While Emily Field has carved a remarkable playing career in Boston, having first established herself as a star forward at the NCAA level with the Boston College Eagles, the rest of the hockey community has quickly caught up to her during the NWHL’s inaugural season. From participating in the Women’s Winter Classic on December 31, 2015, the first professional outdoor women’s hockey game, Field would follow it up with an appearance at the inaugural NWHL All-Star Game. In so doing, Field became part of a remarkable group of four fantastic women that shall be forever linked for this rare and unique achievement.
Along with Boston Pride teammates Blake Bolden and Brittany Ott, plus Connecticut Whale forward Kaleigh Fratkin (who was loaned to the Pride for one day), they have become the first women to have competed in both events. While such knowledge was revealed to Field afterwards, it only added to the feeling of achievement and honor to have been part of two such important events in modern women’s hockey history,
“I actually had not realized I was one of only four people who were able to do both, but they were both awesome experiences! I feel lucky and honored that I was able to compete in both events!”
While Kelley Steadman, who was Field’s teammate on Team Pfalzer, would score the first goal in All-Star Game history, it was Field who would contribute to the game’s growing history. The recipient of a backhand pass which provided Field with an opportunity to bury the puck past goaltender Jaimie Leonoff, she would capitalize, placing Team Knight at a bigger disadvantage.
In scoring the game’s second goal, Field would become more than just the first player in Blades history to log an All-Star goal. While she added to Team Pfalzer’s momentum by extending their lead, the results were electrifying.
Field’s celebration of said goal would result in an online sensation. With great enthusiasm, Field would rush towards the corner, quickly joined by her keen linemates. Lobbing her glove into the air, the three would wait for its landing onto the frozen surface. Upon arrival, all three would fall backwards, celebratory arms raised in the air, akin to touchdown celebrations in professional football that always succeed in capturing the imagination of even the most casual of fans.
Such an exciting celebration would result in a viral video which not only transformed Field into a celebrity, but it helped elevate the NWHL’s brand into another stratosphere, propelling the All-Star Game into a topic of conversation among all sports fans. While the extremely rapid elevation into celebrity may have been a bit overwhelming at first, Field reflects on it with perspective,
“It was cool, but also a little scary! (Really shows you how quickly and easily things on the Internet can go viral). Our team had intended to do that celebration after the next goal no matter what, I just happened to be the one who scored.”
During such an exciting game, there was another seminal moment that was highly cherished by Field. Considering her proud career at the NCAA level with Boston College, she was one of four alums competing at the inaugural NWHL All-Star Game. While Kelli Stack suited up for Team Knight, Field was joined by Bolden, her Pride teammate, along with Emily Pfalzer. While Pfalzer was raised in Western New York, providing the Beauts with a homegrown talent and a local face for the franchise, the chance to be reunited and recapture the magic of those formative years with the Eagles was invaluable.
While the goal celebration was among one of the highlights of the hockey season at any level, it proved to be part of much bigger merriment as Field and Pfalzer, two cherished friends and accomplished skaters not only became teammates again, but had experienced a remarkable season of personal growth.
“Em is an awesome person and teammate so I was thrilled to be in the same jersey as her again! We had a lot of fun playing together at BC the past four years so being on different teams this year has been difficult!”
Although the transition into a different hockey stage, simultaneously embarking on a new chapter in life has its understandable adjustments for all graduates, such an accomplished pair like Field and Pfalzer have embodied the stirring spirit of professionalism. With the All-Star game serving as an opportunity for diversion, albeit in a brief but satisfying time, the chance to dispose of rivalries and share in the euphoria of skating for the same team resulted in a special day for both.
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”
Video still obtained from WKBW-TV