Alex Carpenter, Emily Pfalzer and Haley Skarupa are among 10 finalists for women's hockey's highest honor
Assoc. head coach Kennedy named recipient of prestigious American Hockey Coaches Association accolade
Eagles open the season Oct. 4 vs. Syracuse at Kelley Rink
The U.S. Under-18 squad took home silver in last year's World Championships.
The goalie savors being the last line of defense
Courtney Kennedy is in her ninth season on the Boston College women's hockey staff and has been a key part of the Eagles' rise to prominence. Since arriving at The Heights as Katie King Crowley's top assistant, Kennedy has helped BC develop into the East's top team and one of the nation's powers, as well as one of the top-choice collegiate hockey destinations for the country's top players.
In addition to her on-ice coaching duties -- with an emphasis on the defensive corps -- Kennedy also heads the Eagles' recruiting efforts and oversees hockey operations for the team. She was promoted to associate head coach before the 2012-13 season.
In 2015, Kennedy was honored by her peers with the AHCA Women's Ice Hockey Assistant Coach Award, which recognizes an assistant coach's body of work in women's hockey.
Since arriving at BC, Kennedy has helped guide the Eagles to four NCAA Frozen Fours (2011, 2012, 2013, 2015), two Hockey East regular-season titles (2013-14, 2014-15), one Hockey East tournament title (2011) and three Beanpot titles (2009, 2011, 2014).
Boston College has made a steady progression into one of the nation's elite programs, improving on its win totals from a then-program best 22 wins in 2008-09 to 34 wins in 2014-15. In Hockey East conference play, the Eagles improved from 14 league wins to 20 last season while putting together Hockey East's first undefeated season (20-0-1) since 2007-08.
Many members of the Eagles' elite defensive corps have gained national and international attention, as well. Former goaltender Molly Schaus `11 is a mainstay on the U.S. National Team, and has been to two Olympic Games (2010, 2014). Defensemen Emily Pfalzer '15 and Megan Keller '18 were members of the gold-medal winning squad at the 2015 IIHF World Championships.
Defensemen Blake Bolden '13 and Pfalzer were both All-America selections, with Pfalzer earning a place on the Top 10 Finalist list for the 2015 Patty Kazmaier Award, given to the most outstanding college player. Pfalzer also became the first-ever BC defender to score at least 100 points, graduating with 102 points from 23 goals and 79 assists. Between Bolden (2013) and Pfalzer (2014, 2015), the duo has claimed the last three Hockey East Best Defenseman Awards.
Since 2007-08, Boston College has claimed 10 defenseman spots and five goaltender spots on the Hockey East All-Star team, including three defensemen and a goalie in 2014-15.
While Kennedy's defenders earned praise and recognition for their personal accomplishments, the parts come together to form a tremendous unit. The Eagles are consistently among the nation's top 10 defensive corps, three times ranking in the top five: 2008-09 allowing 1.75 goals per game; 2010-11 allowing 1.73 goals per game; and 2014-15 when they allowed 1.21 goals per game to rank fourth nationally.
Additionally in 2014-15, freshman goaltender Katie Burt led the nation in goals against average with a 1.11 mark -- the ninth-best single-single mark ever in NCAA Division I history -- as well as winning percentage (.886, going 30-3-2) and wins (30), while posting 10 shutouts to tie the school record originally set by Schaus in 2008-09.
Kennedy came to BC after three years as the head coach of women's ice hockey at Buckingham Browne and Nichols School in Cambridge, Mass.
Kennedy and Head Coach Katie King Crowley were mainstays on the U.S. National Team, including being teammates on the 2002 and 2006 U.S. Olympic teams. In 2002, Team USA won the silver medal in Salt Lake City, Utah, and in 2006, it took home the bronze medal in Turin, Italy. Kennedy played for Team USA when it captured the gold medal at the World Championships in 2005.
After stepping off the ice for Team USA, Kennedy remains active with USA Hockey. She was an assistant coach for the U.S. Under-18 team at the 2013 and 2014 IIHF U18 World Championships, helping lead the squad to silver medals at both tournaments. She also currently sits on the Executive Board of USA Hockey as an Athlete Director.
Kennedy, a Woburn, Mass., native, was a two-time All-America defenseman at Minnesota in 1999 and 2001. As a senior in 2001, she earned Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) Player of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year honors. She was also a Top Three finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award. As a junior in 2000, she helped lead Minnesota to its first national title.
As a Gopher, Kennedy scored 112 points on 35 goals and 77 assists in 106 games. She is tied for third on the Gophers' defensemen career list for goals, and fifth in defenseman career points and assists. In 2008, Kennedy was inducted into the Minnesota "M" Club Hall of Fame. She attended at Colby College in Maine for a year before transferring to Minnesota in 1999.
Kennedy's coaching experience also includes director of on-ice practices for the East Coast Wizard Girls Youth Hockey Program, USA Hockey Select Festival coach and director of the Kennedy School of Hockey.
Kennedy graduated from Minnesota in 2001 with a bachelor's degree in youth studies and currently lives in her hometown of Woburn.