MINNEAPOLIS - Julie Chu has experienced many memorable moments as a member of the United States women’s hockey teams in the 2002, 2006 and 2010 Olympics. But on Saturday, she recalled a memorable against Mercyhurst College from her days at Harvard.
The date was March 19, 2005. The Lakers and Crimson met int the NCAA Women’s Division I quarterfinals in Cambridge, Mass. The game lasted 12 minutes into the third overtime, when Chu, then a junior forward, scored to seal Harvard’s 5-4 win. Then-Mercyhurst goaltender Desi Clark made 78 saves in that game – a NCAA tournament record that still stands.
“It was an unbelievable game,” Chu said following the Patty Kazmaier Memorial Award ceremony at McNamara Alumni Center on Saturday. “I just remember it being back and forth. There were tons of opportunities on either side. It was one of those games (that) at the end of it … we can walk away saying that was an incredible game that could have gone either way.”
Chu is impressed with the growth of Mercyhurst’s program since that game.
“Since then, Mercyhurst has just exploded and become a powerhouse for women’s hockey. It’s fun to see that growth of Erie.”
Chu was joined by fellow 2010 Olympians Caitlin Cahow, the ceremony’s keynote speaker, Jenny Potter and Angela Ruggiero and their silver medals from the Vancouver Olympics last month. Mark Johnson, who coached the U.S. team and won gold with the 1980 U.S. men’s team, also attended the event.
* Bittersweet ending: Mercyhurst senior defenseman Johanna Malmstrom‘s career ended with Friday night’s 3-2 overtime loss to Cornell in the NCAA Women’s Division I Frozen Four semifinals
“It’s been a tough two days, still a lot of crying,” said Malmstrom, the Lakers’ lone senior. “But it’s part of it. It’s just how it is.”
Now she has to focus on the future. “I haven’t even thought of it yet,” she said, “most likely go back to Sweden and play hockey there.”
* News and notes: Marney Gellner, a pregame/postgame host and sideline reporter with FOX Sports North for Minnesota Twins (MLB), Minnesota Wild (NHL) and University of Minnesota men’s hockey broadcasts, served as master of ceremonies, even though she was 10 days away from giving birth to her second child. … The state of Minnesota has 126 girls’ high school hockey programs.
- Victor Fernandes