While the Syracuse Orange women’s ice hockey team will return to play this weekend to face Robert Morris for their first contests since Dec. 12, five former Orange players will be suiting up for a very unique and atypical 2021 season with the National Women’s Hockey League.
As a result of COVID-19, the league will run its sixth season in a bubble at Lake Placid, New York, with all games being played at Herb Brooks Arena, the site of the memorable 1980 Miracle on Ice game. Over the two week season, each member of the six-team league will play five games — one against each team — before starting the Isobel Cup playoffs. Out of the five former SU skaters, three will be competing on the league’s newest team, the Toronto Six, who were announced as an expansion squad back in April.
Here’s a complete look at all of the ‘Cuse alums who will hit the NWHL ice beginning Saturday.
Allie Olnowich - Defense, Metropolitan Riveters, Syracuse 2016-2020
Olnowich signed with her home-state Riveters at the end of November, following her graduation from SU last spring. Over 131 games in an Orange jersey, she scored five goals and recorded seven assists, and never missed a contest over her final two seasons. Her goal against Robert Morris in the 2019 CHA Tournament championship game helped Syracuse to their first-ever conference title and first-ever NCAA Tournament appearance.
Brooke Avery - Forward, Metropolitan Riveters, Syracuse 2016-2019
A former teammate of Olnowich for three years in Central New York, Avery will be playing in her second season for the Riveters after scoring five goals in 21 regular-season games last year. She started her collegiate career at the University of New Hampshire but ultimately transferred to SU, where she played for three years. As a senior Avery served as an alternate captain and registered 22 points, tied for second-best on the team. Her 14 goals as a redshirt junior in 2017-18 led the team and was tied for fourth in the CHA.
Shiann Darkangelo - Forward, Toronto Six, Syracuse 2011-2013
Darkangelo, a member of the U.S. National Team who won a gold medal in the 2016 IHF World Championships, will begin her sixth professional season with the Six. The Michigan native previously had NWHL stops with the Connecticut Whale and the Buffalo Beauts. Darkangelo began her career at Syracuse, racking up 23 goals from 2011-2013, before transferring to Quinnipiac University. She led the Orange in scoring in her sophomore season and had a freshman-high 18 points as a rookie.
Megan Quinn - Defense, Toronto Six, Syracuse 2014-2018
The former ‘Cuse standout just recently signed with the Six back on Jan. 5. Following her four-year collegiate career, Quinn played one season with the Toronto Furies of the Canadian Women’s Hockey League before becoming an assistant coach at SUNY Cortland. The Belleville, Ontario native scored 14 goals over 140 games at Syracuse and was a member of the 2018 CHA All-Tournament team as a senior.
Lindsay Eastwood - Defense, Toronto Six, Syracuse 2016-2020
Eastwood signed with the Six back in June after an impressive NCAA career. She graduated as the school’s all-time goals leader for defensemen, and was awarded the prestigious Doris R. Soladay Award at the 2020 Cuse Awards for her community involvement. As a senior last year, she was elected team captain and won the CHA Best Defenseman Award, in addition to being All-CHA First Team and being on the league’s All-Academic Team.
The unprecedented 2021 NWHL season will see all six teams kick off the action Saturday, before the remainder of the week-long regular season ensues. Fans will have a few different ways to follow the brisk season. The semifinals and title game will be played live on NBC Sports Network on February 4th and 5th, making it the first time that professional women’s hockey games will air on a major American cable channel live. The league also maintains a streaming deal with Twitch and the results of the season can be followed on the league’s website, https://www.nwhl.zone/.