In her own words, Brianne Schmidt, a forward on the women’s hockey team, claims that her transition to American college hockey has been a completely new experience — considering all of her prior playing experiences were in Canada.
“It was a shock coming here at first,” said the first-year Calgary native. “The game is a lot faster and more physical. The girls are four and five years older than you and it takes a lot more training.”
However, for anyone who has been following Schmidt’s first few months with a Cornell jersey on, it appears that she has had no trouble in making a name for herself in the college ranks. As well as being the leading scorer for Cornell with eight goals and four assists, Schmidt will also enter this upcoming weekend’s games against St. Lawrence and Clarkson co-leading the ECACHL in power play goals with six.
Further, the Agriculture College student’s stick continues to heat up. Prior to Saturday’s 1-0 loss to Vermont, Schmidt had collected four goals and seven total points in the team’s previous six games.
Those stats are pretty impressive for a player whose skating history began wearing a pair of figure skates, not hockey skates.
“I began skating when I was two,” Schmidt recalls. “My parents first signed me up for ballet and figure skating lessons, though.”
All that changed, however, when she began watching her older brother, who eventually played at the junior level in Canada, on the ice.
“He was my inspiration,” Schmidt said. “I matched myself after his style. Now, people say that watching me play is like watching him play.”
Beginning her playing career on boy’s teams, she eventually found her hockey niche playing five to six days a week at the National Sport Academy. There, it was during her junior year of high school that she first started getting recruiting calls from Cornell.
“I fell in love with the Cornell campus and program,” Schmidt said. “It was a great opportunity to be on the ice with [Cornell head coach] Melody Davidson.”
Since her arrival on campus, Schmidt has enjoyed developing her hockey skills under her new head coach.
“I’ve learned to pay more attention to details,” Schmidt said. “Also, I’ve become both mentally and physically tougher. The coaching is amazing.”
Besides giving much credit to Davidson, Schmidt also modestly credits much of her success at Cornell thus far to her teammates.
“My teammates have really been the ones to give me all my opportunities to put the puck in the net,” she said. “I’ve gotten assists from many different players.”
In the end, though, all Schmidt is really concerned about is how the team plays, not her own individual stats.
“My goal is to progress on and off the ice,” she said. “I just want to come off the ice each day a better player and person.”
Archived article by Scott Reich
Sun Staff Writer