The NWHL’s two best teams this past season re-signed players crucial to success on June 18 with the Boston Pride announcing Mary Parker would be back for her fifth season with the team and the Minnesota Whitecaps announced that goaltender Amanda Leveille will be returning for her third season with the team and fifth season in the league. Both players earned All-Star selections with their play this past season and both will likely play key roles in their upcoming seasons.
With more trust from the coaching staff and an increased role on the team, Parker flourished this past season, setting career-highs in games played (17), points (24), goals (15), and assists (9). During her four years with Boston, she has 30 points (19g-11a) in 42 regular-season games and three assists in five playoff games.
“Mary is a staple in our offensive unit and seems to get only better each season,” said Pride President Hayley Moore in the press release announcing the signing. “Her two-way play, hockey sense, and her knack for the net make her so much fun to watch. Her character and commitment to our fans and the community will be a great example for our rookies. We can’t wait to see what Mary brings to the Pride in Season 6!”
Her 15 goals this past season ranked third on the team and in November she was named NWHL Player of the Month after putting up six goals and an assist during Boston’s three games.
“I’m incredibly excited to have signed with the Boston Pride for another season in the NWHL,” the 26-year-old Parker said. “It’s an honor to play for a first-class organization under tremendous leadership and at Warrior in front of the best fans. Playing for Boston has been a remarkable experience and I’m really looking forward to another great year. I can’t wait to get the season started and compete for the Isobel Cup!”
With Parker re-signing, the Pride now has 14 players signed. She joins forwards Christina Putigna, Lexie Laing, McKenna Brand, Sammy Davis, Jillian Dempsey, Tereza Vanisova, Carlee Turner, and Tori Sullivan, defenders Kaleigh Fratkin, Lauren Kelly, Mallory Souliotis, and Jenna Rheault, and goaltender Lovisa Selander.
The Champ is Here
Leveille had another A+ season in 2019-20, notching 16 wins with the Whitecaps, and improved her NWHL all-time wins total to 42 (In 65 games). She led the league in shutouts (3) and was a close second to Boston’s Lovisa Selander in every other major category.
“The NWHL extended my playing days and paid me to continue to be in the game that I love,” said Leveille, a two-time Isobel Cup champion, said in the press release. “I have so much love for the fans. I appreciate the hard work of Dani Rylan and her team, and the sacrifices that all the league’s players, coaches, staff, and the media that cover us have made so that the young players can look forward to a professional league that continues to grow and will be even bigger and better.”
In the playoffs she was just as stingy, picking up her first career playoff shutout behind 28 saves in a 1-0 overtime triumph against the Metropolitan Riveters. During her four NWHL postseasons, she is 5-1, with a 1.14 GAA and a save percentage of .960.
“My NWHL experience can be summed up in the crease at TRIA Rink,” said the three-time All-Star and 2018 Goaltender of the Year. “I hear the PA announcer say, ‘Welcome, your Minnesota Whitecaps!’ And our fans get loud. To my side is a young goaltender that I coach, because we include the players of the future in our game. I cannot thank the NWHL enough for those heartfelt moments.”
The Whitecaps now have four players signed for next season and Leveille will rejoin forwards Allie Thunstrom and Jonna Curtis, and defender Amanda Boulier.
Dan Rice is in his 9th year of reporting for THW & has covered NJ Devils home games for 15+ years at various websites. He began his journey working for legendary broadcaster/writer Stan Fischler from 2002-04 & completed an internship at the ECHL; he also has been writing features for the NWHL (nwhl.zone) website since 2016.