The Connecticut Whale announced on Tuesday that they signed Yale University assistant coach, Amanda Boulier, to a contract for the 2017-2018 National Women’s Hockey League season.
The 24-year-old record setting defender from St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York, was given her blessing, by Yale head coach, Joakim Flygh, to continue to play the game that she loves while continuing to run the defense in New Haven. The schedule in the NWHL, of two weeknight practices and one game per week, helps to allow the players the opportunity for an additional career.
“Hockey is my passion, so being able to coach and play is really amazing,” said Boulier. “Playing after St. Lawrence had been on my mind, but I wanted to get a year of coaching under my belt. [NWHL Deputy Commissioner], Hayley Moore brought up the opportunity this summer and I was excited about it. I love coaching, but everyone knows there is nothing like playing the game.”
Boulier holds the St. Lawrence Saints record for most goals and points by a defender. In 150 games with the Saints, she scored 28 goals and 76 assists while patrolling the blueline. She helped lead the school to three seasons of 19 or more wins, as well as an Eastern College Athletic Conference Tournament Championship and National Collegiate Athletic Association Quarterfinals appearance in 2012. An injury sidelined her during her junior season.
The five-foot-one blueliner played development hockey at Westminster School in Simsbury, Connecticut and the Connecticut Polar Bears where she was the captain for both clubs. She also helped the United States Under-18 National Team capture the gold at the 2011 World Championship in Sweden.
The Philosophy major with a Masters of Education in Educational Leadership, received most valuable player and best defensive player honors during her junior and senior seasons at St. Lawrence.
“I would like to pick up where I left off as a player in my college career, but time will tell,” added Boulier. “I hope to be an impact player for the Whale, but for now, the goal is to earn a spot and a regular shift.”
The Whale also added Philadelphia born defender, Cassie Dunne last Thursday. The Penn State graduate played four seasons on the school’s American Collegiate Hockey Association team. She also co-captained the bronze medal winning, U.S. Women’s National team during the 2017 Winter World University Games.
“I am honored to sign with the Whale and join a league whose commitment to growing the game is one that I wholeheartedly share,” said Dunne. “There is so much potential for the Whale this season. I am excited to join coach Ryan Equale in his first season and see how we grow as a team.”
In 20 games this past season with the Nittany Lions, she put up six goals and two assists while helping to protect the back end. Over her four years in State College, Pennsylvania, she was able to score 13 goals and 16 assists in 93 games.
Last season she was named Eastern Collegiate Women’s Hockey League First Team All-Conference and was an ACHA Academic All-American. During her freshman season, the Lady Ice Lions advanced to the ACHA Division Two National Championship Game and then earned a spot in the ACHA Division One National Tournament.
“I am thrilled for Cassie. It has been a pleasure watching her grow as a hockey player, and more importantly as a person,” said Penn State head coach Patrick Fung. “Now it is time for her to get to work once again and make the most of this opportunity she has been blessed with. I can’t wait to see this next chapter for her in the NWHL.”
“I will always be thankful to Pat and his commitment to helping me succeed,” added Dunne. “I will miss the game nights in Pegula Ice Arena with my teammates, but will never forget the feeling of playing with `Penn State’ across my jersey.”
She developed her game with the Princeton Tiger Lilies girls’ program and played for the boys’ team in high school.
“Growing up in Philadelphia, there was not much ice hockey specifically for a girl,” said Dunne.
The Public Relations major and Business minor also works as a communications coordinator for Comcast.