Jane in action with the Whale! Photos courtesy BDZ Sports (left) & Bryan Johnson (right)

JANE MORRISETTE: THE MATCH GAME


 In sports, match-ups between teams are very important. Game planning and strategies are in large part “match games”. Wins are sometimes a result of more than having the best players. Some teams just “match-up” we’ll against others, although they may not be that close in the standings. The key to the “ On Any Given Sunday” model of sports. Same is true for players. Our amazing rookie center #7 Jane Morrisette, matched up very nicely against the Buffalo Beauts this past season. Over six games, including the play-offs, Jane scored three goals and added an assist. She scored her first goal of her career against Buffalo on this beautiful backhand shot: 

https://twitter.com/ctwhale_nwhl/status/1185954285600854016?s=21

Jane found the back of the net twice that day, so when Cetacean Nation caught up with her this postseason, one of the first things we asked about was that backhand goal. We love that shot and wondered why it isn’t utilized more? Jane answered “You have more accuracy on your forehand rather than your back hand, and more power behind it, but in that particular moment I knew I had to quickly get it off and it worked out.“ So when we asked Jane to pick out her favorite moment of the season, it wasn’t a shocker that she told us “ The obvious answer would be scoring my first professional goal. My family from Ohio surprised me by coming out to watch the game. So being able to have my parents and family there to watch that was pretty awesome. I still remember when I saw it go in, Kaycie Anderson was skating so fast at me we both had huge smiles on our face and I was getting chills in excitement!”

When the Pod traveled to Buffalo for their playoff game, Jane got back in the scoring column with her first playoff point. After falling behind on the road 1-0, Jane picked up an assist on the game tying goal less than twelve minutes later, and the Whale never trailed again enroute to their 5-3 win. We asked Jane what the mindset of the team was heading up to Northtown Center for that game. She informed us “When we went there for playoffs you could sense a different energy. The times before that we played at that rink, we were within reach to win, but it was just little mistakes that caught us. I think we were all mentally sharper and ready to play and prove that we belonged there. That we weren’t this “lay up” of a team. It was a fun game to play.!” We can only imagine, but we can attest it was an incredibly fun game to watch!

This was Jane’s rookie season, and her first interview with us was prior to the start of the season. So Cetacean Nation wanted to know what the biggest differences were that Jane experienced, as opposed to her collegiate career. She told us “Most of the girls you play with and against in the NWHL were the best/standouts on their college teams. So when you go from being one of the better players to playing with all the better players of their respective teams, the competition levels are higher and tempo is faster.” Jane adjusted well to the environment of the NWHL, and we were particularly impressed by her two-way play, something you would not necessarily expect from a player with her past scoring history. Jane said “I think I’ve always been a defensive offenseman :) Even throughout college, I would get involved in the corners and grind in the offensive zone, but once it began to transition, I had my legs moving to back check and making sure I was one of the first ones back.” Jane’s college coach, our former #10 Lindsey Berman, now at Northeastern, had commented to us about Jane's skating:

“I had played in both of the leagues (CWHL & NWHL) and the kid can skate with anybody. She’s one of the best skaters you’ll ever see, it’s just so fluid and so effortless.”

More of Jane in action against the Boston Pride. Photos courtesy of Phil Zolla.

Jane’s hockey experience extended beyond the Whale this season, as she had indicated to us in her initial interview, she also moved into the coaching ranks. Jane served as an Assistant Coach with the 25-2 Endicott College Seagulls, winners of the CHC Championship. Pretty cool way to start a coaching career, so we asked Jane what that experience was like, and we offered our congratulations. Jane responded

 “Thank you! It was definitely awesome to see the girls win the conference- they’ve put in all the work throughout the year, it was well deserved. I actually ran the defensive side of the bench this year and I guess I did a well enough job that my boss told me I’m doing it again next year (ha ha). Jokes aside, my boss Andy is great, he allows me to take control and trusts my judgement, which for some people is hard when you have a first year coach along side of you. I really enjoyed it. I found that coaching while still playing allowed me to see from both perspectives. Sometimes as a player when your coach says something, you think that you know best and you don’t have to listen, but when Colton or Laura would ask something of me, I understood there a good reason behind it and just went out and did what was asked to the best of my ability.”


 In her first offseason as a professional, Jane, like all of us is dealing with the pandemic. So we asked Jane what her typical offseason training program consisted of, and how are she is coping with the current situation in the short term. She revealed “I would usually be with my trainer 3 times a week lifting and doing dryland training, as well as doing skills work on ice. With us being in this unprecedented time, it’s hard to be as active as you could if you had your trainer, but I’ve been doing at home workouts, some yoga, roller blading and I’m trying to do some long runs at least twice a week (pending the weather ). It’s definitely crazy to think this is how we are living, but if we do what we’re asked, hopefully it all settles down and we can go back to normal.” 

All of Cetacean Nation would love that, and looks forward to seeing part of the normalcy returning being our talented #7 centering her line for the Pod next season, Fins Up to Jane Morrisette for her straightforward input and for that unforgettable backhand shot!