Now in her second pro season, Catherine Crawley already has 36 games of experience under her belt and while this season hasn’t been like last season for her and her team, the 26-year-old still loves growing and playing the game she loves so much. This season with the Metropolitan Riveters, she’s able to also do something else she loves - being a night nurse. While some players are starting to make a living wage playing hockey not all are, and Crawley, like many others, is still balancing two lives.
I spoke with her following a recent Rivs home game to find out what led to Crawley leaving the Connecticut Whale this off-season and a few other topics too.
The Ice Garden: Tonight was a tough, hard-fought loss for your team, what was the mood like in the locker room in the moments afterward?
Catherine Crawley: Of course we’re frustrated, but we have to have a short rearview mirror. We’ll take our mistakes (today), learn from them, and we’re already thinking about tomorrow’s game, getting a good recovery tonight, and start looking to the next shift. We just have to stick to our game plan.
TIG: I thought you had a really nice season with the Whale, and obviously the team fell just short of your goal. How come you didn’t re-sign with them?
CC: I really had a great time with the Whale. I work as a night nurse, so one of the big pulls for me (here) was that we practice in the morning. Even if I work a night shift I can still make practice in the morning no matter what. The Rivs reached out to me and from there, once it was settled on where and when our practices would be - it really worked out perfectly for me. It is a little difficult having a full-time schedule, but right now I say my full-time job is hockey. I’m always thinking about hockey. Whether it's recovery, or I’m at work rolling out and stretching during my shift when I have downtime. I’m doing whatever I can to keep my focus on everything I want to accomplish this season in hockey.
TIG: What is your commute like? Those of us that live in this area know traffic can be a tricky thing here.
CC: So I live in Elmsford, NY - which is about 20 minutes from the hospital and 40 minutes from our rink. Always avoid the GWB, I live right near the Tap so it’s perfect. Your GPS will always say the time is shorter if you take the GWB, but it’s never shorter. (Laughs) Never.
TIG: We’ve asked a lot of visiting players what it’s like to come in here and play games at this rink in a mall. But this is your home rink this season, what are your impressions of it all now that you’ve been here a few months?
CC: I personally love our rink and American Dream has been amazing to us. Our locker room is great, and the exposure we have is very different and awesome I think. The fans we’ve had love it, they say the view from the third floor is great. If someone’s passing by, looking at the rink, that brings more exposure to our game. It’s different, but I think a good kind of different.
TIG: Ok last question, super serious stuff. What was it like coming off the ice from practices in December with all of the holiday sales? How strong of an intestinal fortitude did you have to have to not spend your salary here and deal with all of the people shopping in the mall?
CC: (Laughs) I’m definitely a big shopper, but more of an online shopper. We did have a practice here on Black Friday, but more people are online shopping (nowadays) so it was okay here because we practice so early in the morning.