From May 1-31, NWHL teams can re-sign players from their 2016-17 roster and their draft picks during the restricted free agency period, and beginning on June 1 any unsigned players left will be free to sign with any team.
The third season of the NWHL will begin in October as the Buffalo Beauts defend their Isobel Cup championship, and with up to 12 players unable to participate in the league this season due to their selection for Team USA’s 2018 Olympic team, this will be the most competitive season yet.
My colleague Dan Rice will keep THW readers up-to-date on New York and Connecticut’s signings throughout the summer, while I post updates on Buffalo and Boston.
One of the original members of the inaugural Isobel Cup champion Boston Pride returns to the team. After a year spent playing for their New England rival Connecticut Whale, defender-forward Meagan Mangene is back with “The Pack.” The announcement of Mangene’s signing comes just days after her 25th birthday. THW takes a more in-depth look at the signing.
First Go-Round With the Pride
During the NWHL’s first season in 2015-16, Mangene was one of the original members of the Boston team. She appeared in seven games for the squad that season and recorded a lone assist. She would also accumulate eight shots on goal in those seven games. That includes a five-shot outpouring in a single game against Connecticut as part of a 2-1 Boston victory on Dec. 15, 2015.
With the Pride winning the first-ever Isobel Cup Championship, Mangene further became part of history in addition to being an original NWHLer. Her name is now forever inscribed upon the trophy. Not appearing in game action during the Pride’s playoff run that first go-round, she looks to play a larger role with the team in the league’s third season. Mangene stated through an NWHL press release:
“It’s great to be back in Boston for season three of the NWHL,” she said. “I plan on taking a bigger role for the Pride so we can help bring the Cup back to Boston. The passion for Boston sports teams is unlike any other. It was a great experience playing for the Whale and they have a strong fan base that will continue to grow in Stamford. I’m thankful to everyone in the Whale organization.”
Last Season With the Whale
Spending the 2016-17 NWHL season in Connecticut proved to be quite beneficial to Mangene. The opportunity to play a regular role with the Whale saw her appear in 16 of the team’s 18 regular-season affairs. An increased role not only gave Mangene more experience as a pro, but enabled her to better showcase her skills.
Mangene recorded a goal and three assists for Connecticut last year. Her first professional goal was accomplished in the process of putting 21 shots on goal. Perhaps more noteworthy though are the other numbers that she logged separately from her point totals. Mangene was one of only five players for the Whale to hit double digits (12) in blocked shots. Attributable to her versatility as a player, Mangene won the fifth most faceoffs on the Whale while playing both defense and forward.
With very few players in the league capable of playing both forward and defense, Mangene proves to be a unique utility player that Boston very much wanted to get back into their fold.
Mangene’s International Play
From Manorville, NY, a hamlet on Long Island, Mangene has represented the United States in women’s hockey on multiple occasions. She would be part of two gold medal wins (2008, 2009) and a silver (2010) for the U.S. while partaking in three consecutive Women’s U18 World Championships.
The silver was nearly a gold, as Canada edged out the U.S. in overtime of the gold-medal game. Mangene served as an alternate captain during that final year of U18 competition. That particular squad was comprised of numerous current and former NWHLers. In the three tournaments combined, Mangene scored five goals and eight assists in 14 games.
Back In “The Pack” Again
Boston is immediately strengthened at both the front and back ends with the Mangene signing. Though they still have yet to announce another goaltender or two (right now Brianna Laing is their only netminder), Mangene is certainly a nice edition. But will Boston utilize her on forward or ‘D’ once the season gets underway?
— Boston Pride (@TheBostonPride) August 25, 2017
With only 17 roster spots now filled, Mangene’s exact role with the Pride may not be known until more signings are announced. Right now, this is the current look of the Boston Pride:
Here is the Pride roster as of Aug. 26:
Goalie: Brianna Laing
Defense: Lexi Bender, Meagan Mangene (defender-forward), Alyssa Gagliardi, Marissa Gedman, Paige Harrington, Kaliya Johnson.
Forward: Paige Savage, Sydney Daniels, Mary Parker, Emily Field, Jillian Dempsey, Michaela Levine, Jordan Smelker, Dana Trivigno, Janine Weber, Kathryn Tomaselli
General Manager of the Buffalo Beauts (NWHL). Hockey history writer “The Hockey Writers”. Credentialed media for the NHL Combine and 2018 IIHF World Junior Championships in Buffalo, NY, USA. Born and raised in Buffalo, NY. Lifelong hockey fan for over 40 years. Proponent of the women’s game.