Celebrating back in their days as Norwich Cadets, future Whale teammates Kaycie Anderson, Sarah Schwenzfeier and Kim Tiberi.

KAYCIE ANDERSON: Looking Back, Looking Forward, With Our #9

This will be the third season that our #9 Kaycie Anderson has skated on the wing for the Whale. In last Saturday’s exhibition against UConn, Kaycie demonstrated on several occasions, her signature power rush along the left wing boards. This type of explosion into the offensive zones is one of Kaycie’s signature moves.. Whether on the receiving end of a pass, or picking up a loose puck in the neutral zone, Kaycie will accelerate across the blue line and along the side wall.Her balance, strength and athleticism, as much as her speed, makes her extremely difficult to contain, and she often breaks free for a shot on goal. And it is a quick, heavy shot that she can launch with accuracy anywhere from the face-off circle to the end line. That’s what Kaycie brings to the Pod, and a lot of what brought Kaycie to the Pod you can tead  here on the website in her first interview.

We just  had a timely oportunity to get Kaycie’s input on various aspects of last season, and of the season about to begin. At this point, there are ten returning veterans on the Whale, a team that had good chemistry, and grit, but little puck luck last season. And they believed in themselves, asva team and individuals, and never let up. Cetacean Nation asked Ksycie for her observations on this aspect of the ‘18-‘19 Whale and she revealed: “I think one of the things that people were remembering is they were all on the team for a reason. The coach picked them because he believed in them and what they could do for the team on and off the ice. The Whale were exciting to watch because we were relentless. We never gave up and enjoyed playing a fast, physical game. We had quite a few returners and some of our new players weren’t necessarily rookies. They had played professional in other leagues around the world which really helped in terms of us having confidence going into the season.” Cetacean Nation notes that we have a couple of players in that category this year too, #8 Erin Hall who played two years in the CWHL, and #12 Kendra Broad who played three years in the Euro leagues after college. 

Along with Kaycie, one of the ten returning Whale is our #19, Sarah Schwenzfeier, whom she told us we would we in a different number.this season. Kaycie informed us “Also, just for an update, Sarah Schwenzfeier is #21 this season, back to her college number. Our website has her in the wrong (19) number:) That was interesting, because one of the things Cetacean Nation asked Kaycie, (from Maple Plain, MN) was to tell us about, her return home last winter to play against the.Whitecaps. She played very well in that homecoming, and so in fact, did Massachusetts native Sarah Schwenzfeier,, who was  her former college linemate. We asked what that series out in Minneapolis was like and Kaycie recalled *It was really special returning home to Minnesota to play in front of my family, most of which haven’t seen me play in person since 2012. It was an amazing experience playing in Minnesota again. it really is a magical place in the hockey world. The games were sold out and the atmosphere at the Tria Rink is exactly what I would expect from the State of Hockey. It was a tough series no doubt, there was a lot of talent and depth on the Isobel Cup Champion’s roster; as you would expect from a professional women’s team in Minnesota! This season we are slated to play the Whitecaps EIGHT TIMES!!! Its going to be a big test for us, but I am ecstatic about traveling home for two series with the Whitecaps during the second half of the season. My family and friends have already bought their tickets for the games!” It is only a little over a half hour drive from Maple Plain to Tria Rink, so it truly will be like four extra “home games”:for Kaycie.

in addition to being the State Of Hockey, Minnesota was also the “State of Running” In Kaycie’s early career as a star track and cross country runner as well. We asked Kaycie if she participated in any running events this off season as part of her training, and what her offseason training was like in general. Kaycie explained “I did not participate in any road races this off season unfortunately., That was because of a foot injury I have been dealing with. However, I do intend to participate in some events next off season if I am feeling good. I still run regularly, mostly on trails these days if my foot is feeling good! I have actually been looking into getting involved in the T&F/CC coaching game so well see!” Kaycie was as versatile a runner as you can find, competitiv racing distances from 100 meters to 5,000 meters, so she has an awesome first hand background in the sport.

 Kaycie continued “My off-season training has evolved as I have battled various minor aliments throughout the seasons. You kind of have to tailor everything you do as you get older to stay as healthy and fit as possible so that you are ready for the next season. A lot of my strength training routines are like college, with a few variations of things as well as some new stuff. I enjoy using all the health and fitness gadgets to improve my health! And the newest addition to my arsenal is the Whoop Band.” 

NOTE:The Whoop Band or Strap is a wearable fitness tracker. More info at whoop.com. And there is a good article online at TIME here:https://time.com/4744459/whoop-strap-fitness-tracker-band/

Kaycie concluded “Since the season is officially underway, the team will begin some strength training with a renowned hockey trainer, so I’m sure we will all learn a lot about maximizing our performance” Fins Up to that!

The Whale were the most exciting team in hockey just season, an aggressive, fast transitioning squad, who played as physical as any team in the league, and developed great chemistry very quickly. We asked Kaycie her thoughts on that, and how it looks for this year’s Pod Squad. Kaycie reflected “The pod last season was a very close-knit group. Many of us have played with or against each other throughout the years and the international players really added depth to our team. Two of my former college teammates Sarah Schwenzfeier and Kim Tiberi were on the team. They were both freshman my senior year at Norwich, and Sarah was my center. So are they two people I have followed closely throughout their college careers. I also played against Emily Fluke, Kayla Meneghin, Melissa Sheeran, Sarah Hughson, and one of our rookies this season, Jane Morrisette, in college my senior year. I also played against Elena Orlando when we were U19’s, so there’s all sorts of connections. And for the rest of the girls many had also played with and against each other, so it made for an easy connection that lead to the team chemistry.”

Kaycie continued “This season our Pod is looking a little different, as we are a little smaller of a group right now. But so far, we already have good chemistry and you’ll see our pace is something that hasn’t changed. I look forward to the possibility of reuniting with Sarah Schwenzfeier on a line this season like we did so successfully, my senior season. (They combined for 56 /points in 2014--2015for the Cadets) We have a good number or returners and new faces, so it will make for a good mix of players. We also have new coaches this season, so you’ll have to wait and see what kind of tactics are employed this season. So far, I love Danbury Ice Arena, our new rink! Of course it is a little further for some of us to travel to, y but the ice is great there. There are a lot of exciting things happening in the league and in women’s hockey and I look forward to being a part of it.”

Kaycie added ”We have so many great sponsors and partners in Dunkin’, Chipwich, Veda, Pro Ambition, NYU Langone Health, and Sparx! And the Pride being sold to a private owner is huge! We have TWITCH for our game broadcasting and so many more great supporters of women’s hockey. On top of all our awesome sponsors, partners and investors we have an awesome group of people working behind the scenes to make women’s hockey the sustainable product we all want. And the incredible Anya Packer (Battaglino) at the head of our players association fighting for what the players deserve to help grow the game for future generations. To say the least, I am very excited and grateful to be playing my third season for the Whale in the NWHL! #FinsUp #Growthegame #Futureisfemale #S5!!!”

Well, the fans that are Cetacean Nation have. gotten fired up by Kaycie’s enthusiasm one the ice, and should be fired up by her enthusiastic and insightful comments in this interview! We thank our young veteran #9 Kaycie Anderson for sharing this exciting content with us just 48 hours before the puck drops in Danbury to start the 2019-2020 season, which as you all know by now, will be the Year of the Whale! Fins Up, we’ll see you at the rink!