Cetacean Nation asked Abbie to tell us about the process that brought her to Quinnipiac to continue her hockey and her education and she told us
"It’s funny, our Head Coach Cass (Cassandra Turner) she was an Assistant up until 2015. The first year I played for the Colonials we went to Nationals, which is funny, because one of the reasons I wanted to play there was because of Nationals, you get a lot of exposure there. I was 13 at the time and we played there and I just remember Cass, who was my head Coach this past year, was standing up in the stands watching. And my Dad just kind of struck up a conversation with her, which I think is so funny. So she just kind of marked me down or whatever. And then when I was a sophomore, they contacted Sis at the Colonials, indicatingthey were interested. So eventually I went to visit there, and I was in contact with them over the next year. at my U16 Nationals, Cass was there again and after that tournament they offered me a spot. And I was thrilled, because that’s where I really wanted to go, they have such as beautiful facility, and I knew Melissa Samoskevitch at the time, and she was this great player I’d be playing with. I was pretty thrilled about that."
Abbie had a fabulous career with the Bobcats, and was amazingly consistent. She never had a GAA above 1.91 during her entire career at Quinnipiac. And in her senior year she recorded a career best 17 wins and was named the team's Most Valuable Player. Her career high 47 saves came in her final career game vs Princeton in the ECAC Quarterfinals Her career.926 save percentage was third All-time at Quinnipiac, and her 1.79 career GAA was sixth, and her 14 career shutouts raned third. And when we asked Abbie about her favorite memory from Quinnipiac, here is what she told us.
"I would have to say this year was the most fun.We just finally started clicking, in years past we were right there, but not quite where we wanted to be. So the success this year was a big part of how much fun it was. We also won our Thanksgiving Tournament, we went to Ireland, we went to Ohio State. So I would just say this year in it’s entirety, we had such a fun team, everyday was so much fun. And this year we were ranked in the Top Ten, and Inthink that was really exciting. So the success we had this year, and as I’ve said, I loved being there in the summer, working out with my teammates, that was really, really, fun. Our play-off series with Princeton this year stands out too. We ended up losing, but it was such a good series and was so exciting. I would say when we won game two of that series, that was one of the best feelings I’ve had playing hockey."
Abbie is the most recent of a long line of Quinnipiac players who have joined the Pod, including three other goalies, Laura Brennan, Chelsea Laden and Syd Rossman. Abbie told us
"I actually never played with Chelsea Laden, so I didn’t really know her well. But she’s actually been super nice, reaching out to me. When I went to my first USA Hockey Camp my sophomore year, Cass put me in touch with her, because she’d bren to one and I’d never been to one before. And kind of since then, she’s been very supportive. So I never really knew her, but she supported me, which is real nice." And then Syd Rossman was a senior my freshman year, and I was pretty good friends with her."
As you may have noticed in her photos from this season, Abbie was an Assistant Captain for the Bobcats. That is a little unusual for a goalie, and we asked her about how that worked, and if she was allowed to skate out of the crease to speak with the refs. She explained
"I actually never did that. We had two “C’s”:which were Kenzie Prater and Katie Tabin, Kenzie Prater was always the one designated to talk to the refs. So was something serious that need to be said to the refs, I think she always did that. I didn’t really bring up issues to the refs, she was in charge of that. It was cool when our coach announced that, but I think my senior year we all played big minutes. So whether we had letters or not, we were designated as being the leadership group for that season. It was a total honor, there had been so many great people before me that didn%to have letters, so a Inwas very honored to get that. Sydney Rossman got an “A” her senior year too."
Abbie and her Quinnipiac teammates were involved in community service projects during her career, and were no strangers to interacting with Little Future Draft Picks. Abbie explained
"Our team at Quinnipiac, every year we had someone designated to find community service activities for the team to do. For the first few years I was there it was Kenzie Lancaster, and this past year it was Grace Markey. They did a great job of finding different places for us to volunteer. It’s just something important to our program to get involved in the community. For the past few years during outer Thanksgiving break, we’d go volunteer at soup kitchens and give out meals to people in need. That was something our program was really good about, and everyone on the team does it. I think we’re pretty proud of that": Abbie added "And maybe three times a year we’d do something called “Skate With the Bobcats”. We’d play Friday night and a Saturday afternoon, so after our Saturday game we invite all the fans to skate on the ice with us. And we kind of like sign autographs and stuff, so yeah, we do that. Like I said about three times a year, and it’s really fun for everyone, and it’s nice to meet the kids and everything."
Abbie is a tall goalie, standing at 5'11" and can employ a variety of styles utilizing her natural stature. We asked Abbie to break down her style of play and she told us
"I guess I never know how to categorize it, but I would say I just try to be really good at getting myself in a good position. I like to move on my feet, I try not to slide too much, and when the shot comes I try to really react to whatever it is and not have a default. So if it’s high, hopefully Inwantbto stand up, and then if it’s low, obviously go down. I think I’m pretty good moving around, I think that’s my strength, skating. And Imthink I’m pretty good on my posts, but goalie is an interesting position, there is a lot to go into it. I guess I would have to say I'm a hybrid" she chuckled. Abbie added these thoughts about players trying to screen her "Definitely a larger player, makes it tough. I was actually skating with this guy Ben, he plays in the AHL and he’s like 6’4”, it’s so different. You never really see a girl that big, and it makes such a difference, you can’t really see anything" She concluded her remarks by saying "Skating It’s so important! That’s kind of something I realized when I was younger, and then especially this year because Indid so much extra skating. It just makes such a difference. It’s like everything is about getting in position. You can’t stop the shot if you’re not a great skater and can get there. So yeah, that’s huge
We wrapped things up with Abbie asking how she first heard about the league and the Whale, and how she came to be part of the Pod. She answered
"I guess the first season of the NWHL, Chelsea Laden had just graduated. I was going into my senior year of high school, and that was the first time I was really aware of it. Being a girl and playing hockey, and when it was announced there was going to be an NWHL, I guess everyone was talking about it. And then my sophomore year she was playing with the Whale, so she was still around in Connecticut. I would see her and she just kind of told me about it. I guess this year I wasn’t really sure what I was going to do. It wasn’t until the Draft was happening, and one of my goalie coaches that I had growing up, Matt Voity, was working for the Danbury Hat Tricks this year, He knows Colten and some of the people from the Whale and he just sort of said I think this would be best for you. So, that’s when we contacted Bray, and told her I wanted to play. Obviously when the pandemic happened, I had no,idea what I was going to be doing with myself, because it all happened so fast.
As Whale fans know, the amazing Phil Giubileo is our play by play announcer, and he is also the voice of Quinnipiac hockey as well. Abbie told us "I've met Phil a few times,and he reached out to me recently about signing with the Whale. He’s a great guy, and does such a good job announcing our games and our men’s teams games. He’s the best." Fins Up to that! Abbie wore #35 at Quinnipiac, and we wondered if that was the number Phil would be calling on Whale broadcasts this season. She replied "No, I haven’t heard. I like #35, so yeah, if that’s available I’d love to have it. But if not, no big deal, but I did enjoying wearing that at Quinnipiac.:)
And we certainly enjoyed chatting with "#35" our newest Amazing, Abbie Ives!
Fins Up to Abbie for sharing her great content, and letting Whale fans get to know her a little bit more, befire she hits the ice in the NWHL!