BROOKLYN, NY – Alyssa Gagliardi and Marissa Gedman, a pair of original Boston Pride defenders and important members of the 2015-16 Isobel Cup championship team, have both signed contracts to return to Boston for their third NWHL seasons.
“It's been an honor being part of the team since the league's inception, and I am grateful for the opportunity to wear the Boston Pride jersey again,” said Gagliardi. “The team will obviously have a different look than in years past, but we have a lot of highly-skilled and dedicated players. It's an exciting opportunity to continue growing our fan base, the league, and the women’s game.”
Added Gedman: “I am so thrilled to be back for a third season with the Pride. I have nothing but good things to say about the NWHL and the Boston Pride franchise – not to mention the amazing experience of playing pro hockey in the city of Boston. I hope for more success for the Pride this season as well as the continued growth of the game for the generations after us.”
Gagliardi, 25, was one of four recipients of the 2016-17 NWHL Foundation Award, given to the players most actively applying the core values of hockey to their community as well as growing the game.
“It's been a fantastic opportunity to play in the NWHL and to be able to be a role model for younger generations,” said Gagliardi. “I really love working with the youth players and organizations and being a part of the community events. The NWHL has done a great job to help grow the game. I'm grateful for the opportunity to be a part of it all again.”
In 34 games over the first two seasons of the NWHL, Gagliardi has 11 assists. Previously, the 5-4 defender played one season in the CWHL as a member of the Boston Blades, helping the club capture the 2015 Clarkson Cup.
A captain of the Cornell University team in her senior season, Gagliardi was 19-70-89 in 138 games over four years at the school. She studied Communications and Business, and currently works for a start-up company in the Boston area.
Gagliardi started as a roller hockey player in the Philadelphia area when she was very young. She began playing ice hockey when her family moved to Pittsburgh when she was six. Her family moved again when she was ten, this time to Raleigh, N.C., and Alyssa played for the Raleigh Youth Hockey Association and Carolina Eagles before going to school and playing at the legendary Shattuck St. Mary’s in Minnesota.
“Within hockey, I am really passionate about growing the girls’ game in non-traditional areas,” said Gagliardi. “Growing up and playing hockey in Raleigh wasn't a standard path, but it's the best thing that could have ever happened in my development as a player. I was fortunate to play on great teams and have great coaching. It's exciting to see how much the girls’ game, and youth hockey in general, has grown in the Carolinas and I feel really fortunate to be in a position to give back and help continue to grow it.”
Marissa Gedman, a 5-9 defender, has played 21 games with the Pride over the first two seasons of the NWHL and has 6 assists.
In four years at Harvard, Gedman was 19-56-75 in 136 games. As a freshman, Gedman was named to the ECAC Hockey All-Rookie Team. She led all Harvard rookies in scoring with 17 points on 5 goals and 12 assists. She was Ivy League Honorable Mention as a junior, coming back after a season off due to injury. As a senior, she was named to the ECAC All-Academic Team. The lifelong Bostonian developed at a players in the Assebet Valley program and at the Noble and Greenough School.
She studied Human Evolutionary Biology at Harvard and taught science the last two years at the school she attended as a student – Noble and Greenough. As the NWHL’s third season begins, however, Gedman is going back to school to pursue a Masters at Tufts in Biomedical Engineering. She intends to go to medical school.
Marissa’s father, Rich Gedman, was a catcher with the Boston Red Sox for 11 seasons.
“My dad has taught me so much about being a humble and hard-working athlete,” said Marissa. “The funny thing is, I don't know if he really knows how much he has impacted me. He's a quiet guy, but I've learned everything I know about being dedicated and gritty but also kind and generous just by observing him and his actions.
“My mom is my number one fan. She drove me to tournaments and early practices my whole life, and for that, I am so thankful. I can't sell her short, though – she was a phenomenal athlete back in her day, too. She played basketball and softball at UConn, so I think she might actually be the MVP of our family.”