Today the Connecticut Whale made a big splash by adding two new faces to the pod in addition to re-signing defender Hanna Beattie. Joining the Whale for the first time are forwards Randi Griffin, who played for the Unified Team Korea at the PyeongChang Olympics, and D-III standout Sarah Hughson.
Griffin, 29, scored a historic goal for Korea on hockey’s biggest stage in PyeongChang just a few months ago. She played her collegiate hockey at Harvard University, where she put up 21 points in 33 games as a senior in the 2009-10 season. Griffin plans to continue to represent Korea in international tournaments and believes that the NWHL is the best place for her to hone her skills.
“I’m delighted to be part of the Whale as we contend for the Isobel Cup, and grateful to the NWHL because it’s an incredible platform to be able to train and compete while continuing to play for Team Korea in international competitions,” Griffin shared in the league’s release. “The Whale were my first choice because I live in Connecticut and they clearly have the best uniforms!”
Randi Griffin and Jingyu Lee both finished in the green in faceoffs for Korea. Griffin went 8/13 (61.54%). Alina Muller led the Swiss forwards with a dominant 12/15 (80%) on the dot in addition to scoring 4 goals and picking up 2 assists. #PyeongChang2018— Mike Murphy (@DigDeepBSB) February 10, 2018
Head coach Ryan Equale is likely hoping that Griffin and Hughson will be able to provide his team with some scoring depth in 2018-19. Hughson is coming off of a tremendous senior season at Elmira College (D-III) where she scored 28 goals in 30 games. Whether or not she will be able to find her scoring touch as a pro remains to be seen, but we already know that D-III players can make a big impact in the NWHL.
Beattie, like Hughson, is a product of an NCAA D-III program. She played her college hockey at Williams College before appearing in 12 games for the Whale last year. Beattie will be searching for her first NWHL point on Connecticut’s blue line this season. She’s the second defender to sign with the Whale; Rachael Ade was the first.
The Whale now have five of their 25 roster spots filled for next season, but remain the only NWHL team without a goaltender under contract.
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