When head coach Melody Davidson came to Cornell, her goal was simple — to gain respectability for the Red icers. Just two summers later, Davidson’s goal is a bit loftier — to be the best in the world. Davidson will have her shot to do just that at the 2005 IIHF World Women’s Hockey Championships in Sweden, and again the next year in Torino, Italy, at the Winter Olympic Games, as the head coach of the defending Olympic champion Canadian Women’s National Team.
Davidson has been involved with the national team since the 1994-95 season when she served as an assistant coach on a team which took gold at the world championships. Davidson took the reigns of Team Canada during the 1999-2000 season, and captured the squad’s sixth world championship in as many years. Since then, Davidson has worked with the team as an assistant, helping to guide the team to first-place finishes at the Four Nations’ Cup in 2000, the 2001 World Championships, and the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City.
Before working with Team Canada, Davidson coached Team Alberta at the Canada Winter Games in 1995, and was an assistant for the Edmonton Chimos in 1996-97, who were the gold medalists at the 1997 Esso National Women’s Hockey Championship.
Davidson moved up to the collegiate ranks in 1997 as the first coach in Connecticut College’s history before coming to the Red in the summer of 2002.
In two seasons behind the bench for Cornell, Davidson has guided the team to two ECAC playoffs, losing both years to perennial powerhouse Harvard. Davidson has also increased the team’s win totals each year since her arrival. Some of that improvement can be attributed to the recruiting class Davidson brought in for this past season, which consisted of the team’s leading goal scorer, Halina Kristalyn, as well as forward Caroline Scott and goaltenders Beth Baronick and Sarah McConnachie. Three of the four women hail from Davidson’s native Alberta.
Davidson will attempt to make it three playoff appearances in three years this coming season for the Red before she takes a leave of absence to travel with Team Canada for games in both the U.S. and Canada in preparation of the 2005 World Championships in Sweden. Before that, Davidson, along with Hockey Canada’s Director of Female Programs, Julie Healy, will finalize the rosters for both 2005 and 2006, as well Davidson’s assistant coaching staff.
Archived article by Chris Mascaro
Sun Assistant Sports Editor