Movsessian Leads Off The Ice

Seven numbers are painted on the board in front of the home bench in Kelley Rink on Feb. 22. It’s senior day, and the women’s hockey team is celebrating the graduating class’ last regular-season game. While the numbers correspond to those on the jerseys of the graduating seniors, one of the numbers, 12, is not on the game roster: No.12 has not been on a roster since 2011.

Senior defender Amanda Movsessian’s time skating on senior day was the closest she has been to playing in a game since her freshman year.

“It’s the best time of your college career, senior year, and we’re winning,” Movsessian said. “How much would you love to be out there? Even just on the bench. I got to skate through the ceremony at our senior game, but that was it. I was sad because I just wanted to stay out there, you know?”

The women’s hockey team is currently seeded No. 6 in the country, going into the NCAA tournament, with a 27-6-3 record and national championship potential surrounding it. Movsessian is “100 percent” sure that the team will take home the national championship.

Hockey is a family affair in the Movsessian household. Movsessian’s father and aunt both grew up playing hockey competitively. Her aunt, Vicki Movsessian, played at Providence and holds a gold medal from the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.

“I just remember being a kid and watching [Vicki] play, and that’s when my dad got me more involved,” Movsessian said. “I started skating a few years previous to ’98, but that was when I started playing in games and for my town.”

In high school, Movsessian played at Lawrence Academy, where she shared the ice with current BC teammates Emily Field and Danielle Doherty. Her performances helped spur her dream of coming to BC, which had always maintained the top spot on her list of colleges to attend. In addition to this, Movsessian knew some of the players on the team and was familiar with the coaching staff. Associate head coach Courtney Kennedy is from the same town as Movsessian, and head coach Katie King Crowley played on the same ’98 Olympic team as Vicki. When it was finally her time, Movsessian made the trip from Woburn, Mass.to Chestnut Hill, Mass.
Movsessian played in nine games her freshman year, and remembers one in particular-an away game against Vermont. She vividly recalls going in for a shift, alongside defenseman Meagan Mangene. Movsessian was in clear scoring position, and eagerly awaited a pass from Mangene. Movsessian received the pass but botched the shot, missing the only scoring opportunity she would have at BC.

Her freshman and sophomore year, Movsessian played forward, but in the spare moments when she is healthy enough to step onto the ice, she now practices defense.
After featuring in nine games as a freshman, Movsessian sat out her entire sophomore season due to an influx of players on the squad.

“We just had like 30 people on the team, so I didn’t really get to play,” she said.

Her junior year, stress fractures in both of her legs kept her from playing, and this year Movsessian had mono at the beginning of the season, came back for two practices, and then tore her MCL. She gave one word for the physical therapy that she has had to undergo-awful.

“It’s all in your head, it’s just annoying to go in the training room every day and do the exact same thing every day,” she said. “Most days you don’t want to be there and it doesn’t feel like it’s getting better, but then obviously it’s worth it in the end.”

Having to deal with so much injury has forced Movsessian to adjust her role as a player into a mentor, friend, and social mainstay for the team.

“Amanda wasn’t able to finish playing, but has been a great off-the-ice kid,” head coach Katie King Crowley said on senior day. “She’s been a kid that will kind of keep the team together off the ice. She’s that kid that takes the younger kids under her wing and tries to show them the ropes here at BC and within our program … she has taken on her own role within that.”

Movsessian has been unable to contribute on the ice, but she hasn’t stopped helping the Eagles-she goes out of her way to befriend newcomers who seem to have difficulty fitting into the women’s hockey program.

“I can always pick out of a class who is going to be the shy one or who is going to be the one that needs a little help getting through, and those are the kind of kids that I attach myself to,” she said.

Movsessian recalled teammates Kaliya Johnson and Meghan Grieves as specific cases of players struggling with the transition. She said that their eccentric personalities took some time for the team to adapt to, and Movsessian worked to help the rest of the team to realize that “quirkiness is cool.”

“I feel like I’m just kind of weird with everyone,” she said, smiling.

This “weirdness” is much-needed for the unit and fulfills a necessary role for the team to operate with the right chemistry. She admitted that at first it was upsetting to not be able to play, but she said she is happy with her role as a mentor and unofficial social director.

“Right now, I would have loved to be on the ice, but I’m really happy with the relationships that I’ve made with my teammates,” Movsessian said. “In past years, I’ve been more distant, because [I am] on [my] own schedule doing [my] own thing. But, now I’m on a team schedule, I’m where anyone is and doing whatever someone wants.”