Three Former Crusaders Find Their Way Back to the Ice
WORCESTER, Mass. – Three former Holy Cross women’s ice hockey players have found themselves back on the ice after their four years as Crusaders.
Erin Hall (’17) did not travel too far to find her professional team. She plays with the Boston Blades, a member of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL). Hall was drafted in August 2017 as a defenseman following graduation from Holy Cross.
“After my last game as a Crusader I knew that I had the opportunity to extend my hockey career into the professional ranks, and I was extremely excited to do so,” Hall said. “I am certainly humbled each day to play a part in growing the game of ice hockey for girls around the world, and I could not be more thankful for the experience that I have had so far.”
Along with Hall, Nicole Giannino (’15) is a member of the Boston Blades organization. During the Blades’ 2016-17 season, Giannino tallied two goals and one assist for a total of three points.
Hall and Giannino have the opportunity to play with and against some of the best hockey players in the world. In the CWHL, Hall and Giannino have traveled with the Blades to games in Canada and even to China.
One Crusader even traveled across the Atlantic Ocean to continue her career on the ice. Elizabeth Scala (’17) plays with the ESC Planegg Penguins in Munich, Germany. The Penguins compete in women’s ice hockey Bundesliga, a German hockey league.
From September 2017 to March 2018, the Blades will play a total of 28 games this season and the Penguins will play 114 games.
Many people would think professional hockey would be a full-time job by itself. In reality, professional female hockey players have to work separate full-time jobs while competing six months out of the year.
“It is pretty amazing to note that in addition to the role we play as professional athletes, my teammates and I also sustain full time jobs while juggling late night practices, lifts, community outreach events and weekends full of long plane rides,” Hall said.
According to The Globe and Mail, a Canadian news source, each player in the CWHL makes a minimum of $2,000 (CAD) and maximum of $10,000. All of the seven clubs in the league get a $100,000 salary cap. This regulation was set up to begin this season.
Hall, Giannino and Scala’s love for the game is shown through their desire to play despite having to work twice as hard to balance another full-time job.
“There is something about the game of hockey that keeps players coming back long after they first lace up their skates, and it is truly remarkable to be among the ranks of professionals,” Hall said.
To watch Hall and Giannino play in the CWHL games, you can find them in Winthrop, Mass. at the Lawrence Larsen Rink at the Mike Eurzione Center, and the games can be streamed online at thecwhl.com/watch.