5 Questions in 5 Minutes with PHF MVP Kennedy Marchment

After taking the PHF by storm in her first season, can Kennedy Marchment be even better this season? Oh, hell yeah.

Last season Kennedy Marchment joined the Connecticut Whale and took the PHF by storm. No one should have been surprised though. She was dominant at the collegiate level - 154 points in 142 games for St. Lawrence, and that in turn led to her being drafted second overall by the Buffalo Beauts in 2017. Instead of joining the NWHL, she opted to play in Sweden’s SDHL where she posted a ridiculous 188 points (85 goals) in 106 games (over three seasons).

In each of Marchment’s three seasons, her point total rose: 52-64-72. Oh, and those were 36-game seasons except the final season (2020-21). That was only 34 games. Imagine being a part of the Whale and you find out there’s a possibility you can add a player of that caliber to your roster - and she wants to be there.

After this past season, Marchment was awarded the PHF MVP award after leading the league in points (33), assists (20), +/- (+25), and points-per-game (1.7). She also probably led the league in - oh my goodness how did she get so wide open! Just a really crafty, smart, savvy player who really understands the game, and how to be successful.

Last season she was held pointless on opening night and then ripped off a ten-game point streak (7g-8a). Marchment then ended the season (through the playoffs) with another ten-game point streak (7g-15a). Eleven of her games with a point were games with multiple points.

A player of Marchment’s caliber is going to make everyone in the league better, right? And that includes her teammates, who (maybe, unfortunately) have to try to defend against her during their high-intensity practices.

“Oh, one hundred percent,” replied Whale captain Shannon Turner when asked if defending Marchment in practice has made her a better player. “It’s one thing when you’re working in practice, but I’m thankful I don’t have to play against my teammates on the weekend.”

“They make me good throughout the week - Katka, Kennedy, even some of the players that maybe don’t get the recognition like Janka. She beats my expletive in practice, her effort level is through the roof and it makes us better,” added the OG member of the league. “We hold each other accountable and when we show up on the ice together, that’s why we have these 4-1, 7-1 wins.”

For defender Emma Keenan, last season she had to face Marchment as a member of the Beauts and is thankful to be on the same side as the reigning MVP now.

“Our team has four really strong lines and all of our forwards are super talented. As a defender, that is so beneficial to your game - to do every rep in practice against good players, and a good line. These are players that can make plays and passes that help you get better every practice, every rep; which I love,” Keenan said after her team’s final preseason game.

“I’m always wanting to get better, improve my game, and be pushed. So I feel like our practices and the pace really pushes you to improve your game. I love it. I can’t complain, I don’t have to defend Kennedy or this group in games,” she added with a laugh.

I was recently able to do something that most players in the PHF haven’t been able to do - I slowed down Kennedy Marchment for about five minutes and was able to ask her a few questions about the upcoming season, her commitment to the Whale franchise, and more.

The Ice Garden: You could have had like 5 goals today! Do you think you can be even more productive this season?

Kennedy Marchment: (Grins) I think there’s always room for improvement; for myself and for the team. I think just trying to play my role to the best of my ability will in turn help me improve. We have really good coaches who help me day in and day out. We have great practices and on Wednesdays, our assistant coach Jack runs good skill drills for us. I think just all of that can allow me to accelerate my game. I set a pretty high standard for myself, so hopefully, this year can be a little bit better than last year for myself individually, for everyone in the locker room, and hopefully, we can get over the hump and win that Isobel Cup.

TIG: You are a master at finding those soft areas or open areas of the ice during gameplay. Is that something you work on, or is it a lot of that natural instinct and just being able to read the game?

KM: Watching video really helps me with that, seeing how other teams play and where the open ice is, but the biggest thing that our coaches preach to me is to always keep my feet moving and just get lost in that open ice. Our team does a really good job at spreading the ice and we switch sides a lot (in the middle of puck possession) so that in turn creates a lot of open ice for me. My linemates do a really good job at finding me and they make me look a little bit better (laughs), and a little bit more open.

TIG: Why did you ultimately decide to re-sign with the Whale for two years this off-season?

KM: For me, it was a pretty easy decision. I re-signed before the free agent deadline was even a thing. I want to be in Connecticut, I want to continue with this program. We have a lot of unfinished business this year and I’m really excited about it. I want to continue to work with this coaching staff and the girls here; we had a solid, core group who came back. I felt like the two-year contract gives me some stability and you really feel like a part of the team and to get to work at this for a full two years is great.

TIG: How can this team be better and balance that with not becoming complacent?

KM: I think we added a lot more depth to our team this year and I think the league will be a lot better this year as well - with a lot of new girls coming in from college or other leagues; there’s just more talent in the league this year. We have to hold ourselves to a higher standard and become a little more consistent with our compete level. Those will be big keys for our team this year.

TIG: What do you think has made Colton Orr a successful coach?

KM: He’s super passionate, and is in it to win it. He does everything he possibly can to make us the best team, whether that’s recruiting, ice times, his high-tempo practices, understanding when we’re tired and need it to be a little less, or what we need to work on. He dedicates a lot of his time to watching our video to help us correct the small things that will make us as successful as possible.