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2020-21 NCAA Preview: Newcomers to watch in Hockey East

It’s time to get familiar with some of Hockey East’s newest recruits.

Michelle Jay

One of the first women’s college hockey conferences to do so, Hockey East announced its intent to return to play at the beginning of the month, dropping an abbreviated schedule for each program less than a week later.

The start of any new season means getting familiar with the new faces on your favorite team — and there are plenty of rookies to get acquainted with in Hockey East. We put together a “starting six” of players to keep your eye on ahead of puck drop on Nov. 20.

Forwards

Hannah Corneliusen, Merrimack: A product of Warroad, Minnesota, Hannah Corneliusen led all Minnesotan high schoolers in scoring last season, tallying 50 goals and 25 assists for 75 total points through just 25 games played. In the team’s 2019-20 postseason effort, she scored twice in the quarterfinal game and once in the semifinal as Warroad ultimately fell short of the state championship. Corneliusen has seen a surge in offensive production during her junior and senior high school seasons, which will undoubtedly allow her to fill the scoring gap left by 2020 Merrimack graduate Mikyla Grant-Mentis.

Millie Rose Sirum, Holy Cross: Though she was born in Norway, Millie Rose Sirum has spent the last three years enrolled at the Kent School in Connecticut and helped the team to the New England Championship in 2019. She already has quite the trophy case when it comes to international competition, having competed with the Norwegian women’s U18 team three times (winning bronze and silver medals, and earning the title of the tournament’s best forward in 2017). Sirum was also named to the Norwegian women’s senior team, winning two bronze medals at the Division I-A level.

Lacey Martin, BU: Lacey Martin has had an illustrious high school career in Minnesota, helping lead the Minnetonka Skippers to two consecutive third place finishes in the state postseason tournament during her junior and senior seasons. In her final year with the program, she tallied 50 points (28 goals, 22 assists), good for the team lead (and by a considerable margin, too), and was named the program’s MVP. Though she was never named to an American U18 roster, Martin was invited to the USA Hockey U18 Select camp in 2018 and 2019.

Honorable mentions: Lindsay Bochna (Providence), Tamara Giaquinto (BU), Natalie Tulchinsky (BC)

Defenders

Charli Kettyle, New Hampshire: 5’7” defender Charli Kettyle spent three seasons in Canada’s PWHL prior to starting her career at UNH, where she totaled nearly 50 points over three seasons. In 2020, she was honored with a selection to the U18 Women’s World Championship roster, where she donned the maple leaf for the first time and took home silver with the rest of Team Canada. Kettyle has also participated in Canada’s national U18 championship, leading Team Ontario Red to their fifth consecutive gold medal.

Maddie Crowley-Cahill, BC: A local Massachusetts product, Maddie Crowley-Cahill finished off her high school career at the Kent School in Connecticut, where she earned all-NEPSAC first team and top defenseman honors in 2020. In 2017, she won a NEPSAC championship with the New Hampton School, while also playing club hockey for the Boston Jr. Eagles, with whom she won two state titles. Touted as one of the best defenders in the class of 2024, Crowley-Cahill will strengthen an already-dominant blue line at BC alongside teammates Cayla Barnes and Alexie Guay.

Honorable mentions: Brianna Legros (New Hampshire), Julia Shaunessy (BU)

Goaltenders

Tia Chan, Connecticut: Over the course of her four years with the Burlington Barracudas of the PWHL, Tia Chan established herself as one of the most dominant goaltenders in the league. She consistently improved over the course of her junior tenure, posting save percentages of .939, .940, and .949, and recording goals against averages of 1.78, 1.66, and 1.40, between her second and fourth seasons (respectively).

Honorable mentions: Mireille Kingsley (Providence)

All numerical and statistical data courtesy of EliteProspects