Methuen’s Conway delivers a dynamic professional hockey season, shown on ESPN | Sport

Around 9 p.m. last Monday, Twitter began buzzing across the Merrimack Valley.

Amanda Conway, the record-breaking former Methuen High hockey star, appeared on ESPN.

Now, Conway is a member of the Connecticut Whale in the Premier Hockey Federation’s women’s professional league, and Conway had just scored a highlight goal in the league’s championship game and was interviewed between periods live on ESPN.

“Being interviewed on ESPN was great!” said Conway, a 2015 Methuen High candidate. “I was more nervous than usual, though, because I knew it was on TV. But it was still a great experience. Playing for the championship on ESPN was really great, and a big step in the right direction for women’s hockey.”

The goal of the Isobel Cup championship game – which appeared on ESPN SportsCenter – was the culmination of a breakout year for Conway in PHF with six teams, the country’s leading women’s hockey league, formerly known as the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL).

Conway finished the season as number four in PHF with goals (12), led the league in power play goals (5) and finished sixth in points (21) in 18 games this winter.

“Playing for the Connecticut Whale this winter was something very special,” the 25-year-old forward said. “It was pretty much my first year because last season was only five games due to COVID. The team environment this year was great and made it really fun to go to training and travel to games. It was a great season.”

Professional star

She had historic careers in Methuen High (204 goals in three seasons. Was No. 2 through time in the state) and in Norwich (school record with 116 goals), winning NCAA Division 3 MVP honors as a senior. Conway was drafted with the overall number 18 in the then NWHL Draft by the Whale.

Was she ever worried about going from a Division 3 college to a league made up primarily of former Division 1 college stars?

“I was never nervous about the competition,” Conway said. “I think I always knew I could do it. It was just a matter of time before it started happening. I knew that when I found my place and I was fine, things would fall on space

“(My success shows) that the difference between D3 and D1 college hockey for some players was just a choice they made for what was best for them at the time, as in my case. Many people think it is a big gap, but I just can not see the big difference between the divisions. “

She appeared in four of the Whales’ five games as a rookie during the COVID-abbreviated 2020-21, where she scored a goal and an assist.

Conway returned this winter and established himself as a star. She scored a goal in six of Connecticut’s first seven games. She ended the regular season with five goals in the Whales’ last four games, and then scored the matching goal in the championship.

“My most memorable moment is the goal from the championship,” she said of the wrist shot she fired home from the left faceoff circle. “I had my parents in the crowd and it was a huge turning point in the match to keep the match out of my team. Even though we did not get to the top (Boston won 4-2), it was a huge goal for me. “

Juggling in real life

Like all players in PHF, Conway juggles hockey and a full-time job.

She is currently the director of the North Shore Wings Hockey Club’s girls program, for which she has previously played.

Conway now lives in Amesbury, a three-hour, 180-mile drive from the Danbury (Conn.) Ice Arena, which the whale calls home.

“It’s definitely hard at times to juggle work and training because I commute to Connecticut twice a week to practice and then fight on the weekends,” Conway said. “But the experience so far has been amazing and I would change it to anything.”

Conway said she’s not sure what’s coming next in her professional hockey journey, but she would love to build on that this winter.

“I’ve really been thinking about next year yet,” she said. “I hope to be back, but we have to see what happens.”

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