Monday, 18 November 2013

Bradi Cochrane one of the rising stars of women’s hockey

As the sport of women’s hockey continues to experience unprecedented growth and foundations are set in place for a strong future, a key element will be the quality of coaching. Bradi Cochrane is not only a top quality coach but is one of the true rising stars in the game of women’s hockey.

While remarkable women such as Shannon Miller, Digit Murphy and Melody Davidson helped establish a presence of quality female coaching in hockey, a new generation of stars is helping to carry on their work. Coaches such as Cochrane and Kim McCullough (head coach of Team Ontario Blue in 2013) are part of this new group of female coaches building on their legacy.

Currently serving as the head coach of the Oakville Hornets in the Provincial Women’s Hockey League, quite possibly the most talented junior girls hockey league in North America, she has helped develop many of her players into competitors for the Ontario U18 teams (Red and Blue), Canada U18 national squad and post-secondary leagues such as the NCAA and CIS.

At the 2013 Canadian Under-18 Nationals, Cochrane would be the bench boss as Team Ontario Red claimed the gold medal. Of note, it was the second consecutive gold that she would win in her storied coaching career. In 2012, she was part of Team Ontario Blue’s coaching staff which grabbed the gold.

Part of her commitment to being a top coach is also surrounding herself with remarkable people. With Team Ontario Red, Cochrane had Kim Devereaux and Keven Schram as assistant coaches. Amanda Mazzotta, one of the greatest Ivy League goaltenders of the last decade, served as the video coach on her coaching staff.

At Oakville, one of her assistant coaches is Shannon Moulson. While Moulson’s brother is a competitor with the Buffalo Sabres, she is also in pro hockey. As a member of the Toronto Furies in the CWHL, she competes against some of the world’s finest women’s hockey players.

Of note, Cochrane has many remarkable ties to the CWHL. As a former player at Niagara University, past Purple Eagles players such as Jody Katz and Lindsay Vine would also carve remarkable careers in the CWHL. Vine commented on Cochrane’s friendship and her coaching influence,

“Bradi Cochrane is a good friend of mine. She has a great head for the game and helped me through my four years at Niagara. She really knows the game of hockey and helped us a lot.”

Every season that goes by is testament to Cochrane’s strong coaching talent. In addition to coaching, she also serves as an instructor at Amy Turek’s Victory Hockey School. While there is no question that she is equally deserving of one day earning a spot with Team Canada’s U18 coaching staff or with a coaching role in the CWHL, she is helping to positively influence a generation of young women’s players while serving as a role model for other former players looking to make the move into the realm of coaching.

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