Kennedy Marchment in action for St Lawrence vs Clarkson Photo: Saint Lawrence Athletics

KENNEDY MARCHMENT: ANOTHER SAINT COMES MARCHING IN


Over the seasons, we’ve had several players come marching onto the Pod from Saint Lawrence University, Those Amazings on the Whale who have worn the Scarlet and Brown include forward Jaimie Goldsmith, defender Amanda Boulier, and goalies Brooke Wolejko and Sonjia Shelly. And on June 2nd 2021, former SLU Saint forward Kennedy Marchment, joined their numbers as well. As it came to be, it was an interesting journey from that upstate campus to Danbury, measured best in years than miles. Kennedy joins the Pod after spending three terrific seasons in Sweden playing in the SDHL. So, the first question we asked her was how it came to be that she became part of the Pod. Kennedy explained

“Of course playing over in Sweden for a couple of years was a really great experience. I had a lot of fun there. But I think just wanting to be closer to home, and closer to my family, moving back to play in the end WHL there’s always something I considered. And then once I started talking to Colton and the staff, it was just such a welcoming place.And Connecticut was just such an awesome fit for myself. And I think just the nature of the team and the organization Is what drew me to Connecticut. I am back in Ontario right now, I’m just at home for the summer. And then I will head to Connecticut when things start to pick up and the season starts.”

Kennedy is from Courtice, Ontario in the Toronto area, and Cetacean Nation asked how she got her start in hockey there. She told us

“My parents actually moved, so I’m just outside of Belleville now in a little town called Marmora. They moved from the house in Cortice. My dad has always been a big part of hockey, whether that was coaching, playing or anything like that. I also have three older siblings who have been involved, so that was just kind of a natural thing. Me and my brother played outside all the time, road hockey, pick-up hockey on the streets, things like that. So I think it’s just in my family a little bit and I think I just stuck with it, and just began to love it. And I never really fell apart from it, So I’ve always been in it and so has my family, so I think that’s how it started.”

She continued “So I always just played minor hockey growing up, I was in the Whitby organization. I never did play boys hockey, I was always a part of the girls hockey program. It’s because both my sisters were as well, so I kind of just followed in my sister’s footsteps. They both always played girls hockey. I played in the Whitby organization my whole life, until the PWHL when I went to Durham West. I still wanted to follow in my sister Carly’s footsteps, and she was the Captain of that team, and the coaching staff that was awesome. So that’s why I made the switch as well. And we ended up getting to play one year together on Durham West, so that was a really good experience.”

We asked if Kennedy had played any other sports growing up and she told us

“I played a little bit of box lacrosse when I was younger, but more of a hockey girl than that. I played soccer for a while just because it was a summer sport, it didn’t really conflict with hockey or anything. And I have two older sisters who played, and mom is very good at soccer. So I just wanted to try to see how that worked out. But I stopped playing soccer at about 14, maybe 15 years old. It becomes like a year-round commitment to play another sport in the summer. You sometimes just need the time off from all sports in the summer too, so I think that’s a big factor in not playing dual sports”

Kennedy starting a rush coming off a backcheck for the Saints Photo: Saint Lawrence Athletics

Kennedy made enough of an impression with her hockey, and with the Durham West Lightning she led the PWHL in points her first year, and finished up as Captain of the squad. And won a provincial gold medal in 2013, a silver with Team Ontario Blue, and was a Team Canada U18 invitee. “Team Canada was one summer, I went to one camp, it was short lived experience." she chuckled. "But was a great experience that’s for sure. A lot of those girls are still on it. It’s fantastic to still watch them grow as players and in the Olympics. Yeah, it’s a good program.” So getting back to Saint Lawrence, we wondered what factored into that decision for Kennedy, and what her experience there was like. She answered

“I would say proximity to home. It was the first school I visited, it’s a small school. People call it like a big prep school, just the small compact nature of it. And the coaching staff there, Mare (Assistant Mare MacDougall Bari) Wellsy (Head Coach Chris Wells) and Boomer (Associate Head Coach Ted Wisner) was just phenomenal. And from the moment I stepped on campus for my visit, I felt welcome, I felt at home, I felt comfortable. I think was just a really big part of it. It wasn’t just hockey, hockey, hockey 24/7. There was so much life experience, and growing as a person. And I think that’s what Saint Lawrence takes pride in, and I really appreciated that over my four years. I just think all my coaches and mentors and teammates helped me grow so much. I think that’s what university is all about. Of course the hockey was great, and going to the rink everyday, practice and games and things like that. But just those four years of learning and growing was important. Sometimes people regret where they chose for college, and you see a lot of girls transferring these days. But if I could go back, there’s no chance I would change my decision. I would still choose Saint Lawrence any day.”  Fins Up to that!  

Kennedy had a great career with the Saints, and in 142 career games amassed 154 points on 59 goals and 95 assists. She hit the ice flying at Saint Lawrence and was named to the All ECAC Rookie Team and went on to earn numerous ECAC and team honors in her career, and was a Patty Kazmaier Award finalist. With all that then, what was her favorite hockey memory we asked. Without hesitation she informed us

 “My favorite moment would actually be my first regular season game there. It was a home game, we played Clarkson, which is always a big rivalry. And Appleton, our rink, is super small. Also there were quite a lot of fans, my family was there, and we ended up winning 2-1. The atmosphere was just phenomenal and I think that just started out my experience there in such a positive light, and I’ll never forget that game. That was definitely a good start to the college career.”

Kennedy was too modest to mention it, but in that game on 10/3/14, she scored the game winning goal, and assisted on the other SLU score. So Saint Lawrence made a great first impression on Kennedy as she visited the campus, and she made a great first impression on Saint Lawrence as soon as she hit the ice. And those impressions as we’ve seen, only became more intense. First impressions do last!

Kennedy majored in psychology at Saint Lawrence, and we asked what attracted her to that field of study. She revealed  

“A nice thing about Saint Lawrence was I did not have to declare my major until sophmore yrear. So my freshman year I got to take just a bunch of introductory courses and decide what I really found interesting and what I thought that I wanted to do. I think it’s hard to just pick before you even take a course at that school. I think that makes it tough and I think that’s why some girls end up regretting the courses they take and things like that. I think being able to take all these different things your freshman year and learn a bunch of different things, helps in deciding what you want to do. I think taking Psych101 really drew me towards understanding people better and being able to help people of all ages, regardless of anything they have going on. I think brains are really interesting aspect of the body and I just wanted to learn more about that.“

Kennedy had mentioned that it wasn’t hockey 24/7 at SLU, so we asked what the favorite part of her experience off ice was. She explained

“I think just the relationships you make off the ice are so important. I don’t think I can just pick one thing. Because it was such a small school you know all the faculty, you know all the other sports teams, you know the non-athletes. I think it’s just such an interesting experience to meet so many new people that can be a part of your life forever. I think another thing that St. Lawrence did really well is their First Year Program. Andyou were just placed into that randomly. And it’s the first class. You registered for it before getting to campus. I think just meeting those new people it’s very engaging, it’s a very conversational course. And I think those really set you up for success in the next four years, because you met so many people from so many different majors and different interests within in the university. Sports, no sorts, different parts of the world, you just meet so many people and made so many connections within the first couple of weeks. And that just sets you up for so much fun and success in the next few years. And I just think that is so good. “ 

Kennedy on the ice with Linkoping in her rookie Season in Sweden. Photo: SDHL

Kennedy is not the first North American player to come to the Pod after playing in Scandinavia. Laura Brennan, Elena Orlando, and Melissa Samoskevich all briefly played in Sweden before joining the Whale, so how did it come to be that was the path that Kennedy chose, we wondered. She replied

 “Being so young graduating from college, I wasn’t ready to give hockey up yet. I think Linkoping, the first team I played for in Sweden contacted me. I didn’t really know much about the SDHL. But once they contacted me and told me all the information on who’s in the league and what the league’s like, it just seemed like a really good fit. It was really competitive and we practiced a lot, played a lot of games. And I think just the opportunity to live overseas drew me there. I’ve always loved to travel, and I think that was just such a good experience for myself. Going over alone also allowed me to realize what I want, and grow and live on my own.”

She continued  “I was on a one year contract with Linkoping. I did want to go back tp Sweden, and I did consider going back to Linkoping for a second year. It was phenomenal, I loved the city and I loved the people. But a few of my friends were actually going to HV, Jess Healey and Sid Morin, names that people probably know. I’m good friends with both of them, so I decided to just jump on the train and head over there with them, and I don’t regret it. I played at HV for two years and I loved it all.”

And they loved her. Over her three season SDHL career, Kennedy amassed (including playoffs) 211 points in 126 games. And she finished as the second leading scorer in the SDHL each of the past two years. And in the past two years with HV71, she was a teammate of our former #67, Michelle Lowenhielm. We asked her about that and she replied  “I played with Michelle a lot. She’s a phenomenal person she’s a good teammate to have on the team. She’s great to play with, and she’s a phenomenal center. She did really well on HV, and I enjoyed playing with her for sure. She’s also back with the national team and I think that’s fantastic for Sweden.”

We also asked Kennedy how the fan experience in Sweden compared to North America, and she thought “Going to the game I would say it’s pretty similar. They have a lot of chants in Sweden. Not so much in the women’s game but a lot in the SHL, the men’s teams, they like to chant. But but I would say going to watch the women’s game, it’s pretty similar for sure.”  And we wondered if after playing there three years, if she picked up much of the Swedish language, or if they speak a decent amount of English there.“They speak very good English. I never ran into someone who said: I don’t speak English. They’re very bilingual over there and their English is phenomenal. I did learn a lot of Swedish, just from the girls on my team. And in Linkoping my coach spoke Swedish. So I did learn a lot, and I would say I understand a lot more than I can speak. But I got through, three years is a long time so I did learn a lot. It was pretty cool.”

Kennedy had said earlier she always liked to travel, so we asked if she had pursued that in Europe. She revealed  “Actually before I went back for my second year, which would’ve been my first year on HV71, I did a couple of months trip with some of my good friends over there. I got to see Switzerland and Croatia, I went to Finland, and I’ve been to London, England. So there’s a lot of cool things to see over there for sure. I think that’s a big part of us going over there, it’s just not that expensive to get around from place to place. You can take a train from Jönköping where HV plays out of, right in to Copenhagen, Denmark.” 

Over her three season SDHL career, Kennedy amassed (including playoffs) 211 points in 126 games. Photo: SDHL

We asked Kennedy where she usually played on the ice, and to breakdown her game for her new fans. She told us

“I’ve always been forward, right wing the majority of the time, but I’ll play left. The side I don’t really have a preference on, but I’ve always been a wing. I would say that I’m a smart player. I try to be where the puck is before the puck gets there. Of course being offensive, I love to have the puck on my stick, and I like to make passes. The offensive zone is where I like to be. I would not say my defensive zone is terrible, but obviously there are things that I’m going to need to work on. But I just try to think ahead of the game. I’m trying to think where the puck’s going to be, not where the puck was. And I think that’s a big factor in what helps me be so successful.”

Kennedy took a few penalties in college, but cut down on that in the SDHL, so we asked her about that too.

 “Yeah, I think it’s the style of the game over there” she laughed. "The ice surface is also a lot bigger in Sweden, they play on an Olympic ice surface. All the rinks are Olympic size. It’s a lot different, you have more time than you think usually. It’s bigger than the NCAA rinks, and it’s bigger than the NWHL rinks, I’m pretty sure. So I think with just the style of play, it’s less chance to be bumping into people and stuff like that. You have a lot more time and space with the puck too. I think that with the style of play there’s just a lot less penalties overall in the game.”

We also had five Fun Fact questions for Kennedy, and here they are with her responses:

Have you done ant coaching?  “i haven’t had any coaching experience, but there’s been here and there helping out with the odd youth team or hockey camp. And we try to take a turn in HV running a practice. Just little things like that, but not too much.”

Which is the favorite rink you’ve played in?  "Of course I would have to take Saint Lawrence’s rink, Appleton. I loved playing in that rink. It was a small, home type feel. It’s by far my favorite rink for sure. It’s phenomenal.”

 Do you have any pets?  " I do not right now. I had a dog, Belle, she passed away two October’s ago. I love dogs, my favorite animal for sure. I want a dog when I’m older” 🐳 she laughed. ”I always had dogs growing up.”

Do you have any particular game day routines, such as meals, etc?  “I’m not not super superstitious about things like that, so I don’t necessarily know if I even have an exact meal.I go to before and after. Just anything that I feel like on that day. If the game is in the mid-afternoon, I usually like to have breakfast as my pregame meal. But the games at night I’m pretty open to anything. I’m not superstitious like I need pasta, or I need this or I need that. I do always like to call my Dad on game day’s. I always have, just because when I was a kid he was always around. So I always like to call him on game days. But other than that, I try to keep things light. I try to have fun at the rink. If I’m too serious I don’t perform as well, but nothing crazy.”

So can you tell us something that most people wouldn’t know about you?  “I think something that a lot of people don’t know about me is they might think  the pressure that is put on me can sometimes get in my head. And a lot of people don’t know that I just try and have fun, I just try and keep things light. I think a lot of hockey fans think that everything has to be very intense. But people don’t know how light that I keep it, and how I turn that into a positive. And how that keeps me prepared. I think a lot of people don’t know that if there is too much intensity, I don’t perform as well. Which I think, is awfully odd. I think with most people, the more intense, the better they’ll perform. A lot of teammates say that’s very odd of me, but…” she laughed. “Each individual's view of what makes them successful is super interesting. And I think that’s super interesting about being on a team. Everyone prepares and everyone deals differently with different situations.”

As we wrapped things up with Kennedy, she had this message to pass on to the citizens of Cetacean Nation

“I’m super excited to get to Connecticut and get things going. I love meeting new people, and I’m excited to meet my teammates, the fans and the coaching staff. I’m excited to see everyone at their rink, last season was tough on fans without being able to be there with the pandemic going on. I’m super excited to compete hard each and everyday in front of all the fans and win that Isobel Cup. I think that’s everyone in Connecticut’s goal. And it’s super exciting to be on the team!”


Fins Up to that! And we thank our new Amazing,  Kennedy Marchment for her great content, letting us get to know her a little better. The fans are all looking forward to seeing you in the white, green and blue in Season Seven!