Three of the four NWHL teams have announced their practice players for the 2016-17 season, with the Boston Pride being the latest. The Pride signed six practice players in Kathryn Tomaselli, Lindsay Berman, Maggie Taverna, Marissa Gedman, Michaela Levine and Natalie Robinson.
Kathryn Tomaselli | F | Union College Dutchwomen
Tomaselli, a skater out of the Union College program, will join former Union players Shenae Lundberg and Ashley Johnston in the NWHL. As a senior, Tomaselli was named captain of the Dutchwomen and led the team in points, as well, earning 11 points (8 goals, 3 assists) off 83 shots, earning a 9.3 shooting percentage. Throughout her career she led her team with 50 points (31g, 19a) in 135 games with Union College.
Tomaselli, originally from Cranston, R.I., is no stranger to the Boston area and has had her sights set on the NWHL for the past year; she told American Sports Net in November that she hoped to pursue a career in the NWHL.
“My favorite part is just bearing down and being unmovable,” she told the site. “I’m not the biggest player, but I like to think I’m one of the toughest. On the power play, I want to be in there and I want my D’s shots to go through and coming right at me. I think I react well when shots rebound off the goalie and I’m quick to turnaround. I like to think that’s my spot.”
Tomaselli plays a no-holds-barred, go-for-gold game that brings a different flavor to the Pride’s offensive mentality.
Lindsay Berman | F / D | Connecticut Whale
Berman is a refugee from the Connecticut Whale that the Pride scooped up, one who played only a handful of games with the Whale last season after a lower-body injury suffered against the Buffalo Beauts’ Devon Skeats put her on the injured reserve for most of the season.
Berman is local to Boston, having spent several years as an assistant coach at the University of Massachusetts Boston and even serving as interim head coach last season. While on Connecticut, Berman played defense but is listed as a forward or defender by the Pride, which she has played before.
Berman’s single assist in three games with Connecticut is not indicative of her level of play, though she tends to contribute more on the side of playmaking than when it comes to scoring.
A 2011 graduate out of Northeastern University, Berman went on to play for the Boston Blades in the CWHL from 2010-14. She helped the Blades win the Clarkson Cup during the 2012-13 season and following that, captained the team during her final year of play in the CWHL. As a Blade Berman posted 15 points over 52 games.
Maggie Taverna | D | Boston Blades
Taverna was a defenseman for Boston College from 2005-2009, where she scored 67 points (15g, 52a) in 141 games and was named an assistant captain her senior year. During her time at BC Taverna also was one of the last 50 qualifiers for a spot on the U.S. women’s national team.
Since 2012, Taverna has worked as a high school girls’ hockey coach at Arlington Catholic High School, just this winter earning her 100th career win. She also spent one season with the Boston Blades (2013-2014), taking the ice in ten games and was named to the Hockey East 10th Anniversary Team in 2016.
Marissa Gedman | D | Boston Pride
A Harvard graduate, Gedman will be a familiar face for many; a stalwart second-pairing player, Gedman returns to the Boston Pride not as a roster player, but a practice player. Gedman is a quick thinker and patient, which combines for a smart player.
Gedman’s hockey IQ kept her vital to the Pride’s defense in the team’s postseason rush. Although her primary role was defense, Gedman has an offensive aspect to her play; during the league’s inaugural season she collected 6 assists in 18 regular season games on Boston as well as two assists in the postseason.
Athleticism runs in Gedman’s family; her father, Rich Gedman, was a catcher for the Boston Red Sox and Gedman clearly inherited many of his athletic talents, including the ability to think on her feet.
While at Harvard Gedman was named to the ECAC All-Academic Team and ECAC All-Rookie Team her senior and sophomore years, respectively. She was an Ivy League Honorable Mention honoree as a junior and a consistent presence on the ice, and was voted captain as a junior. In total, Gedman earned 75 points (19 goals, 56 assists) over 134 games as a Crimson.
Michaela Levine | F | Williams College Ephs
Levine is a recent Williams graduate, having wrapped up her final season with the title of her team’s leading scorer. Levine netted 55 points (30 G, 25 A) in 96 games, earning an average of 0.57 points per game, including eight game-winning goals and nine power-play goals. Although Williams is a Division III school when it comes to hockey, Levine’s work ethic should ensure she isn’t caught flat-footed on the ice.
Natalie Robinson | G | University of Maine Black Bears
Robinson, a netminder out of the University of Maine, should feel right at home on a team that boasted a Maine starting goaltender for its first season. Slated behind former Black Bear Brittany Ott and Cornell’s Lauren Slebodnick, Robinson will fill in during games when neither she nor Lauren Slebodnik can play, as well as provide an extra body in net during practices.
Robinson played very few games for Maine, standing in net for only a combined 40 minutes of two games over the course of her four seasons in Maine, making a combined 13 saves on 13 shots on net. While she does, technically, have a perfect record, her place on the practice squad is somewhat surprising, given her apparent inexperience playing at the college level or above.