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Shenae Lundberg ’15

Shenae Lundberg ’15

Trailblazing on the ice

By Molly Congdon '12

Shenae Lundberg ’15, one of the first goalies in the new National Women’s Hockey League, started playing the game pretty late in her childhood. Comparatively speaking.

“I was 10 years old playing soccer—as a goalie—on a U12 team,” said Lundberg, who was born in Canada but moved to Peterborough, N.H., when she was four. “A few of the girls on the team played ice hockey and were looking to start a girls program in New Hampshire, and asked if I would be willing to try goalie. I said yes.”

But it didn’t seem meant to be at the beginning.

“The first few times I went, I hated it. The equipment was really uncomfortable,” Lundberg said, “and I remember feeling so behind. I looked out on the ice and saw that all the other girls were able to skate.”

Her competitive nature kept her from giving up, though.

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“This was the first demonstration of my extreme competitiveness and drive to want to be someone that people can depend on,” she said.

And now, because of that dedication, she’s a netminder in the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL), formed in 2015.

“I am extremely happy to play for the Connecticut Whale,” Lundberg said. “Last season (2015-16) was the first opportunity for women to continue to compete at a high level, after college, in the U.S. It is also the first time that female hockey players are getting paid to play ice hockey in North America. I’m getting to live the dream.”

While the women aren’t “making huge money like in the NHL and most have to work separate jobs to get by,” Lundberg said, the members of the NWHL recognize the importance of the league’s formation.

“I had always wished I could play in the NHL because there was no female version of it. Now I not only get to play at the highest level, but I’m also part of the start of something that will go down in history,” Lundberg said. “I am unbelievably fortunate that I can be a part of something that will allow young girls to have something to dream of and work for.”

Lundberg’s other job is goalie coach to youth teams in the Connecticut area. Between her own training for the NWHL and that of the young goalies, she stays very busy.

“My time at Union was unforgettable,” Lundberg said. “I learned a lot about my personality and what drives me to work hard. Both in the classroom and on the ice I realized how dedicated you have to be to achieve what you want; whether that’s winning a game or getting the best grade.”