In the aftermath of her graduation, following four fantastic seasons with Quinnipiac University, Cydney Roesler’s treasured time in the state of Connecticut has not yet reached its twilight. Along with fellow Quinnipiac Bobcats hockey alumnae such as Nicole Connery and Nicole Kosta, this terrific trio has experienced empowering career milestones as members of the NWHL’s Connecticut Whale.
Having played alongside the likes of Connery for four seasons at Quinnipiac (as well as playing together with Canada’s U18 team in 2012), their careers blossomed, while simultaneously contributing towards the program’s development by a quantum leap, highlighted by a conference championship and an NCAA tournament appearance. The opportunity to remain teammates at the professional level represents another proud milestone in their careers, while cementing an already strong friendship.
“It’s been a lot of fun to continue my hockey career with the Whale and several teammates from Quinnipiac. After my college career ended, I knew I wasn’t ready to give up the game so I’m incredibly grateful and fortunate to have the opportunity to continue playing thanks to the NWHL and the Connecticut Whale. It has also been a lot of fun to continue to play with my former Quinnipiac teammates. They all made my experience at Quinnipiac really special so I’m very happy to continue to play with them and have them as teammates once again.”
Heading into the second season in Whale franchise history, one that was visually defined by the club adopting green jerseys in favor of the blue from the inaugural season, the franchise experienced a shocking loss as team captain Jessica Koizumi announced her retirement. Having moved on to a position as associate head coach with the Ohio State Buckeyes, such a visceral departure has allowed younger players, such as Roesler, to gain valuable playing time.
Making her Whale debut in a preseason tilt with the Russian national women’s team on on September 27, 2016, Roesler would log the game-winning tally in the third period, with the legendary Kelli Stack gaining the assist. Scoring on Maria Sorokina, it allowed the Whale a 3-2 win at the Northford Ice Pavilion.
Roesler’s regular season debut would take place on the road in an October 9, 2016 contest against the Buffalo Beauts. Although Roesler’s first regular season point in her NWHL career occurred against the Beauts, it would not be in this match.
Returning to Buffalo on October 23, Roesler and fellow Canadian first-year player Ivana Bilic both gained assists on a first period goal scored by Dana Trivigno, providing the Whale with a 3-0 lead. Although the Beauts would come back to tie the game at 4-apeiece, the Whale would emerge victorious with a pair of third period goals in a 7-5 final, which was also the first game that Roesler would win as a member of the Whale.
“It was pretty cool to get my first professional point! It’s a milestone that I never even thought I would accomplish until the NWHL was established and I was actually given the opportunity to play for the Whale. We have a great team this year with some pretty special people so I’m looking forward to the rest of the season with this group.”
Having appeared in every game so far this season, Roesler continues to display the durability that made her an essential member of the Bobcats’ defensive unit. Competing on the blueline with the likes of new teammates such as Shannon Doyle, Molly Engstrom, Kaliya Johnson, Elena Orlando, Ivana Bilic and Jordan Brickner, among others, the chance to be surrounded by such talented peers has only added to an enjoyable inaugural season with the Whale, extending her exceptional career in the Nutmeg State.
“I think the thing I’ve enjoyed most about being in the NWHL so far is just getting the opportunity to continue to play hockey with and against some of the best people in the world. Like I said before, I never dreamed of playing professionally because that was never option up until just over a year ago.
Every game and practice I get to compete and play with really talented hockey players but also really great people. And that makes me feel really blessed and fortunate to have this opportunity.”
As the 2016-17 season represents the next chapter in Roesler’s playing career, there is another element that is poised to result in an unforgettable season. Renowned for her leadership and work ethic at Quinnipiac, as evidenced by the honor of team captaincy bestowed upon her in her senior season, Roesler still remains an integral component of the program.
Adding luster to her experience with the Bobcats this season included the chance to receive her ECAC Championship Ring. Holding a position on the coaching staff, furthering the growing legend of Bobcats players, Roesler takes on an even bigger leadership role. Simultaneously, she serves as a role model and mentor for incoming freshmen, only solidifying her proud Bobcats legacy.
“It’s a lot of fun to still be a part of the Quinnipiac team! It’s definitely a different perspective being on the coaching side now but when the season ended, I really wanted to help the team in any way I could. I felt like I learned so much in my four years that I wanted the other girls to feel the same way. I want the program to be even more successful than we were my senior season.
It was such a great feeling to get that championship ring. We worked so hard for it all season long so it was really special to get the ring because it was a team goal that we all strived for.”
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”
Photo credit: Rob Rasmussen Photography