Monday, 8 February 2016

Hayley Moore enjoys unique comeback with the Boston Pride

Days prior to the Women’s Winter Classic, the Boston Pride was faced with a predicament. Eight of its members were fulfilling obligations with the U.S. National Team over the holiday season, testament to the world-class talent on the Pride. With its roster depleted, concern ensued as to whether the Pride could ice an adequate roster for its final regular season game of the 2015 calendar year.

Facing off against the Connecticut Whale, who had won their first nine games, a determined Pride roster would ensure that any outcome against such a league powerhouse would be hard fought. With the consultation and encouragement of head coach Bobby Jay, an emergency player was literally in the Pride’s backyard.

Although Hayley Moore has been nothing short of superlative as the first General Manager in franchise history, acquiring an exceptional group of free agents and local talent, along with a solid draft class, she brings a remarkable breadth of hockey experience. In addition to having served as a coach with the Harvard Crimson, Moore can boast of a proud playing career.

Part of the Boston Blades’ inaugural roster in 2010-11, Moore played with the likes of Caitlin Cahow, Mandy Cronin, Jaclyn Hawkins, Jessica Koizumi and Angela Ruggiero. Having also played for legendary coach Digit Murphy at Brown University, one of the oldest women’s hockey programs in the United States, her acumen on the ice made her the perfect choice to grace the ice for the Pride.

While Moore did receive compensation for her role as an emergency player, it added to a solid New England hockey legacy. Of note, she joins Cherie Hendrickson as the only players to have participated in the inaugural season in both Blades and Pride history. In addition, Moore becomes one of several players from that inaugural Blades roster, including current Connecticut Whale players Sam Faber, Koizumi and Micaela Long to have competed in the NWHL’s inaugural season.

Just four days before the Women’s Winter Classic, Moore would suit up for the Pride, becoming the first General Manager in league history to skate in an NWHL regular season game. Donning Jordan Smelker’s #11 jersey (although Moore’s name was not on said jersey); Moore experienced the thrill of competition that eluded her since hanging up her skates in competitive women’s play.

Such an experience ran parallel to Bobby Jay, who once had to perform double duty as coach and emergency player during his time in the American Hockey League. In four games played with the Manchester Monarchs in the 2001-02 season, Jay accumulated a plus/minus rating of -1.

Against the Whale, Moore was on a line with Jillian Dempsey and Emily Field. Compiling a pair of shots and losing one faceoff, Moore also showed grit in the later periods, not afraid to get into the corners. Her determination help set a strong example for the other Pride players, who were uplifted by her efforts.

Taking a 1-0 lead after the first period, the Pride continued to attempt to add to their lead, relentlessly peppering the Connecticut crease with an impressive 19 shots in the second. While neither team would score in the second, the first period goal would prove to be crucial. Considering that both teams registered 30 shots on net in the third (17 by Boston), such persistence resulted in a pair of goals scored.

With Boston outshooting the Whale by a 44-34 margin, the final score was 2-1 in Boston’s favor as the Whale suffered the first loss in franchise history. Field, who was the recipient of many scoring opportunities as Moore constantly supplied her with crisp passes, received First Star of the Game honors. Scoring one of the Pride’s goals, Kelly Cooke was honored as the Second Star of the Game. Whale forward Kate Buesser, who was one of three Whale players (including Shannon Doyle and Kaleigh Fratkin) loaned to the Pride for the Women’s Winter Classic, scored the lone goal for the Whale, gaining Third Star of the Game in the process. 

Adding to the jubilation of such a special milestone was the fact that Connecticut Whale goaltender Nicole Stock was a former teammate of Moore with the Brown University Bears. As Kate Cimini reported with Today’s Slapshot, Moore was recognized with the Pride’s team award recognizing the Player of the Game.

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