Whale defenders Jordan Brickner and Erin Hall missed a large chunk of the games this season due to injuries. Before blue line help arrived later this year,, Cetacean Nation wondered how Hanna and the other defenders adjusted to increased minutes on the ice.
“We kind of knew going into it, especially against some of the quicker teams, that it was going to be a tough game. Having four D against Boston is a lot of work, and it’s tiring:) But our forward’s would help us out a lot. We would make it clear to them that we need to focus on defense, we need help getting the puck out and they would come back in support which was great. And it’s easier to join the rush when you have a deeper bench, so we would do that when we could, but our priority was the D zone”. Hanna served as a captain of the Williams College Ephs in her junior and senior hockey seasons. We asked if now being a young veteran, and with assistant captain Jordan Brickner going down with an injury, if she had moved more into a leadership role. She revealed
“I think so a little bit, not as much being a mediator between the team and the coaching staff, but as a third year player, with a lot of people being new to the league, we had a pretty young team. So just kind of being a support system for my teammates, cheering them on, trying to make light of situations that weren’t always...you know, losing against Boston 8-0 isn’t great but, but you kind of got to move on and work from there. So yeah, I had experience being a captain and just tried to do my best keeping the team moving forward and staying positive and kind of inspired for the rest of the season. And I’m a relatively vocal person as well, so that helps :)"
With the current situation, the stock market seems to be on everyone’s mind And it was on a certain day in December as well. The day the NWHL rang the opening bell at the NASDAQ in Times Square in New York City. We asked Hanna, who was among the contingent who represented the league that day, to tell us a little about the event.
“That experience was awesome! We went in the 23rd, so Inwas on break from work, the week,of Christmas. So Kaycie (#9 Kaycie Anderson) Anya (our former #4 Anya Packer) and Inall went into the city together. And then we met some of the other Riveter players there, one of them being Kendall Cornine, who is one of my good friends from growing up and playing on the Colonials. So we went to the studio, they had a nice little lounge area where a bunch of the other NWHL staff were and we kind of got to mingle with them, and the investors there. From there they brought us into the main part of the studio where they did the actual filming, and they did a quick walk-through of what we were going to do. Before we knew it we were live, Dani was talking (Commissioner Dani Rylan). It was being projected right outside of where we were so there were people outside standing around and watching which was kind of cool. And then we all filed in and it was time to ring the bell. They just told us to keep clapping and cheering, and we were doing that for like twenty seconds. Then it was over, and they walked us out and we got to see that side of the building that had the projection. And it had a highlight reel of NWHL videos, and they annoyed every person and said welcome, and congrats, so yeah, it was a really cool experience.I felt honored to be there.”
Hanna just mentioned her youth hockey team, the New Jersey Colonials, and since her last interview two of her teammates there have joined the Whale. First #3 Kayla Meneghin last season, and then #10 Alexa Aramburu this season, so we asked Hanna about that, and what they were like, and she told us
"Pretty similar overall:) I have a memory of both of them, and we were actually joking about it when Alexa signed. We were all on the same team our U19 year for the Colonials and we went out to California for Nationals. And the three of us had a little day in San Francisco and took all these photos, so we were pulling up the photos of us from high school, which was kind of fun to look back on. We might have won bronze, I forget”
Obviously we had to talk to Hanna about the Whale play-off win in Buffalo. Hanna had a huge game, earning first star designation, scoring two goals and blocking five shots, playing dominant in all three zones. We had not considered the Pod underdogs, and as Hanna explained neither did the players.
"On paper we were the underdogs, but I don’t think anyone in the locker room thought we were! We hadn’t seen them since November so it was kind of interesting. We had played all the other teams recently, but we hadn’t played them in so long. We knew they were going to be a different team, but we were an entirely different team. So we had some confidence going into that. I wasn’t in the games the weekend before in a Minnesota, but they played spectacularly, probably some of the best hockey all season, so we had some momentum going in. Because I missed that game I was fired up and ready to get back to it. So I think we had some confidence going in and knew we could beat them, even in the beginning of the season, we knew we could beat them. It didn’t work out that way earlier, but we beat them when it mattered" Cetacean Nation agrees on how much that game mattered, and we think the game will be looked back on as a watershed moment for the team.
Hanna likes to travel, which obviously is on the back burner at present, but we asked her to tell us a little about that.
"I really like to travel, and I love seeing new places. It’s been a recent goal of mine since I started going to some states that I wouldn’t necessarily go to maybe cross off every state in the country. I just went skiing with my family in Wyoming, but stayed in Idaho, so that’s a cross off, two states there! I travel a decent amount for work to a lot of different places and then travel with friends and family, so that’s something I definitely like to do. As to where she’s heading when things get back to normal, she said I’m not sure, I have a friend out in California, so visiting her would be a lot of fun. My next work trip as is scheduled now probably isn’t until October, and that’s in Boston. That’s not too far, but I love Boston, and always enjoy going there.”
Hanna has had some big moments on the ice at Warrior Rink, in Boston as well, including the All-Star game this year. But it also included this pretty cool moment there late this season, with a very similarly named Little Future Draft Pick named Hannah Beattie ( no relation). We asked Hanna about that and she told us
“We didn’t, unfortunately, get to meet during the game but they were there during warm-ups. She’s adorable, I don’t think she’s a year old yet, she’s a youngster. She was there with her parents, and they had a cool sign, and Shannon Doyle tossed a puck over the glass to them, and as I was heading into the locker room I gave her a fist bump so I think John, her father, was happy about that. I don’t know if the little girl knew what was going on, but I’m sure she had a good time! “
Hanna closed as we opened, by referencing the current medical crisis, with this message to the fans “Hope everyone stays safe and we come out of this on top.!” Fins Up to that, and to our amazing #16 Hanna Beattie for her thoughts, and on her first three seasons with the Pod. All of Cetacean Nation is looking forward to many more to come!