Women’s Hockey: Goalie represents at skills challenge

Women’s Hockey: Goalie represents at skills challenge

Beware opponents: Northeastern women’s hockey goalie Marisa Hourihan is coming back to the ice.

This time she’s going against the best college hockey players in the NCAA.

Hourihan, who ranks second on Northeastern’s saves list (2,388), will represent the East squad in the first-ever NCAA Skills Challenge (April 7 at 7 p.m., ESPN) at the Frozen Four. Hourihan sits with esteemed company, being just one of three Women’s Hockey East seniors selected to participate by members of the NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Committee, the American College Hockey Association and the National Youth Sports Corporation.

“I think it’s a huge deal,” Hourihan said. “I’m very proud and excited that I was chosen to go [to] Milwaukee and represent the east coast.”

Hourihan will compete on a team of 14 players comprised of 12 skaters (six male, six female) and four goalies (two male, two female) against a similar team with players from Division I schools in the West. The skaters will participate in five events – puck control relay, fastest skater, hardest shot, rapid-fire shooting and penalty shot.

Hourihan will begin the event with a slight disadvantage, having not been on the ice since the Huskies’ last game on Feb. 26 (a 5-2 loss to Niagara). Her competitors from the west will be in top shape because those schools tend to play games later into the year.

“I think my chances are fine and I’m confident in how I play,” Hourihan said. “I know some of the west coast goalies are still playing, like the Wisconsin goalie who’s practicing for the Frozen Four and competing in games.”

A two-time Hockey East All-Star honorable mention, Hourihan started 72 games during her Husky career and posted a 3.31 goals against average and a .910 save percentage. Hourihan also holds the Northeastern record for saves in a game (57 against Providence on Jan. 25, 2005) and saves in a period (23 against Clarkson on Nov. 7, 2004).

The skills competition will be a challenge for Hourihan, who favors the intensity of a game situation.

“I like the pressure; I like having to stay focused, knowing any type of puck can go in,” Hourihan said. “I’m more of a game goalie than a practice goalie. I’m kinda nervous and I don’t want to make a fool of myself.”

Leave a Reply