Heading into the Northeastern Huskies 2013-14 campaign, one of its key contributors is poised to be Lucie Povova. In her first two seasons with the program, the smooth skating forward has accumulated 27 career points. Of note, she scored her first Huskies goal in her NCAA debut, an October 7, 2011 tilt with the Syracuse Orange.
With the absence of Kendall Coyne due to the US Centralization Camp for the Sochi Winter Games, every member of the Huskies will be counted upon to increase the intensity of their game. Approaching the upcoming season with focus yet maturity, Povova understands that being a junior brings with it greater responsibility.
“I just think that since I am a junior, I have more weight on my shoulders and more is expected of me. I like to support my team and I would do anything for hockey.”
After the 2012-13 campaign came to a close for the Huskies, Povova remained busy in the offseason. Hailing from Cizkovice, she would show national pride by competing for the Czech Republic in not just one, but two international hockey events.
Ironically, both events occurred in Canada. Povova would first participate in the 2013 IIHF Women’s Worlds in Ottawa, Ontario. It was a landmark event in her career as it marked the first time that the Czech Republic competed in the Top Division of the IIHF Women’s Worlds.
Despite losing to Sweden in the relegation round, Povova and her teammates played valiantly and were competitive at all times. Along with talented players such as Katka Mrazova and Alena Polenska, these three comprise a solid foundation that should provide more great moments for women’s hockey in the Czech Republic.
Following her historic performance as a member of the Czech contingent that competed in Ottawa, her second stint came in June. The maritime city of St. John’s, Newfoundland hosted the Women’s Ball Hockey World Championships and Povova made a remarkable impact.
Along with goaltender Katherina Becevova, the dynamic duo would rack up a pair of honors at tournament’s end. Povova was named to the Tournament All-Star team while Becevova was recognized as Best Goaltender. While rival Slovakia competed against Canada in the gold medal game, the Czech Republic emerged with a bronze medal in a 5-0 shutout win over the United States. In reflecting on both events, it marked a cherished time in her storied career,
“It was a lot of fun to compete in both events. Both of them were important to me in different ways. In Ottawa, we got to play with the best teams in the world and it was a great experience. The games were high level and fun to play. It was great to see where our team stands and how much we have to improve to stay in the top division.
I think the Czech team has made big progress over the years and our game has improved. The ball hockey World Championships in St. John’s was something that I just wanted to do for fun and enjoy without any stress.
Of course, I still take it seriously and gave my 100 percent, but it was something that just reminded me why I still love the game. Playing ball hockey helped me to gain my confidence and just enjoy the game with no pressure.”
As women’s hockey in Europe continues to grow, Povova is truly one of its finest stars. Her legacy includes finishing as one of the top scorers at the 2011 IIHF Division II World Championships. One year later, she would log three goals as the Czechs claimed the gold in the Division 1 Group A Women’s Worlds in Ventspils, Latvia.
Looking to build on that momentum in the NCAA, she has already been part of some remarkable Huskies teams. Coming off consecutive Beanpot titles, the next goal for Povova and her teammates is to qualify for the NCAA tournament. Playing in one of America’s hockey hotbeds, the Huskies compete in the Boston area with the likes of Boston College, Boston University and Harvard. Quite possibly the finest team in NCAA Division I to have not played in the NCAA tournament the last two years, the end game is to qualify and win in 2014.
“It will take teamwork to win the NCAA’s this year. I think that we have a really good team this year and playing together as a team will take us there. If every single one of us will give everything they’ve got while having faith in every single one of us, it will be hard to beat us.”
Image courtesy of Northeastern Huskies Athletics