The NWHL may be in new territory when play begins at Herb Brooks Arena, but Amanda Conway is no stranger to Lake Placid, N.Y.
“I grew up skating in Lake Placid when I was a kid,” Conway said. “We always had tournaments there, so it’s going to be great to be back and relive those memories and make new ones.”
The Methuen, Mass. native capped off her Norwich playing career with a Laura Hurd Award as the top player in Division III women’s hockey, and although her Norwich days are behind her as a player, she’s still finishing her academic tenure. Initially, Conway was nervous the start of in-person classes was going to interfere with the Feb. 5 end date of the NWHL season.
“I was super stressed about that, but as soon as they announced the bubble, they emailed us about Norwich, because they hadn’t decided what they were doing either,” Conway said. “Then they were like, ‘February 11th,’ and I was like, “wow this is great.'”
Conway will still have to keep up with online classes while she’s in the NWHL bubble, but this sort of multitasking is not unusual within the league. Most of Conway’s teammates are juggling hockey will a full-time job, and they have to learn to leave those obligations off the ice.
“When we get to the rink it’s go time. Colton [Orr, Whale head coach] is very strict on that,” Conway said. “Anytime we hit the ice, that’s our job.”
The former All-American is also making sure not to look too far ahead in her professional endeavors, both because contracts tend to be year-to-year in the NWHL, and also because she’s not sure what her life will look like post-graduation.
“I don’t really know what that’s going to look like until I find a job and do all that stuff,” Conway said. “In school, it’s a little bit of a different task, because I don’t really know what I’m going to be doing next year. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.”
Conway’s professional career is set to begin on Saturday, Jan. 23 when the Connecticut Whale take on the Buffalo Beauts. That matchup concludes an opening day triple-header at 7 p.m. and will be streamed life on Twitch.