3 Northwood alumni to return for 2021 NWHL season
LAKE PLACID — Brooke White-Lancette was attending Northwood School and playing for the Lake Placid Rockets girls hockey team in 1997 when fellow alumni Cailey Hutchison and Alyson Matteau were born — Feb. 11 and Dec. 17, respectively.
All three will return to Lake Placid this winter as players during the National Women’s Hockey League’s condensed 2021 season and playoffs at the Olympic Center. The league, featuring six teams, will conduct its entire upcoming season and 2021 Isobel Cup playoffs at the 1980 Rink-Herb Brooks Arena between Jan. 23 and Feb. 5.
“It is great to see them returning,” Northwood Associate Head of School Tom Broderick said Wednesday, Dec. 2. “If you look at the vanguard of players, Brooke helped to open the sport for Alyson and Cailey. To have them here at the same time is amazing. Cailey and Alyson are the footprint of the modern hockey player.”
Hutchison and Matteau both graduated from Northwood in 2015 and played on the University of Maine women’s hockey team together.
“We are thrilled with the announcement of the NWHL coming to Lake Placid for their playoffs,” said Northwood Head Girls Hockey Coach Trevor Gilligan. “We are even more excited to welcome back three alums and have the opportunity for our current players to hopefully see play!”
As a coed, independent boarding school for students in grades 9 through 12 with a wide array of sports teams, Northwood has a rich history of grooming future collegiate and professional athletes and Olympians. Students from the school have participated in every Winter Olympics since 1964, including six former Northwood student-athletes at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. Lake Placid’s Andrew Weibrecht, for example, is a two-time Olympic medalist in Alpine skiing and 2003 Northwood graduate.
“Over the years, thousands of Northwood student-athletes have called the Olympic Center their home ice,” said Northwood Associate Director of Advancement Stephanie Colby. “To have these women step on this historic ice in their professional careers is truly a proud moment for us all.”
Veteran forward Brooke White-Lancette, 41, is an original member of the Minnesota Whitecaps, which was founded in 2004. This will be her 17th season on the club’s roster. Last season, she had two goals and an assist in 10 games.
“Brooke is a team leader and the hardest worker on our team,” Minnesota General Manager and co-head coach Jack Brodt said in October after she signed a new contract with the team.
After graduating from Northwood in 1998, White-Lancette played at Northeastern University from 1998 to 2003. During that time, she took a year off from college to take part in the U.S. Women’s National Hockey Team residency in Lake Placid during the winter of 2000-2001. She played in the 2001 World Championships and pre-Olympic Tour and participated in several development camps for the national program.
“I’m so proud to be a part of the Minnesota Whitecaps,” White-Lancette said in a team press release in October. “Nothing compares to being on the ice with your teammates, and to have the opportunity to defend and compete for the Isobel Cup is something truly special. As always, I’d like to thank the NWHL, the Whitecaps organization, our coaching staff, loyal fans, TRIA Orthopedic, TRIA Rink, the Minnesota Wild, my teammates, and my family for making it possible to be a part of the game we’re all blessed to play.”
In April, forward Cailey Hutchison, 23, re-signed with the Metropolitan Riveters, based in Monmouth Junction, New Jersey.
“Cailey is going to medical school and an ambassador of the sport,” Broderick said.
Hailing from Hicksville, New York, on Long Island, Hutchison was the 21st overall pick in the 2018 NWHL Draft out of Maine. During the 2019-20 season, she was 3-8-11 in 24 games with the Riveters.
“You won’t find a harder-working player than Hutch,” said Riveters Head Coach Ivo Mocek. “It says a lot about her that it was her first season in the league and our players picked her as one of the captains. Hutch’s work ethic and attitude inspire players, and I know I can send her on the ice at any time and situation during the game. She was our most reliable penalty-killer.”
In June, defender Alyson Matteau, 22, signed with the Buffalo Beauts. Originally from Montreal and now from Mirabel, Quebec, she was the captain of the University of Maine Black Bears women’s hockey team. She was the No. 2 all-time leading scorer among defenders for that team.
“Alyson is an ideal blend of skill, tenacity, and hockey IQ,” Beauts General Manager Nate Oliver said in a June press release. “Ever since she played for Team Canada at the 2015 U-18s in Buffalo, our staff has followed her career closely and we know all the great attributes she will bring to the Beauts. We are absolutely thrilled that she Alyson is joining us. Opposing players are not going to enjoy competing against her.”
Matteau was captain of the Northwood School girls hockey team in 2013-14.
“Alyson is one of the best players of her generation, following in her dad’s footsteps being a professional hockey player,” Broderick said.
Playing more than 800 regular season games in the National Hockey League, her father, Stephane Matteau, 51, was a member of the New York Rangers 1994 Stanley Cup championship team.
Matteau was named to the Hockey East Second All-Star Team in 2017-18 and was selected to the 2015-16 Hockey East All-Rookie Team. In 136 games, she scored 16 goals and added 45 assists for 61 points. She won a silver medal with Team Canada at the 2015 IIHF U-18 World Championships and played three consecutive years for Team Quebec’s U-18 squad, and won gold in her final year at the Canada Winter Games.
“I’m looking forward to being part of the Beauts this season and continuing my hockey career as a pro in the NWHL,” Matteau said in a press release.