Today, the NWHL announced the Boston Pride signed Harvard goalie Brianna Laing to the 2017-18 roster. The rookie free agent is the sister of Denna Laing, the NWHL forward who suffered a spinal cord injury at the Women’s Winter Classic on Dec. 31, 2015.
With Brianna signing, the Laings are also the first pair of hockey sisters to both play in the NWHL, as well as with the same team.
“Being able to play pro for the Pride – the team I always hoped to play for – is an amazing opportunity,” said Brianna in the league press release. “It’s extra special because it’s also a way to honor Denna, whom I think about every day and is such an inspiration to me and so many other people. The first time I wear that Boston Pride jersey with ‘LAING’ on the back will be incredible.”
Denna and her family received a great amount of support from the hockey community following her injury. Since her injury, all NWHL players have worn number 24 on their helmets, something the league announced it will continue next season. The Pride hosted the second Denna Day on March 5, 2017. “Hockey has been a big part of my life and my family’s life, so I’m proud to continue our legacy.”
Brianna played at Harvard with her younger sister Lexie Laing, a rising senior for the Crimson. In addition to playing for the Pride, Brianna will begin her Master’s of Conservation Medicine at Tuft University.
With the addition of Laing, the Pride now have ten roster spots filled, including two key unrestricted free agent signings in Janine Weber (New York Riveters, two seasons) and Kaliya Johnson (Connecticut Whale, one season). Laing is the first goalie named to the roster. There’s no word yet on whether Brittany Ott or Lauren Slebodnick will return to the team for the third season.