ROCHESTER, N.Y. – While its been a rough season for her Rochester Institute of Technology Tigers, Brookdale’s Mallory Rushton still believes her teammates will make some noise before the year is over.
Rushton is in her third season with the upstate New York university that plays in the NCAA Division 1 College Hockey America conference against teams from Penn State, Syracuse and Mercyhurst University in Erie, Penn.
“We had a bit of a slow start to the season, but we’ve always been a second-half team so I'm hoping we’ll do much better,” said the 20-year-old forward. “We have a very young team this year, but they’re getting better every game.”
A graduate of the Cumberland County Minor Hockey Association, Rushton played a season of Peewee AAA in Truro before joining the Major Bantam Bearcats. While playing minor hockey, Rushton played both forward and defence – something that has helped her this year.
“We had a lot of injuries earlier this year so I went back and played defence for a bit,” said Rushton, who works as an instructor with the Andrews’ Hockey Program in Charlottetown during the offseason. “I'm going back to forward now and am sort of looking forward to it because it’s my best position.”
Rushton, who is studying new media marketing and science, came to RIT in 2015 after playing prep school hockey in New Hampton School in New Hampshire. She had two goals and two assists in four games that season and a goal and three assists in 32 games last year. This year, she had three goals and five assists in 22 games.
She said playing at New Hampton helped her make the jump to NCAA hockey and is hoping to continue playing after her senior year next season, possibly in Switzerland.
“Being away from home is difficult, but going to North Hampton helped in that I got used to being away,” she said. “It’s a little farther than New Hampshire, but you’re so busy in college between studies and being on the road for hockey every weekend. We often leave on a Thursday and get back late Saturday or Sunday. You don’t have much time to think about home.”
Rushton said it was nice to be home for Christmas. During the break she was asked to drop the puck at an Amherst Ramblers home game and got a chance to reacquaint herself with some of her best friends like Ramblers defenceman Lucas Sangster and goalie Carly Jackson, who is playing for the University of Maine Black Bears.
She’s also not ruling out going back to school to study toward her master’s degree.
One of her highlights this season was making ESPN’s Top 10 plays of the week (https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=nlo4uTjedR4) in November for a penalty shot goal in overtime that gave the Tigers a 2-1 win over Boston University.