To women’s and girls’ hockey in Vermont, Amanda Pelkey is more than just a player. She’s the first true success story of the women’s game in the Green Mountain State, and only the second Vermont native to play for any U.S. senior national team.
Even before she skated for the Catamounts for the first time, Pelkey was an accomplished player, playing for three U.S. U18 World Championship teams, winning two gold medals and a silver and co-leading the tournament in scoring in 2011 with 10 points.
When she joined the UVM women’s hockey program in 2011, the program was...not in a strong position, to put it lightly. Their all-time career Division I leading scorers couldn’t crack 50 points over four years. The team had won 10 games just once, and had never sniffed .500 at the Division I level.
When the Montpelier native graduated in 2015, she had practically rewritten the hockey record books, and played a part in lifting the program on the upward trajectory it continues on today.
Take one look at the UVM record books. Most goals, single season - Pelkey (21, 2013–14). Most points, single season - Pelkey (40, 2013–14). Most goals, career - Pelkey (49). Most points, career - Pelkey (105). Most assists, career - Pelkey (56).
Pelkey co-captained the Catamounts to the program’s first Division I season over .500 in her junior year of 2013–14 and helped them get to the Hockey East semifinals for the first time ever, setting up Brittany Zuback’s triple-OT winner against Maine in the WHEA quarterfinals. When she was the go-to at UVM, Pelkey delivered, time and time again, whether it be scoring herself or setting up a teammate. That junior season saw her named a New England Hockey Writers’ Division I All-American and a Hockey East All-Star.
After her graduation in 2015, Pelkey joined the Boston Pride as a free agent following the formation of the National Women’s Hockey League. Her first season saw her post 10 points in 16 games, earn a spot in the All-Star Game, and win the inaugural Isobel Cup, posting four points in the playoffs. She also played her first World Championship for the U.S., playing four games in the USA gold medal run, and would earn a gold again in 2017, playing five games with one goal.
Pelkey is going to be with the U.S. women’s national team this season, and hopes to add Olympic gold to her trophy case. In the long term, she probably won’t be the number one option like she was during her days at UVM, but she will serve in a role as a solid lower-line depth contributor for the U.S.