“Yesterday's dead and tomorrow is blind and I live one day at a time” Willie Nelson, One Day at a Time
Cetacean Nation recently had a chance to chat with our amazing former #8, defender Colleen Murphy. As you may have noticed, Colleen has had an eventful past twelve months, including both on the ice with the Riveters in the NWHL, and in various functions with the Carolina Hurricanes in the NHL. And, representing her country on Team USA in the ISBHF World Championships. (You can read about all that ball hockey in the ISBHF stories here on the website) But that was not the only ball hockey that Colleen played last summer. She was also involved in the now famous Ocean City, MD ball hockey tourney that played a big part in Brooke Wolejko joining the Pod. We have heard this story from several different players, and since she was there and one of the character's in the previous recounting, we wanted to get Colleen’s take on it. And catch up on ball hockey with her as well. She laughed and explained
“It’s so funny! At that time Sam (Walther) hadn’t signed yet and I didn’t know Sam at the time either. And we were like: We don’t have a goalie, we need a goalie! That was the first time I met Brooke, and she is an awesome ball hockey goalie! She is so good and I was so mad, because we didn’t have enough spots to put her on my team, same with Hughie (Sarah Hughson) and Kayla (Meneghin). And the guy who runs the tournament wouldn’t let Hughie & Kayla play on my team, because we had too many good players. And their ended up winning, and I’m like: Are you kidding me? She just allowed one goal the entire tournament, and that was the first game that she ever played as a ball hockey goalie. OK, I said, she’s going to be OUR ball hockey goalie for everything else!"
"So we’re all going to come play down there, and I think Sonjia Shelley is coming down too, and she’s going to play out, she’s not going to be a goalie. That’s kind of what we’re looking forward to next, Just kind of get together with everyone and play in just a fun tournament. Huey, Kayla and Brooke are on my team, no questions asked, I will not play without them:). Witley will be the coach. I’m trying to convince Sam Walther to come down and play out too, it would be like the “goalies playing out team”, we’ll see how well that goes:) Brooke made a joke that she’s going to play out and throw me in net.! And I was like: Nope! Shannon Doyle might come down and play with us too. It’s going to be a big Whale reunion type of thing. I mean, I made the most friends when I played at the Whale. They were great people, they’re really my friends and they still are my friends. Huey is coming down to North Carolina to visit at the end of July, so they yeah. they were the best teammates I could have: and to definitely stay friends with”
Colleen lives down in the Raleigh, NC area. Cetacean Nation asked how things were going with the pandemic at this point (end of June) and she brought us up to date.
"I am actually at the office, I’ve been back three or four weeks now. It’s been fine here, it’s all good, it’s very clean. Everyone’s taking the right measures and what not. I was working from home end of March, middle of March, and then all throughout April and went back in mid May. Which actually, I’ve not had too much of a difficult time with. I’ve actually enjoyed it"she laughed, "I like not having any hockey. So it’s a nice break for me. I was tired that’s for sure. Everything’s pretty much normal for me right now. Obviously there's no sports. All the youth programs have been shut down. I know they pushed try-outs back. Those are starting for the girls in July, and then they’ll go from there and see how that is. So there hasn’t been anything. But it hasn’t been bad for me at all, just taking the positives from it for sure.”
Cetacean Nation asked Colleen for a medical update on a couple of people that the fans of Cetacean Nation are familiar with. Her sister Katherine, who is recovering from hip surgery, and our friend and ISBHF correspondent Witley Nichols, who is rehabbing from knee surgery. Colleen advised
"Katherine’s recovery is going pretty well. She's been cleared for all sports, but there’s obviously no sports right now. She is working out regularly and everything. Witley’s knee is a little bit of a different story, ACL’s generally tend to take a little bit longer to recover fully, if you ever get to that point again. She’s been taking it slow, but again there’s no rush to get into anything right now. So lot’s of PT and making sure it’s 100% ready to go before hopping into anything, which I think is smart.”
Colleen has played for the Beauts, Whale and the Riveters in the NWHL, and we asked her what it was like playing against former teammates on the pro level. She replied
"For me it was all the time, constantly, right? And I’ve made friends on both teams when I played on them. And I particularly enjoy playing against my friends. I think there’s a lot more competition, it kind of brings it up a bit because you never want to lose to your friends. So it’s definitely in the back of my mind when I see one of my friends, I want to try extra hard to get the puck from her, you know? I think it’s different than in college, because we’re all a little bit more mature. We can be friends off the ice, but when it’s game time, we can still joke with each other, but it’s a level of hey, this is win or lose. But you joke with the person and your friends, and you go hang out with them after. That was one of my favorite parts about it, actually playing against my friends.”
Colleen has 51 NWHL games under her belt, playing as a defensive minded defender. But she also had her best offensive season last year, picking up seven points, and scoring her first NWHL goal. Or was it? On January 5th against the Minnesota Whitecaps, Colleen blasted home a tie-breaking goal from the high slot to give the Rivs a 2-1 victory. We asked her about all this and she told us
“I’ve obviously never been a points player, so that has never really been my forte at all. So for me, I was content with that. I obviously wish I could have done a little bit better on the score sheet, and make more of an impact there. But again, that is not really what I was expected to do, and obviously scoring that first goal, finally, was nice:) That was definitely a good time, so I was pretty happy with that. The only other time I actually scored in the NWHL was when I was with Buffalo, against the Riveters, and they called it back. They said I was in the crease. It was funny, because we went back to the locker room and looked at it right away, and I was nowhere even near the crease" she laughed. "It was at Barnabas and we lost the game actually? So that’s what I thought of, well I guess this is technically my second but they obviously didn’t count the first one. So I was just glad that we won this time, to be honest with you:)