Photo By Michael Hetzel
Miye D’Oench is in her second NWHL season and was the 15th overall pick in the league’s first-ever draft (2015). With 25 career points (11g-14a), the Harvard University graduate is already third all-time among the Riveters’ scoring leaders. D’Oench represented Team USA at the U18 Women's World Junior Championship in 2012 and was extremely excited when she found out she had been chosen to play on Team NWHL in Tampa on January 13 and 15.
With the chemistry Alexa Gruschow and yourself already have, it should be business as usual, right?
I’m hoping we’re going to still be on the same line! But obviously that’s (coach) Chad Wiseman’s call, so we’ll see what happens. We didn’t get a chance to play together last year, but when you’re somebody’s teammate – even if you’re not on the same line – you build a little bit of chemistry over the course of time. It shouldn’t be any different from any NWHL game or hockey game for that matter. I’m hoping we get to play together.
What does it mean for the league in such a brief period since it was born to have this opportunity?
Oh yeah, I think it’s great. It shows the respect that the administration and the coaching staff of USA Hockey has for our league. The fact that these will be the last games that they play before going to South Korea…that’s a really big deal. It’s an honor for me as a player and for the league as a whole to be a part of that preparation process in their journey that hopefully ends with a gold medal.
Is this a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to play against an Olympic team?
(Laughs) I will say that playing the Boston Pride last season wasn’t too far off! But definitely, I’ll never play a faster game for the rest of my life probably than those games in Tampa, and I’m pretty excited. At the end of the day though it’s still hockey. They’re human just like us. I’ve played against almost every single person on that team, except for a couple of the younger ones I’ve never faced. It’s business as usual. I’m not saying it won’t be tough, but it’ll still be hockey.
Obviously you want to win, but any personal goals for the two games?
I want to give them the hardest game that they can play – to get them as prepared as possible. I’m going to forecheck my best, make it hard on their defense, and make them earn any win. That’s the goal of our whole team. Obviously we’re all competitive and the goal is always to win a game, but in this particular case this is really about giving them the best preparation that we can.