Abbie Ives, the Pod’s rookie goalie from Quinnipiac. Photos courtesy Quinnipiac Athletics

ABBIE IVES: THE LITERARY GOALIE


“People really are afraid to find out just how much hardship and poverty they can stand. They are afraid to find out how tough they are. Nothing can destroy the good writer. The only thing that can alter the good writer is death.”  William Faulkner Paris Review 1956

Cetacean Nation chose a quote from William Faulkner about writing, to introduce this interview for two reasons. For one, our rookie goalie from Quinnipiac Abbie Ives is an avid reader, and a fan of Faulkner’s works. Second, she also has a way with words, as we think you’ll discover in the course of her interview. And in fact, in some writing of her own! So let’s see what Abbie, our Literary Goale, has to tell us about the creator of Yoknapatawpha County, her hockey career and more.

Abbie explained  “I was an English major at Quinnipiac so I’ve done a lot of reading, it’s just something I enjoy. My Dad reads a lot of books, so he kind of put me and my brother on to it. I like watching TV too, but sometimes it’s a good change to read a book, you know? Right now I’m reading the book “Normal People” (by Irish author Sally Rooney). I wrote my thesis on Go Down, Moses by William Faulkner. I read that book my sophomore year and I really liked it, so I wrote my thesis on it. I guess I’ve read a bunch of different genres over the years, just for my classes. I really like American novels, I don’t know why, I just think that’s interesting. Our coach at Quinnipiac also recommended some sports psychology type books, so I’ve also read some of those” We mentioned to Abbie that we had just re-read one of the stories in Go Down, Moses. The one entitled The Bear. Abbie exclaimed “That’s what my whole thesis is on!” 

We followed that up by asking if Abbie had a favorite quote from Faulkner and she replied  “I do. In the book Go Down Moses “The Bear” is one of the Chapters, and the Chapter after that is “Delta Autumn” and I have one from that here

"Old man," she said, have you lived so long and forgotten so much that you don't remember anything you ever knew or felt or even heard about love?"

That is the young women’s remark to a dying old mao, who was offering her his prized hunting horn, in a classic and ironic, complicated racial, Faulknerian family epic. Abbie added “I’ve also read some Hawthorne, Melville, F. Scott Fitzgerald, of course. My sophomore year I took an American Lit course and this year We read some more modern American Lit, Richard Powers for one. I’ve read Cormac McCarthy, my Dad likes a lot of those books, and he’s given some to me.” 

William S. Faulkner with his own hunting horn, a key prop in the scene Abbie chose her quote from.

As tempting as it was to continue to delve into literature with Abbie, we turned the narrative back towards her other passion, hockey. The Quinnipiac University Bobcats, have wonderful fans, and a wonderful nickname for their fan base: Bobcat Nation. And, there is a sort of tradition that has been introduced,  whereby some players reach out and express their feelings, in writing, in “Letters to Bobcat Nation”  We had read Abbie’s letter, and were entertained , informed and impressed. We asked her about it and she told us

 “It was cool! A girl on the basketball team at Quinnipiac had written one, and the SID (Sports Information Director) emailed the seniors in my class to see if we would be interested in writing one.I said that I would, and it worked out, and I’m glad I was able to do that, it was really fun" You can see for yourself in this link: https://spark.adobe.com/page/zX44iHessL9TW/#dear-bobcat-nation

One of the things you will discover about Abbie in her letter, is revealed in an episode involving our former #17 QU star and member of the Pod in Season Three, Emma Greco. It has to do with one of Abbie’s niccknames, “Iverson”! Abbie revealed

“I had a lot of nicknames! My whole life I had only been called Abbie, and then when I came to Quinnipiac I got all these nicknames. The beginning of my freshman year, that summer, the strength and conditioning coach called me Iverson, so all those seniors called me Iverson. And then it kind of faded away, but yeah, that was my nickname for awhile. Our captain at the time, Emma Woods (who has played obverse 100 pro games between the CWHL & SDHL), gave it to me on my official visit. There was a song out at the time by Post Malone called “White Iverson” And then my strength coach would call me “The Answer” because that was also something Allen Iverson was called. But I think that a lot of people that play hockey know me just by Ives, that’s kind of what a lot of them call me. I’m sure that’ll be it, but I don’t mind Abbie, and most people call me Abbie because they don’t really know me. Maybe that will stick, I don’t mind either way" she laughed.  

As per usual in these unsettled times, Cetacean Nation  asked how and where Abbie was dealing with the pandemic. She replied

 “Yeah, obviously it’s crazy. I was still at school, our season had ended and a bunch of people were on spring break. And so me and some of my team were still at school just kind of hanging out. Our men’s team was going to start their ECAC Tournament that weekend that everything got cancelled. So it all happened really fast. I was with two of my teammates and we got an email that our classes were going to be online. And I was like OMG, I went to my last class ever! I guess we almost thought that we were going to do classes online and live at school, everyone was going to be there. And then it all just kept going downhill, and we’re told we’d be going home. So I’ve just been home with my parents in New York (Bedford Hills) It’s been an adjustment. I’ve been working out and I finished up my school, so now I’m just working out, reading books and trying to keep myself busy.”

As far as graduation , Abbie added  "All we’ve gotten is a notification that they are going to try to have commencement at some time in the future, in person. But they don”t know when that’s going to be. I know some schools have done an online graduation, but I think Quinnipiac wants to have one in person.”


So looking back, what was a normal nirmal  collegiate offseason like we wondered. Abbie explained

 “I spent pretty much all my summers at Quinnipiac doing summer school, so I would usually go home for a week in May and then come back.And then I’d be there all summer. I’m kind of, and not a lot of people are like this, I’ll take a week off after the season ends, and then just start skating. I keep skating, I really don’t like taking a lot of time off. I grew up in this area, and they take the ice out at Quinnipiac, but I always knew coaches around here, so I always found a way to get on the ice. The whole spring, summer, and everything. As far as off ice, we had a really, really good strength and conditioning coach at Quinnipiac (Brijesh Patel, who has been at QU since 2008), he was amazing. I would pretty much be working out with him everyday. He’d have our team on a whole program for spring, and then summer, so he really helped me over the years. I always really liked just living at Quinnipiac, working out, and skating in the summer.”

Abbie is no stranger to the printed word, and that includes words prinrpted about her. In fact, some of the story of Abbie’s start in hockey appeared in a New York Times article 13 years ago! Other than the fact she liked whipped cream on her waffles, Abbie was a character in that story, not the narrator. So in up her own words now, here’s what Abbie told us about how her career as a Little Future Draft Pick began.

“I knew my Dad played hockey, he’s from Minnesota. He wanted me and my brother both to learn how to skate, and he took us out on the pond. My brother never really took to sports, but I really enjoyed skating and I kind of picked it up quickly. I told my Dad I wanted to play hockey, and he thought I would kind of lose interest. So he was like: You’re going to take skating lessons for a couple of months. And if you want to play hockey after that, then you can play hockey. I just stuck with it and I really wanted to play, and my Dad actually had also played goalie. So I started saying: Oh, I want to play goalie! My Dad was like: No way!” she laughed. "But I kept at it with him, and he finally let me play goalie on a house league team. And then the next year I began playing travel hockey, and then from there, it keeps going"

Abbie added “I played rec league and travel hockey all at a rink in Elmsford, NY which is about twenty minutes away from me, it’s called Westchester Skating Academy. So that’s where I played hockey up until I was thirteen. I also used to play rec basketball when I was 9 or 10, I liked basketball. I played travel softball in the summers. And I would say when I got to the age of 12 or 13 it was just hockey. There were tournaments n the spring, there were tournaments in the summer for hockey, so I had to make a choice to just play hockey. It can be all consuming, but I do enjoy other sports, and I really enjoyed it when I was younger."


Abbie continued to play club hockey, and also played for Fox Lane High. She told us about that, and her decision not to pursue her hockey dreams at prep school.

“It’s kind of funny. I played Mites, Squirts, and Pee Wee boys hockey for the Westchester Vipers at WSA. And my Mite year we went to this tournament and we played against the NJ Junior Devils. There was a girl on their team, her name was Amanda Reisman (Williams College). And her Dad and my Dad we’re talking. And he said: We have a girl’s spring team that Amanda plays on and we’d love for Abbie to play on it. So then I started playing on that spring and summer team, and it was the first girls team I played for, and they were out of New Jersey. So I started doing that every summer, and when I was going into 8th grade Mr, Reisman said to my Dad: Abbie should come play for the Colonials. Amanda's playing and we are probably going to go to nationals, and it will be good exposure. So that was the first year I began playing on the NJ Colonial"

Abbie continued
"When I got to high school, there were a lot of prep schools I was. looking at. I was on the high school team at Fox Lane, but I wasn’t the starter, and I was looking at prep schools at the same time. And on day I had a Fox Lane game,and right after we went to see a Choate game (Choate-Rosemary Hall) because that was one of the prep schools I was looking at. And I said to my Dad that I think the hockey was better at the Fox Lane game I just came from, then it is here.. So why are we going to pay all this money when I can just go to Fox Lane for free? And my Dad was just: OK "she chuckled.  "So then after that year, in my sophomore, junior and senior year I ended up starting for Fox Lane. I got a lot of shots, and I think it made me a lot better.And then ever since that first year at the Colonials, i liked all the people there, they were really good to me. So I played there for the rest of high school too" one of the awards that Abbie won with the Colonials was the prestigious  Donna Guariglia Achievement Award. It is given to players who demonstrate the values shown by former Colonials President, Donna Guariglia: hard work, determination, team spirit, good sportsmanship, discipline and leadership as selected by their coaches.

Visitors to this site are probably aware that several,of our Pod have come through the a Colonials program, and we asked if Abbie had gotten to know any of them there. She acknowledged

"My freshman and sophomore year of high school I played on the U14 Colonials and then I played on the u16 Colonials. And then that next year when I was on the U16 team, the head of the Colonials at the time, Sis Paulsen, she brought me up to play a lot of tournaments with the U19 team. And  Hanna Beattie was on that team. And then I know Kayla Meneghin, she might have npbeen on that team too, I remember practicing with her. I think I knew Hanna a little bettter, she’s four years older than me or something, and she was always so, so, nice to me. My generation of a Colonial players really looked up to her class, they had a good team. And then when I signed with the Whale, Hanna texted me and said: We’re finally going to be on the same team! That was kind of cool!"

Abbie had great success at Fox Lane High School. By her senior season, she was named her league's Player of the Year, and was an All-League, All-Section, All-Hudson Valley, All-Metropolitan selection. Abbie remembers

"Playing for Fox Lane, our team was never very good except my senior year, when we had this kid Trevor Zegras was just signed in the NHL, but besides that we were one of the weaker teams. Being the goalie, I was really up against it, because the other teams were pretty good and obviously these are boys, they’re a little faster and they’re shooting the puck pretty hard. So I think there I was really exposed more and I just had to figure out how to get better. Whereas, if I had played prep school. I think I would have been a lot more protected and just wouldn’t have developed as well, so that was kind of my thinking. And, I liked living at home, I don’t think I was ready to move away yet."

Abbie rockin’ her youth headgear from the NJ Colonials and the West Chester Vipers

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 BrennanChelsea 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 xpchatting 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! 

 

Abbie Ives in action for the Quinnipiac Bobcats Photo courtesy Quinnipiac Athletics