Canevin grad scoring big with Cal U women's hockey team
By Nathan Smith
Published: Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
It still hits Kelsey DeNardo how fast she has progressed with the California (Pa.)University women's hockey team.
Despite being in only her second year with the Vulcans, the Bishop Canevin grad was selected as one of the alternate captains for the 2013-14 season.
“I don't know what made me think about it recently but I say my prayers before each period of each game and I looked down and saw the ‘A' on my jersey,” DeNardo said. “I was taken aback for a second when I realized I was a sophomore and an assistant captain. In high school when I played soccer, only the seniors really were captains.”
DeNardo is leading Cal U. in points with 15 goals and nine assists — nearly matching her 28 points in her freshman season. Her 24 points is second to West Chester's Becky Dobson in points(28) and goals (18) at the American Collegiate Hockey Division 2 level.
“Her biggest asset is her ability to think and dissect the game,” California coach Gregg Kaminski said. “Having a player of her caliber makes my world as a coach a whole lot easier. I know I can put in her in a lot of situations and her God given talent will come through.”
Despite the strong start, the sophomore said it hasn't always been easy. She said her freshman season was difficult playing with older players, though playing at a high-level travel team in high school prepared her skill wise.
And even though she is finding success with her abilities, DeNardo is constantly working to improve.
“I am trying to work on skating with my stick down,” DeNardo said. “It is a bad habit I have. If I keep my stick on the ice, I will able to intercept passes. I have just been working on a lot of things that can improve my skating and strength.”
While the team is considered a club squad, the schedule is as trying as many varsity-level sports. The team has games the majority of weekends from November to March with bus trips to Delaware, Michigan and New York.
“Being in college, I would like to hang out with my friends,” DeNardo said. “Hockey does hurt the social aspect of college. And it gets tiring. We went to Delaware and got back at midnight on Sunday and I had class at 8 a.m. It really tests my time management.
“But the trips are always fun. I get to be with a lot of friends every weekend and play hockey. I can't really complain.”
The Vulcans joined the new College Hockey East Women's Division. The new league features Delaware, Penn State and West Chester. California joined the conference to increase the level of competition — the Rams defeated the Nittany Lions, 5-2, for the Division 2 nation championship last season.
“We have pretty good rivalries with everyone in our league,” DeNardo said. “We all get really excited knowing Penn State or West Chester in coming up on the schedule.”
And with an increased level of competition during the regular season, California is expecting to be better prepared for the playoffs.
“It is my fourth season and every year we have gone a little further,” Kaminski said. “We keep steadily progressing. Our goal every year is to win a national championship. We made it to the playoffs last season but fell short.
“We think we have the depth and talent this season to find a lot of success.”
California returns to the ice this weekend as it welcomes Delaware in for a pair of games at the Rostraver Ice Garden. The puck drops at 10 p.m. on Friday and 4:30 p.m. on Saturday.
Nathan Smith is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at email@example.com or via Twitter @Nsmith_Trib.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Seton Hill equestrian team sends 5 riders to regional finals
- Pitt, WVU are gone, but EWL coaches confident in quality of wrestling
- UPG hockey team wins CHE tournament title, heads to nationals
- Area Division III teams find out 1st-round foes
- NCAA-bound Penn State Behrend forged by Central America trip
- Seton Hill baseball team makes early impact in PSAC
- District college notebook: Duquesne native leading Air Force