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Connecticut Whale Sign Nina Rodgers and Name Cydney Roesler Player/Coach

The Connecticut Whale announced on Monday that Nina Rodgers, the 17th Overall Selection in the 2017 National Women’s Hockey League’s entry draft, has agreed to join the team for the 2018-2019 season.

The 22-year-old forward helped the University of Minnesota capture a National Collegiate Athletic Association championship in 2015 and 2016, before playing for Boston University the past two seasons. The five-foot-five forward, scored 11 goals and 20 assists in 37 games for the Terriers, during her junior year.

At Boston University, she earned honors of Hockey East Player of the Week. Over her four-year collegiate career, between the Golden Gophers and Terriers, she scored 26 goals and 30 assists in 146 games.

Rodgers, who hails from Minnetonka, Minnesota said, “Looking back and realizing that I’ve been given this opportunity to live out my childhood dreams is a pretty remarkable thing. I just can’t wait to see how the sport of women’s hockey continues to grow, and I hope to contribute in any way, shape or form.”

Whale head coach, Ryan Equale added, “Nina is an excellent player who will have the opportunity to play a major role on our team this season and for years to come. We are very proud to have someone of her talent and character join the Connecticut Whale organization. The coaching staff is really looking forward to working with her.”

Prior to her collegiate career, she represented the United States on the National Under-18 team.

Rodgers added, “My hope is to contribute to the team’s success by creating good scoring opportunities and supporting my teammates on and off the ice. I am so grateful for the opportunity to continue my hockey career post-graduation and proud to play for the Connecticut Whale.”

Whale Defender Cydney Roesler to Serve as Player/Assistant Coach

The Whale also announced that defender, Cydney Roesler, will serve as a player/coach for the club during the 2018-2019 NWHL season.

In addition to skating for the Whale last season, the Quinnipiac University defender helped her alma mater as a volunteer assistant coach. The 24-year-old, blue liner has put up two goals and nine assists in 31 games over the past two NWHL seasons.

Roesler said, “I’m really looking forward to this new opportunity as player-assistant coach of the Whale. Coaching is something I am passionate about, and to have the opportunity to do it at the professional level is an honor and really exciting!”

She continued, “The league is going to be so strong this season. I feel very fortunate to be with the Whale and the NWHL again to help continue grow this game. The role will be different for me, but I believe I can adjust well to support the other players and head coach, Ryan Equale to reach our goal of winning the organization’s first championship.”

The Stittsville, Ontario native developed her hockey career over four seasons in the Ottawa Junior Senators girls’ hockey program. She played in 141 games over four seasons at Quinnipiac before going pro in 2016. Roessler helped Team Canada capture the gold at the 2012 U-18 International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship, leading all defenders with three goals.

Equale said, “I am thrilled to have the opportunity to add Cyd to the coaching staff of the Connecticut Whale. The departure of Sara Ugalde left a void that needed to be filled by the right candidate and Cyd more than meets the criteria I look for in a coach.”

He continued, “Cyd has a high hockey IQ, a strong level of commitment, solid communication skills and understands the needs of the team and the players as well as anyone in the league. In addition, the experience Cyd has received as a coach at Quinnipiac University will benefit all of our players, especially the large number of first and second year players, we have on our roster.”

The coach noted that the support from Commissioner, Dani Rylan and Deputy Commissioner, Hayley Moore on the decision has been tremendous. As far as he knows, Cyd will be the first player/coach in the NWHL. He is confident it will benefit everyone in the organization this fall.

Equale added, “There are so many talented women on the ice this in this league, while the primary goal is to assemble the best possible team to compete for and win the Isobel Cup, there is also a goal to have a diverse coaching staff and provide opportunities for women that have the skill sets needed to be effective behind the bench as well.”

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