Friday, 17 July 2015

Amanda Mazzotta a perfect fit for Quinnipiac Bobcats coaching staff

As the Quinnipiac Bobcats women’s ice hockey program comes off their greatest season yet (26-9-3), a key addition to the coaching staff indicates that an even better season may loom on the horizon. Former ECAC goaltending great Amanda Mazzotta joins the staff, ready to bring her acumen to a team determined to build on the momentum of qualifying for the 2015 NCAA tournament.

Since graduating from Cornell University, where she set an NCAA championship game record for most saves in one game, Mazzotta has maintained an exceptionally busy schedule. Raised in London, Ontario, she returned home, eager to share her knowledge with a new generation of future stars hoping to emulate her own success.

While she pursued a Master’s Degree in Kinesiology at the University of Western Ontario, it represented an opportunity to gain coaching experience. Handling numerous duties, with an emphasis on video sessions and goalie coaching (a task she also handled with Team Ontario Red in 2013), there is no question that her influence yielded positive results.

Although she spent only one season with the Western Mustangs, that season involved working with goaltender Kelly Campbell. After that one season with Mazzotta, it was not a coincidence that her statistics improved, culminating with the CIS National Championship in 2015.

Her tutelage will prove crucial for goaltender Sydney Rossman . Heading into her junior season, she will inherit the starting job from Chelsea Laden. Recognized as the top goaltender at the 2013 Nutmeg Classic, the former Minnetonka High School star also won the 2013 Let’s Play Hockey Senior Goalie of the Year Award in Minnesota.

In addition to her work with the Western Mustangs, Mazzotta was also involved with the London Devilettes program at the Bantam AA and PWHL levels. Having played for the Devilettes in her teens, it was a remarkable opportunity for her to give back to the program. The fact that the Bantam AA team captured a gold medal represented a great milestone in Mazzotta’s coaching career.

The most recent season represented a significant breakthrough as Mazzotta earned two significant coaching opportunities. Of note, she served on the staff of head coach Cassandra Turner (who is also part of Quinnipiac’s coaching staff) with the Canadian Under-18 National Women’s Team. From working at an August 2014 goaltender camp hosted by Hockey Canada, to being part of the staff that went to the IIHF U18 Women’s Worlds, it led into another great position.

With U18 national team colleague Cherie Piper serving as the general manager of Ontario’s women’s hockey entry at the 2015 Canada Winter Games, Mazzotta was named to head coach Bradi Cochrane’s staff. As several members from the Canadian U18 national team were also suiting up for Team Ontario, Mazzotta’s presence was certainly a welcome one, as the squad qualified for the medal round. 

Heading into this season, Mazzotta also has the privilege of being part of Hockey Canada’s U22/National Development Team staff. Such an appointment is testament to her ability to succeed at elite levels while demonstrating a positive attitude. Having also earned a Bachelor of Education from Cornell, along with a specialization in coaching as part of the Master’s Degree that she earned from the University of Western Ontario, she is an articulate and likeable personality who understands the occasional pressures of the game.

Having competed at elite levels of hockey herself (including the inaugural IIHF U18 Women’s Worlds in 2008), Mazzotta is very familiar with more than just succeeding, but the expectations of the game and the occasional self-imposed pressure to succeed. That familiarity not only makes her an ideal fit for a program on the rise such as Quinnipiac, it allows the young players someone that they can look up to as a big sister and a role model.

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