Kristen Cameron wanted to watch Mercyhurst College play for a national championship.
But at least she has spent time with her fellow Lakers this weekend.
“It’s always the best thing, seeing the girls,” said Cameron, a Lakers assistant coach who was severely injured in a hit-and-run accident on Sept. 12 while riding her bicycle on Route 19 in Summit Township.
The opportunity to see the players during the NCAA Women’s Division I Frozen Four at Tullio Arena provided motivation for Cameron during her difficult rehabilitation.
“It kind of became this big goal for me,” she said. “All through the rehab process, I had this goal in the back of my head. It helped motivate me and get me through the next step every time.”
On Friday night, Cameron watched the semifinal doubleheader from Mercyhurst’s VIP suite. As she sat in front of the window watching Wisconsin and Boston College play in the first game, she said, “It brought tears to my eyes to see the whole NCAA hockey (tournament). It was just awesome.”
Cameron didn’t anticipate attending the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award Ceremony and Brunch at Bayfront Convention Center on Saturday morning after a long night of watching games on Friday.
“But I’m really glad I came,” she said. “I’m feeling pretty good.”
* Retiring No. 87: Mercyhurst coach Michael Sisti expects senior captain Meghan Agosta’s No. 87 sweater to be retired in the future. “I’m sure it will happen,” he said. “We’ve got a few players that have done great things for us that are worthy of being in our Hall of Fame and have their jerseys retired. But she’s the best player to ever play college hockey. So I’m certain that her jersey will be retired.”
Agosta concluded her Lakers’ career as the NCAA’s career leader in goals (157), points (303), power-play goals (54), short-handed goals (20) and game-winning goals (39).
* Resembling a star: Before Friday’s semifinal game against Boston College, Wisconsin junior forward Brooke Ammerman noticed a Jessie Vetter-like swagger in freshman goaltender Alex Rigsby.
Like Vetter, the former Badgers goaltender and 2009 Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award winner, Rigsby is confident beyond her years. “She’s young, but she plays like she’s a lot older,” Ammerman said.
Badgers coach Mark Johnson won’t compare Rigsby to Vetter. “She’s her own person. She has to do her own thing,” Johnson said of Rigsby. “She’s going to create her own path and her own journey.”
But Vetter, who represented the United States at the Vancouver Olympics, serves as a role model for Rigsby. “I had big shoes to fill when I came here,” she said. “But I looked at it as more of a challenge.”
* Keep it in the family: Wisconsin can maintain the WCHA’s stranglehold on the national championship with a win Sunday against Boston University. The conference has won all 10 Frozen Four titles.
Players from Minnesota Duluth reminded the Badgers of that during the handshake line after losing to them last weekend in the national quarterfinals. “Keep it in the WCHA,” the Bulldogs players said.
* Laker gathering: Mercyhurst alumni are invited to a free Frozen Four after party on Sunday from 5-9 p.m. at the school’s Egan Cafeteria. Please RSVP to alumni.mercyhurst.edu/afterparty. For more information, call (814) 824-3320 or send an e-mail to email@example.com.
* Other big games: Mercyhurst junior forward Kelley Steadman and Girard native Jen Schoullis, a redshirt junior forward at Minnesota, are part of the U.S. Women’s National Team that will face Canada in two exhibition games on April 7-8 in Ann Arbor, Mich., according to USA Hockey.
They are part of a selection/training camp set for April 4-12, which determines the team that will compete in the 2011 IIHF World Women’s Championship on April 16-25 in Zurich and Winterthur, Switzerland.
- Victor Fernandes