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Tina Cardinale a living legend in Northeastern Huskies hockey

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Revered as one of the greatest to wear the Northeastern Huskies jersey, Tina Cardinale Beauchemin set a gold standard that future generations have sought to emulate. Graduating as the Huskies all-time scoring leader with 174 career points, her 104 assists not only stood as testament to her strong playmaking ability, it also represented the new standard. As of 2023, Cardinale ranks sixth all-time in Huskies scoring, exemplary of her impact spanning generations.

Among the crowning achievements in a brilliant career, a strong point of pride remained the prestige of the team captaincy. Serving as team captain during the Huskies undefeated season in 1987-88, it marked a treasured pinnacle. Revered as a blue collar team, Cardinale was the leader of this hardworking lunch pail gang. Although the pressure of remaining undefeated was understandable, a team culture built on mutual respect ensured success in the end.

“Absolutely, it cannot get better than that (being team captain). While we were an undefeated team, at times, it was a little nerve wracking. We never wanted to lose. The University of New Hampshire (UNH) was our biggest competition.

While our undefeated season was on the line with every game, I really enjoyed that season. It was such a great time and we were like a family. There were no egos and I think that is where the success came from. We played together for a common goal.”

Recently, Cardinale’s legacy recently took on new meaning. Having first gained induction into the Huskies Athletics Hall of Fame in 2002, she holds the rare distinction of such honors twice. Worth noting, the 1987-88 team took a well-deserved place in the Hall in November 2023, the honor took place on the team’s 35th Anniversary of their first ECAC championship.

Also named to the Beanpot Hall of Fame in 2016, the year 2018 provided Cardinale with another treasured milestone. Earning a place on the Beanpot 40th Anniversary Team, she was joined by several other Huskies luminaries.

Including head coach Don McLeod, goaltender Kelly Dyer, forward Fiona Rice, plus blueliners Nina Koyama and Donna-Lynn Rosa, all were members of the iconic 1987-88 team. Additionally, other Huskies named to the Anniversary Team included Kendall Coyne, Shelley Looney, Jill Toney and Hilary Witt. Worth noting, Cardinale was also named a co-captain of the Anniversary Team, joined by Harvard great Jennifer Botterill.

Enhancing the impact of this Anniversary Team included consideration among the 40 Greatest Moments in Beanpot history. Three Huskies teams that Cardinale starred for gained a nod on this list. Ranking highest at number 11, the 1986-87 team were celebrated for their 7-1 rout of the Harvard Crimson in the Final. The undefeated 1987-88 squad, landed at #24, besting Harvard by a 5-1 mark to claim the Beanpot that year. Meanwhile, the 1985-86 Huskies were recognized at #26.

“Being part of the 40th Anniversary Beanpot team was great too. I believe this one (1987-88 induction) is the most special to be honest with you. The team is first and it is more important than getting individual recognition. The sum of its parts.

This is great for all the women on the team. Recently, someone mentioned in an article that we were a blue collar team. We played so well together, and worked hard. We had a genuine love of the sport.”

Undeniably, the pinnacle of Cardinale’s hockey odyssey took place in 1990. Marking the first year that the IIHF hosted a women’s world hockey championship, Cardinale proudly wore the Stars and Stripes, making history. In addition to appearing in the gold medal game, Cardinale served as team captain. Worth noting, fellow Huskies legend Kendall Coyne served as captain for the US Olympic team in 2022.

Certainly, the gold medal game in 1990 served as the proverbial cherry on top for the Huskies halcyon days. With the first chapter of the storied Canada versus US rivalry occurring in this legendary game, Cardinale recalled how a capacity crowd at Ottawa’s Civic Centre added to the feeling of jubilation shared by the Huskies greats gracing the ice.

“There were 10,000 fans in the stands. It was great to share it with Kelly (Dyer) and Coach McLeod. Vicky (Sunohara) came to Northeastern and (Laura) Schuler too. To play against each other was a great experience.”

Remaining in the game today, Cardinale enjoys the combination of recreational play and coaching. Belonging to a club team, part of an organization that has spanned over a half century, she amassed over 800 points in 20 seasons with the South Shore league. Additionally, her acumen and solid skill set made her a valued member of the coaching staff for the Algonquin/Hudson Titans. Named as head coach in the autumn of 2022, she spent the previous five seasons as an assistant coach on Michael Hodge’s staff. Worth noting, her first season as head coach saw three of her players, Olivia Bower, Bryn Domolky and Emily Johns named to the Metro Daily West All-Star Team for Winter 22-23.

Among Cardinale’s highlights with Algonquin involved winning the MIAA Division 2 State Championship in March 2022. An historic first in program history, the achievement extended Cardinale’s hockey legacy in Boston, still a champion generations afterwards. Defeating the Canton Bulldogs, the thrill of Mallory Farrell’s overtime goal in an exciting 2-1 triumph took tremendous lustre as the Finals were contested on NHL ice at Boston’s TD Garden.

“I still play with the same club team that I have known for 49 years, plus I play in a men’s league too. A, I coach a local high school team, Algonquin. We won the Division 2 State Championship at the TD Garden. That same year, the Division 1 State Championship was coached by a Northeastern alum. It was such a special feeling to have that in common.”

“All quotes obtained first hand unless otherwise indicated”

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