Waterville’s Katy Massey wasn’t guaranteed anything.
If she was going to realize her dream of playing for the University of Maine women’s hockey team, she was going to have to prove to coach Maria Lewis that she was worthy of a roster spot.
That meant a rigorous summer of training to improve her strength and other aspects of her game.
Lewis took note of her work ethic and the fact she was a good fit on the team with her locker room presence. She contributed to the team chemistry.
Massey not only earned a roster spot, she has dressed for all 33 games.
She doesn’t get a lot of ice time but she has registered a goal and an assist and has had the time of her life.
Massey and her Black Bear teammates won a school-record 11 Hockey East games and will face Providence College in Saturday’s 2 p.m. Hockey East quarterfinal at Schneider Arena. The fourth-seeded Friars, who won a tie-breaker over Maine, won last year’s quarterfinal 5-2.
The winner will go to the semis in Hyannis the following weekend.
“Katy has done an awesome job,” said Maine senior center and captain Dawn Sullivan. “She brings so much heart to the team. She works her tail off every day. She works just as hard if not harder than anyone.”
“She may not get as much playing time as others on the team but she contributes just as much as anyone else. She always has a real good attitude and also brings a lot to the team in practice,” said senior defenseman Ashley Norum.
Massey played prominent minutes for the Waterville High School boys team during her career and was among the Panthers’ top six scorers a year ago.
She said playing at Maine has exceeded her expectations.
“It has been awesome,” said Massey. “When I came here, everybody welcomed me. I worked real hard over the summer. It has definitely been worth every minute of it.”
She said every player is made to feel like a part of the team, even those who don’t dress for games.
She feels she has improved thanks to her coaches and teammates.
“Once I started focusing more on the little things I need to do, it has helped. We have open ice every week so I go to that. And getting feedback has helped, too,” said Massey.
Massey and the Bears hope their season continues next week.