Embodying the spirit of a student-athlete, Meghan Grieves was part of a magical time for women’s ice hockey at Boston College. One that saw the program establish itself as more than just a Hockey East powerhouse, but a consistent contender for the national championship. Throughout these formative seasons, many talented athletes developed into more than just valued teammates, they would grow into character people and reliable leaders.
Grieves was part of an exceptional senior class that consisted of Lexi Bender, Alex Carpenter, Kaliya Johnson, Haley Skarupa and Dana Trivigno. Of note, Grieves reached several personal bests during her senior season, adding to her role as a leader. Setting a career high with 24 points, a remarkable growth as both a player and leader certainly defined her final season with the Eagles.
Statistically, Grieves registered a solid 24-point campaign on the strength of 13 assists, while starting her season with a solid six-game scoring streak. Of note, her 13 assists alone was a significant improvement on her junior season, where she amassed 12 points. A March 5 contest against the upstart University of Connecticut Huskies represented her last multi-point game. During said game, she was one of four Eagles, including Carpenter, Makenna Newkirk and Tori Sullivan that logged at least two points. As a side note, an assist against archrival Northeastern on March 12 would represent the final point of Grieves’ career with the Eagles.
“I think I found my stride this year. I became more confident in my ability and in what I could bring to the team. I also had incredible teammates who pushed me throughout my four years to get better, and coaches who believed in my potential.
My senior year, I decided I was going to leave everything I had on that ice, and that is how I played each game. Being a Boston College athlete pushes you to grow not only in skill but also in your capacity to lead. As a result, I without a doubt grew as a player and as a leader.”
Among the great achievements in her Eagles career, one of the most important took place off the ice. Bestowed with the honor of the Athletic Director’s Award for Academics, such a feat speaks volumes to her character and commitment, qualities that make her a valued teammate on the ice.
“It is a great award to receive. I am proud to be a Boston College student athlete, as we work hard to not only be the best we can be as an athlete, but also as a student. This award is a representation of my efforts in the classroom, and rewards me for my academic success.”
Raised in Cary, North Carolina, Grieves is part of a growing number of female players to emerge from the area known as “The Triangle,” encompassing Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. As the first female player to suit up for the Carolina Junior Hurricanes in the world-famous Quebec Pee-Wee Tournament in 2007, she has also faced off against several other fellow North Carolina natives.
The Murphy sisters, Colleen and Katherine have also suited up in NCAA hockey. Colleen, whom Grieves faced as an opponent in Hockey East play from 2012-15, as a member of Northeastern, the inaugural NWHL season also featured a pair of North Carolina residents. Erin Barley-Maloney was a member of the New York Riveters, while the Raleigh-raised Alyssa Gagliardi captured the inaugural Isobel Cup with the Boston Pride. The future for hockey in North Carolina is proudly represented by Wazhaw native Mackenzie Lancaster, who completed her freshman campaign with the Quinnipiac Bobcats, who also qualified for the 2016 NCAA Tournament.
As the first player from North Carolina to appear in the NCAA championship game, it was part of a memorable season for Grieves that featured an unprecdented highlight. Defined by a team accomplishment, one that set a new benchmark of excellence in Hockey East play, it allowed Grieves to finish her Eagles career in an exceptional manner. During the regular season, the Eagles became the first team in conference history (and second in NCAA history) to go undefeated. Spotting an impressive record of 34-0-0 in the regular season, the Eagles won another six playoff games and soared all the way to the NCAA championship game, another first in program history.
“Going undefeated in the regular season was an amazing experience and an incredible feeling. It was a representation of all of our hard work as a team, and it is an accomplishment that I will forever be proud of.
To be able to put on the Boston College jersey and play with that group of girls in itself was an honor, but to be able to win each regular season game with such a special team, that is a feeling that is hard to put into words.”
Among the great games from that undefeated season, Grieves definitely made her mark in the Eagles 25th win. Competing on the road in a visceral matchup against the Harvard Crimson and goaltender Emerance Maschmeyer, who has stood between the pipes for the Canadian national team at all three of its levels (U18, U22/Development, Senior), it represented a defining moment in the season, subsequently resulting in an exceptional milestone in program history.
With the Eagles last regular season loss taking place to Harvard on March 21, 2015, the squad was highly motivated to ensure that their undefeated streak would not come to an end against their state rivals. In the first period, Grieves would provide BC with the lead as she put away a rebound past Maschmeyer that started with a shot from Tori Sullivan, standing as the game-winning tally.
The two would combine again as the second period nearly expired. A beautiful backhand shot past the accomplished Maschmeyer would add to said lead, one that eventually ended with a win in the Eagles favor, only their second at Harvard’s Bright-Landry Hockey Center. Such a win provided the Eagles goaltender Katie Burt with her 50th career NCAA win, becoming the youngest player to reach the half-century mark in wins. Grieves’ contributions in that historic win solidified her impact with the program.
In a career that saw Grieves don the Eagles jersey for 152 career games, providing consistent play on the third and fourth lines, providing the program with talented depth on offense, she has experienced an upward progression as a player, person and leader, running parallel to the rise of the program. With eyes towards extending her playing career in the professional ranks, she leaves the Eagles with a fundamentally sound game that is destined to make her an even more valuable teammate.
While Grieves experienced many memorable highlights during her senior season, it was part of a bigger story, one that extended over four fantastic seasons, filled with an unseemingly amount of seminal moments. Through it all, she was proud to don the Eagles colors, helping contribute to a golden age,
“It is hard to choose a favorite moment at BC. Whether it was winning two Beanpots, a Hockey East Championship, three Regular Season trophies, or making it to three Frozen Fours, my four years at BC were full of amazing moments and exciting accomplishments.
I will however always remember when we made it to that Championship Game at the Frozen Four this year. After we got dressed, pulled the jersey over our heads, and stepped onto that ice, we made history, and left a legacy at BC as the first team to make it to that game. That is a moment I will never forget.”
“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”
Photo credit: Melissa Wade