were owed to her.

“I had a lot of good teammates. We had strong teams and a lot of good players, and I am fortunate that they singled me out that year,” Rice said.

Rice had also held the Northeastern program record for assists for years, tallying 118 assists in her career. Her assist record was only recently broken this season by graduate student forward Alina Müller. 

“We’re thankful that she chose Northeastern and is a proud alum,” said women’s ice hockey assistant coach Lindsay Berman. “She played alongside some amazing players, it’s cool that she was recognized and we’re really proud of her”

Berman, who is also an alumnus of the program, sees Rice’s achievements every day through Müller.

“[Müller] is thankful for the opportunity to come to the rink every day because of the people who paved the way for her,” Berman said. “She respects the history of our program and the people who came before us.”

After her remarkable years with Northeastern, Rice kept hockey in her life. She played for a few years, coached at the high school level and worked with Boston University’s former head coach Kerstin Matthews while their women’s hockey team was still on the club level.

“It’s hard to walk away from it after a while,” Rice said.

She mainly sticks to watching nowadays, but makes sure to follow college teams and attend the Beanpot tournaments annually. The players on the team can count on Rice as a friendly face at the games and regularly interact with her.

“The caliber of these four teams in Boston has only grown so much. Every time you play them, it’s a challenge and it’s a game,” Rice said, telling the current team to “enjoy it, have fun, and bring it home for the school.” 

Rice was named to the 40th anniversary Women’s Beanpot team, which paid tribute to her status as a standout player in the game’s history. She was also inducted into Northeastern’s Hall of Fame in 2021.

“When I come back and see how much the program has grown and the caliber of hockey, we think of ourselves as pioneers,” Rice said. “We started when it was early on in the program, so being honored like this is really touching.”

This season, the women’s hockey team was full of momentum, winning the Beanpot tournament, taking home the Hockey East Championship and getting a chance to go to the Frozen Four

“We have been able to keep [Rice’s] spirit going with players like Aerin Frankel and Alina Müller. The list goes on of the players who have come through since then,” Berman said.

Rice reflected on the incredible progress made in the past decades and her gratitude to be a part of the game’s history. 

“Watching these women play at Beanpot is amazing. It goes to the coaching staff; it goes to all the work they put in, as an alumni more than anything else,” Rice said. “It is really nice to see them championing the program.”

Currently, Rice is a project coordinator at Boston University, working on a clinical trial that involves educational intervention and targets infant care. Approaching her 25th year at the Chobanian & Avedisian School of Medicine, she has a passion for research. Even so, she knows who to root for every year. 

“When it comes to hockey, I am not torn,” she said. “Northeastern is where my allegiance lies, that’s for sure.” 

Berman emphasized Rice’s impact on the program, and the foundation she set for the team.

“She’s a program changer. Not that we needed one when she came in, but she elevated the standards, and the players after her are seeing that,” Berman said, “She was a part of the beginning.”