Friday, 12 September 2014

Taylor Crosby to stand between the pipes for the Northeastern Huskies

Carrying on in the tradition of elite goaltenders at Northeastern, Taylor Crosby joins the program in the autumn of 2014. Starting with Chanda Gunn, who would play for the United States national team, other prominent goaltenders included Leah Sulyma (who once made 100 saves at the Canada Winter Games), Florence Schelling, who earned a bronze medal at Sochi 2014, and current backstop Chloe Desjardins.

The younger sister of Sid “The Kid” Crosby, she is doing more than following in his footsteps. Of note, her father, Troy was a goaltender drafted by the Montreal Canadiens in 1984. Eight years younger than her brother, she began playing at the age of 10, while her brother was competing with the Rimouski Oceanic. Coincidentally, future Clarkson Cup champion goaltender Jenny Lavigne attended the Oceanic training camp.

Despite the age difference, Sidney would shoot pucks at her while she was 14. Prior to Northeastern, she would compete at the prep school level at Shattuck St. Mary’s, where her brother led the school to a national title in 2003. As a side note, elite women’s hockey talent such as Brianna Decker, Amanda Kessel and the Lamoureux Twins once played at Shattuck as well. Crosby’s teammate, Brooke Boquist, shall suit up for Hockey East rival Providence College.

Last summer, Crosby was invited to the Hockey Canada National Women’s Program U18 goaltending camp. She was joined by the likes of Kassidy Sauve and Shea Tiley, who would help Canada win a gold medal at the 2014 IIHF U18 Women’s Worlds. As a side note, Tiley committed to the defending Frozen Four champion Clarkson Golden Knights.

Other goalies at the camp included Hannah Baker, Amelia Boughn, Marlene Boissonnault, Alysia DaSilva and Julia VanDyk. Their paths may likely cross with Crosby in future NCAA play. Crosby’s participation at the camp was complemented by an opportunity to participate in the prestigious IIHF U18 High Performance Camp, held in Sheffield, England.

This season at Northeastern, she will likely occupy a backup role to Chloe Desjardins, as she transitions to NCAA hockey. Of note, Desjardins spent her freshman season apprenticing behind Florence Schelling. Having logged 40 wins over the last two seasons, Desjardins is a capable mentor for Crosby.

Later in September, the Huskies shall compete in an exhibition game against the CWHL’s Montreal Stars, the team that Lavigne led to a Clarkson Cup in 2012. As a side note, Crosby’s mom, Trina, was a member of the CWHL’s Board of Directors for the 2013-14 campaign.

If Crosby were to make her Huskies debut against a team from Montreal, the NHL city that drafted his father, along with its women’s hockey legacy, it would bring her young and promising career full circle. Another possibility to consider is one that was brought up by Al Daniel in his column. Marie-Philip Poulin, dubbed the female Sidney Crosby, logged the gold medal winning goals in the 2010 and 2014 Winter Games. In addition, Sidney scored the gold medal winning goal for the men’s team in 2010.

Of note, Poulin competes for the Boston University Terriers, one of the Huskies conference rivals. The chance for the two to play against each other would make for a unique chapter in modern women’s hockey history.

Besides the chance to play Poulin, the Hockey East conference (which includes four Boston-based teams) will offer Crosby some formidable goaltending foes. Emerance Maschmeyer, another product of Hockey Canada’s Under-18 national team stands between the pipes for Harvard.

Fellow Shattuck alum, Mia Becker is entering her sophomore season with Boston University. Freshman Erin O’Neil, the winner of Minnesota’s Let’s Play Hockey award, will solidify BU’s goaltending. A pair of freshman goaltenders, Katie Burt and Gabriela Switaj, comprises the future for Boston College. Such talent ensures that the future of Hockey East play remains great.

Taking into account that Northeastern has claimed regular season conference titles and Beanpot championships; a chance to compete in the NCAA tournament has eluded them. As Crosby hopes to emulate her brother’s championship ways, such ambitions may prove to be a winning partnership with Northeastern.

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