Sports, Winter, Hockey

Five Eagles Named to U.S. Olympic Hockey Teams

Among their numerous accolades, Boston College women’s hockey head coach Katie Crowley and men’s hockey head coach Jerry York have coached a total of 10 Eagles who have suited up at previous Olympic Games—eight for Crowley and two for York. 

On Jan. 1, USA Hockey announced that three of those eight women’s players would be returning to the Olympic Games, as Cayla Barnes, Megan Keller, and Alex Carpenter were named to the 2022 United States Women’s Olympic Hockey Team. On Thursday night, Drew Helleson and Marc McLaughlin were named to the 2022 United States Men’s Olympic Hockey Team. 

Along with the five Eagles who will suit up for the United States in Beijing, BC women’s hockey associate head coach Courtney Kennedy was named as an assistant coach for the U.S. women’s team. 

First-time Olympians Helleson and McLaughlin will join 13 other NCAA players, including two from Hockey East—Providence’s Aaron Ness and Boston University’s Drew Commesso—as well as eight European professionals and two AHL players on the team. The NHL announced in December that NHL players would not participate in the 2022 Beijing Olympics due to the league’s regular season being disrupted by COVID-19 protocols. 

A two-year captain, McLaughlin is ranked second in the nation for goals per game, having totaled 16 so far this season. He leads BC in scoring this season. 

In his junior season, he won the Hockey East Best Defensive Forward Award, which he was a runner up for his sophomore year. As a junior, he tallied 24 points—more than his first two seasons combined—with 10 goals and 14 assists. 

Helleson ranks fourth among Hockey East defensemen in points per game with 17 points in 20 games on two goals and 15 assists this season. As a sophomore in the 2020–21 season, he was named the Hockey East Best Defensive Defenseman. 

Though this will mark his first Olympic appearance, Helleson won gold with the United States at the 2021 IIHF World Junior Championships, alongside former Eagles Spencer Knight and Matt Boldy

The 2022 Games will be the second Olympic appearance for Barnes, Keller, and Carpenter. Barnes and Keller won the gold medal for the United States in 2018 in Pyeongchang, and Carpenter won a silver medal at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. 

Barnes was the youngest player on the 2018 Olympic squad and played all five games in the United States’ route to the gold medal. She played in 104 shifts for just short of 73 total minutes, including an overtime shift in the gold medal game against Canada. 

In her time on the Heights, Barnes has earned Hockey East All-Star honors three times and was one of three finalists for Hockey East Player of the Year her redshirt sophomore year. During the same year she led the Hockey East and ranked third in the nation with 103 blocked shots. Barnes did not return to play for BC during the 2021–22 season in order to train for the national team. 

Keller graduated from BC in 2019 after becoming a two-time Cammi Granato Award winner—granted to Hockey East’s player of the year—in 2017 and 2019, and a three-time finalist for the Patty Kazmaier Award. She was drafted third overall in the 2018 NWHL Draft by the Buffalo Beauts.

In Pyeongchang, Keller appeared in all five of the United States’ games and played more shifts than any of her teammates with 152. Finishing the Games with a plus-5 rating, she tied for the best mark among U.S. players. 

During her time in Sochi, Carpenter scored a team-high four goals en route to the silver medal, including one in the gold medal game against Canada. 

While at BC, Carpenter won the 2015 Patty Kazmaier Award before ending her career as the school leader in points with 278. She remains BC’s highest-scoring hockey player in school history, male or female. Carpenter was also named an All-American three times, earning First Team honors her junior and senior years and Second Team honors her sophomore year. 

Carpenter was notably absent from the United States’ 2018 gold medal squad, one of the final two cuts from the team’s roster along with Megan Bozek. Her return to the Olympic ice in 2022 will mark the first time a U.S. women’s hockey player appears in the Games after missing an Olympic team. 

Kennedy has worked with Crowley since the 2007–08 season and became the associate head coach for the Eagles ahead of the 2012–13 season. She has led BC to one NCAA Championship game, six Frozen Fours, and 11 NCAA Tournament appearances. 

After graduating from Minnesota, she won a silver medal with Team USA at the 2002 Olympics and a bronze medal at the 2006 Olympics. She has also been an assistant coach for the United States’ IIHF U18 Women’s World Championship team that won gold medals in 2013, 2014, 2017, and 2018 and a silver medal in 2021.

Featured Image by Steve Mooney / Heights Editor

January 17, 2022