JANE MORRISETTE: J-Mo : Our Massachusetts Multi

Multi, as in multi-sport, is what is meant in the title here. Or multi talented on the ice in a hockey game, take your pick. or better yet, pick both, they both fit. As is the case with many of our Whale, the “stick and ball” sports were prominent among the only ones that appealed to our rookie center, #7 Jane Morrisette. When Cetacean Nation connected with a Jane for this interview, one of the first things we inquired about was what other sports she participated in early on in her career. She replied “Oh jeez, just about every sport under the sun. Soccer, baseball/softball, lacrosse, basketball, dance (tap, jazz, and ballet) swimming, I was also on a bowling team....The competitiveness of sports had always intrigued me, and I think my parents allowing me to do all these different sports did help develop me into a better hockey player. Every sport is different and has your mind working in different ways, but I think they all connect in one way or another.”

So speaking of connections, we asked how things connected in terms of Jane’s early hockey career. She revealed “I got started in hockey because of my father, Robert, he had played when we was younger. My mom, Doris, approved (of course), but she wanted me in ballet shoes as well, which also happened. Hockey made sense to me and my family though. I grew up on a lake so I had an at home rink for free every winter. My childhood consisted of my parents cleaning off the ice and lugging out the hot chocolate. At one pint or another, my father got one of those floor cleaners that janitors use just so my ice could be smooth. And he installed stadium football lights so I could stay out through all hours of the night. I can’t say my mother was too happy then though because the light went right into their bedroom).And It’s funny actually, I grew up a defenseman, because of my father and my cousin, Peter Metcalf. So D up until high school, when I was told my speed could be utilized upfront.” A connection of another sort exists betwee  Jane and her current Whale teammate Erin Hall, who also hails from Pembroke, Massachusetts ( south of Boston)..Jane and Erin played both hockey and softball together, and Jane acknowledged “My Dad coached us for years.” 

Jane took her multi sport talents with her to Pembroke High School And had an epic career there. She was a star player for the Titans on the varsity soccer and lacrosse teams, as well as hockey. For her hockey squad she was twice named named a Patriot League All-Star and earned the Most Valuable Offensive Player Awardw. She had already amassed 100 points by the end of her junior year, and served as team Captain as a senior, when she led Pembroke to the league Championship. She was also a Patriot League All-Star with the Titans soccer team, and achieved that honor twice more for their lacrosse squad. Looking back on those memories Jane reflected “There’s a lot of good memories, but I think seeing my name get put up on the gymnasium wall forever was pretty rewarding. It made me feel that all the hard work I’ve done and set out to do, was being accomplished. Soeaking about her multi sports, Jane continued ”They (soccer and lacrosse) both gave me a lot of memories and friends. I’ve always loved playing soccer ever since I was little, so being able to play both of those sports along with hockey was a great experience. I was offered to play both soccer and hockey at UMass, but I felt I needed to be fully committed to one team. So hockey being my favorite sport, I chose hockey, which I’m thankful I did!”

Cetacean Nation asked Jane about why she chose to continue her career at UMass Boston, and she replied “The coaches and the location. Colleen Harris and Lindsay Berman (former #10 on the Pod) were the coaches at the times. They both were very communicative and helpful with the process.” Jane added “Lindsay, also known as Berm, is a coach that everyone needs the chance to have. She’s very quick to help anyone become a better version of themselves on and off the ice. When asking for help, she will always give you the time no matter the situation. Patience is something some coaches can be really good with, and she is one of them. I thank her for all that she’s done for me as a player.”

Cetacean Nation also was able to interview and chat with Lindsay Berman recently as well, and ask her for some thoughts on Jane. Lindsay told us “I’ve known Jane a long time, I actually helped to recruit her to UMass Boston Jane is a phenomenal kid. She has this raw God-given talent that not everybody has, and I think it took her a little bit to realize that she had it. But once we kind of uncovered all these tools, she put them all together and had a couple of really good years for us. Playing after she finished college, was something she always wanted, and always expressed. I don’t know if she believed that it could happen, but she’d kind of ask me every once in a while,”Do you think I could keep playing?” I knew that she could, because I had played in both leagues, and this kid can skate with anybody. She’s one of the best skaters you’ll ever see. It’s just so fluid and so effortless.I am really excited for Jane and I think she’s going to open a lot of eyes. She probably has a D3 tag on her right now,and I can’t wait for everyone to see how good she really is.it was really fun for me to watch Jane grow from high school kid and player to a college student who works and plays and balances her friends. She was there for her teammates, and she was an all encompassing student athlete. It was really, really fun to be a part of her career and to kind of help her move on and continue playing” Fins up to that! 

Jane turther commented “UMass, aside from the big brick buildings, was sneakily pretty with it, being right on the water and so close to the city.. It’s now an even more beautiful campus with all the additions and construction they’ve done.” Jane had an outstanding career skating for the Beacons, earning numerous personal honors including being named to the New England Hockey Writers Association All-Region Team and was a First Team NEHC All-Conference Forward.and scored eighteen points each of her last two campaigns (here is a nice video of one of her goals  here: https://youtu.be/HpH3xj2tDuk) Fun Fact: she was joined on that All-NEHC Team  by future Whale Kim Tiberi, Sarah Schwenzfier and her coach Lindsay Berman. When  asked about her favorite memories from those years she reflected “On ice, making history with my teammates by being the first team in program history to win the championship. And off ice, the friendships that I have made, of course.” Jane also earned her degree at UMass, and we asked if she had any plans in place with that. She replied ”I don't yet. I did enjoy the field that I studied, and was given the opportunity to intern at a District Court to put what I’ve learned into everyday encounters. I hope to one day make a career in that field, but for now, hockey is what I’ll be focusing on.” 

It was not all a bed of roses during her career as a Beacon, there was a thorny part. She did suffer a season ending injury and had to face the grueling rehab. We asked Jane about that and she painfully recalleed “It was awful! At one point I contemplated how coming back from this type of injury, mentally, would even be possible. Until that point, I was fortunate enough to not have to deal with injuries. But the year before I was out with mono and then my injury came and I couldn’t quite grasp why it all had to happen to me. I had a coach in high school, Bill Flynn, who used to always say “Don’t let your highs get too high, and your lows get too low”, and throughout my rehab, there were several times I wanted to give up, but I knew that there was something better waiting for me at the end of this. So I kept his voice in the back of my head, and I’m very glad that I did. I learned a lot about myself and what to not take for granted.” Overcoming that adversity underscores the type of grit Jane brings to the rink. Whale fans are very appreciative of our gritty, grinding style of play. And we are sure Coach Flynn will smile to read Jane’s words, but not be surprised at her tenacity. 

Fins Up to J-Mo for her thoughtful comments and insights, and for letting the fans get to know her a little better, even before she hits the ice with the Pod. Jane concluded with this note “I hope everyone is as excited for this upcoming season as all of us Whale are! Fins Up!” Cetacean Nation cannot guarantee everything, but we can guarantee to #7 Jane Morrisette, our amazing multi sport from the Bay State, two things. That she will be playing for the most exciting team in hockey, and that the fans are excited as a Whale in a school of krill, or squid! Fins Up to that too! :