business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

There was a really interesting piece in the New York Times the other day about women’s college hockey that, to be honest, I had not noticed until it was brought to my attention by MNB reader Thomas Gordon. (To be clear, I didn’t see the story because I’m not very interested in hockey; it matter not a bit that it was about women’s sports.)

The story was about Holy Cross and how the women’s hockey team there - which averaged 20 wins a season for the past decade while winning six conference championships - this season finds itself with a record of 1-28-3. The story notes that “the Crusaders have been shut out in 11 games and have been held to one goal in 14 others. They failed to score on their first 43 power-play opportunities after scoring at a 30 percent clip last season.”

It wasn’t because all the good hockey players graduated, though; in fact, this year’s co-captains are three seniors who have had considerable success.

It was because Holy Cross moved up to play as a Division I team.

The Times makes the point that while it has been frustrating for the teammates, three things have happened.
One is that any sense of complacency that the team had from dominating in its longtime division is gone. Faced with better competition, they’ve learned that the process of getting better never ends, and in fact depends on continually raising the stakes and facing greater challenges.

Second, the team recognizes that what they are doing is a long-term project … that getting good enough to excel in a higher division could take several years. Many of the people on the current team may not be around to enjoy that when it happens, but they understand the nature of what they’re doing.

Finally, remarkably enough, they have learned to enjoy the game despite the losses.

The Times writes that “what this season isn’t providing in victories, it is providing in perspective, as well as an appreciation for the course the team is charting for the future.”

Sam Girard, one of the senior co-captains, puts it this way: “I look at hockey so much different now. I enjoy the competition every time we play. I wouldn’t trade this for the world.”

Remarkable, I think. And my idea of an Eye-Opener.
KC's View: