Courtesy of Nich Hall

Shanahan brings leadership as women’s hockey captain

February 15, 2022

Graduate forward and captain Kristina Shanahan is leading UVM women’s hockey to historic success in her fifth and final season with the Catamounts.

Shanahan, from Ste-Anne-De-Bellevue, Quebec, became captain two years ago after previously serving as alternate captain. This year, Shanahan leads a team that has won the most games in a season in program history and reached the national rankings, according to UVM athletics.

​​“I’m super grateful to have had the chance to come back for a fifth year and to have success this year has been truly special,” Shanahan said.

Shanahan and the rest of the graduating class celebrated their achievements at senior day in the Gutterson Fieldhouse on Feb. 12.

“We missed the fans last year and I know for me and for the other seniors graduating, we’re all gonna have some family in the stands,” Shanahan said. “So that’s really special.”

Despite their success, the team wants to continue to rewrite the record books, Shanahan said.

“Getting ranked was a first in program history and to be a part of that is super special,” Shanahan said. “But we don’t want this to be the highlight and we don’t want this to be the peak of our season.”

Shanahan is grateful to be in a leadership position on this historic team, she said.

“It’s definitely been a big honor,” Shanahan said. “Because our team as a whole is made up of such an amazing group of girls, everybody brings leadership qualities to the table. So it’s such an easy team to lead.”

The team appreciates Shanahan’s positivity and leadership, graduate forward Alyssa Holmes said.

“She’s such a good captain and role model for us all,” Holmes said. “She brings such a positive atmosphere to the group and everyone just looks up to her and respects her so much.”

Head coach Jim Plumer values Shanahan’s genuine nature and kindness, he said.

“She’s the kind of person who asks me how I’m doing on a regular basis and she really means it,” Plumer said. “It’s not just like ‘Hi, how are you’ but like, ‘Hey, how are you? It’s been a tough week. How are you doing?’”

Shanahan has had record on-ice success this season. With two games remaining, she has set career-highs with 15 goals, 13 assists and 28 points.

“When you have a senior leadership, you have a person with a letter on their jersey that’s going out and showing us how to do it, it’s awesome,” Plumer said. “And it’s easy for others to follow.”

Shanahan witnessed a positive change in the team’s culture during her five years at UVM, she said.

“If you look at every single person on this team, it’s just good people with good intentions, people that are bought in,” Shanahan said. “You put that together and it’s gonna equate to a really good culture.”

As the Catamounts near the Hockey East tournament, Shanahan focuses on winning post season games and extending her UVM career by advancing in the playoffs, she said.

“It’s been a really good experience here and I’m sad that it’s all coming to an end, but hopefully we can extend the season as long as possible,” Shanahan said.

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