USA Hockey Magazine

August 2017

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AUGUST 2017 USAHOCKEYMAGAZINE.COM // 25 —Courtney Kennedy, Boston College Associate Head Coach By Jessi Pierce IT WASN'T LONG AGO THAT men dominated hockey's icy landscape. That was until pioneering females began to rewrite the narrative. Thanks to a growing list of women who have cracked the glass ceil- ing, the once male-dominated hockey world now includes a prominent group of ladies running the show on the ice and behind the scenes. Whether they hung up their skates after a collegiate, Olympic or professional career, these five women are playing a leading role in changing the face of the game. The Coach Courtney Kennedy, Boston College Associate Head Coach Courtney Kennedy has seen hockey grow significantly at every level of the women's game since she began playing at the age of 8. An Olympian in 2002 and 2006, she turned her sights to coaching immediately after her playing career ended. Coaching, as it turned out, was in her blood. "I was lucky enough to have my dad as a coach growing up," she said. "I actually enjoyed playing the game more because of how my dad coached. The best part about him is no matter what, boy or girl, he treated you like an athlete. I want to be like him because he's the best coach I've ever had." Kennedy has been an assistant coach with the U.S. Under-18 Women's Team at the IIHF U18 Women's World Championships on three separate occasions (silver medals in 2013 and 2014, and gold in 2017). In 11 seasons with Boston College, where she coaches with former Olympic teammate Katie King, she has been equally success- ful with six Frozen Four appearances and a 2016 national runner-up finish. Kennedy acknowledges there is still a lack of women coaches at every level of the game, a trend she would like to help reverse. "I never had a female coach until college," she said. "But all the men I had were passionate about the women's game, and that's what it takes. You need to treat the girls as athletes, not just as a girl. "As a female who grew up playing the game, I recognize the impor- tance of that and I think it's a part of what helps me be the best coach I can be." Confidence Is The Key: "There are a lot of more than capa- ble females who can get D-I or D-III head [coaching] jobs if they would just get involved. I wish more females would be more confident and go in and get a job and not think, 'Well geez, hmm, I don't know, can I do this?' Sometimes you need a little confidence." —Courtney Kennedy The Teacher Carrie Keil, National Team Development Program Skating Coach Carrie Keil grew up a figure skater but always had a passion for hockey. After graduating from the University of Michigan she put her skating abilities to good use as a figure skating coach and trainer at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube in Michigan. There she began to include hockey play- ers into her power skating courses. She did, however, have to make a few wardrobe adjustments before committing to hockey-only. "As soon as they see those white figure skates with the toe-picks, they're going, 'Ah, I don't know about this,'" Keil said with a laugh. "So, I switched over to hockey skates and that got me a lot of buy in off the bat." Keil has worked with American stars Dylan Larkin, Auston Matthews and Jack Eichel, among other elite talent in her 18 seasons with the NTDP. From dryland training to working on their stride and balance, she has helped hundreds of players with their skating skills. When she's not with the NTDP, she also trains youth players from the grassroots up to elite players. "I love working with the amateur players, and the guys at the NTDP Ever Expanding Roles Have Helped More Women Break Hockey's Glass Ceiling "YOU NEED TO TREAT THE GIRLS AS ATHLETES, NOT JUST AS A GIRL"

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