Methuen’s Conway delivers dynamic pro hockey season, featured on ESPN | Sports

Around 9 pm last Monday, Twitter began to buzz across the Merrimack Valley.

Amanda Conway, the record-setting former Methuen High hockey star, was being featured on ESPN.

Now a member of the Connecticut Whale of the Premier Hockey Federation women’s professional league, Conway had just scored a highlight-reel goal in the league’s championship game, and was interviewed between periods live on ESPN.

“Being interviewed on ESPN was awesome!” said Conway, a 2015 Methuen High graduate. “I was more nervous than normal though because I knew it was on TV. But it was still an awesome experience. Playing for the championship on ESPN was really amazing, and a great step in the right direction for women’s hockey. ”

The goal in the Isobel Cup championship game – which appeared on ESPN SportsCenter – was the culmination of a breakout year for Conway in the six-team PHF, the country’s premier women’s hockey league, formerly known as the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL).

Conway finished the fourth season in the PHF in goals (12), led the league in power play goals (5) and was sixth in points (21) in 18 games this winter.

“Playing for the Connecticut Whale this winter was something very special,” said the 25-year-old forward. “It was basically my first year because last season was only five games due to COVID. The team environment this year was awesome and really made it fun to go to practice and travel for games. It was a great season. ”

Professional star

She had historic careers at Methuen High (204 goals in three seasons. Was No. 2 all-time in state) and at Norwich (school-record 116 goals), winning NCAA Division 3 MVP honors as a senior. Conway was drafted with the No. 18 overall pick in the then-NWHL Draft by the Whale.

Was she ever worried about going from a Division 3 college to a league made up primarily of former Division 1 college stars?

“I was never nervous about the competition,” said Conway. “I think I always knew I could do it. It was just a matter of time before it started happening. I knew once I found my spot and I was comfortable, things would fall into place

“(My success shows) that the difference between D3 and D1 college hockey for some players was just a choice they made for what was best for them at the time, like in my case. A lot of people think it’s a huge gap, but I just don’t see much difference between the divisions. “

She appeared in four of the Whale’s five games as a rookie during the COVID-shortened 2020-21, scoring a goal and an assist.

Conway returned this winter, and established herself as a star. She scored a goal in six of Connecticut’s first seven games. She ended the regular season with five goals in the Whale’s final four games, then scored the game-tying goal in the championship.

“My most memorable moment is the goal from the championship,” she said of the wrist shot she fired home from the left faceoff circle. “I had my parents in the crowd, and to tie the game for my team was a huge turning point in the game. Even though we didn’t come out on top (Boston won 4-2), that was a huge goal for me. ”

Juggling real life

Like all players in the PHF, Conway juggles hockey and a full-time job.

She is currently the director of the North Shore Wings Hockey Club girls program, which she previously played for.

Conway now lives in Amesbury, a three-hour, 180-mile drive from the Danbury (Conn.) Ice Arena that the Whale call home.

“Juggling work and practice is definitely difficult at times, because I was commuting to Connecticut twice a week for practice and then games on the weekend,” said Conway. “But the experience so far has been awesome and I would change it for anything.”

Conway said she is unsure what will come next in her professional hockey journey, but she would love to build off this winter.

“I have really thought about next year at all yet,” she said. “I’m hoping to be back, but we’ll see what happens.”



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