By James Murphy
The Boston Shamrocks are preparing for the 2017-18 season with a new Director Of Hockey Operations at the helm of their Under-19 and Under-16 women’s teams.
Kingston, Ont., native Sean Fisher was recently brought in from the University of Manitoba.
He and his coaching staff of Molly Corl, Abby Gauthier and Samantha Pion have instantly gelled. They are united in helping the Shamrocks organization continue to achieve their goals and be one of the best teams in the Junior Women’s Hockey League.
“The Shamrocks elite-level JWHL teams are definitely headed in the right direction with the depth of talent that we have in our ranks,” said Fisher to USA Junior Hockey Magazine recently. “Our No. 1 goal for the year is to help build a long-term sustainable plan for the Shamrocks organization that encompasses all facets of running an elite level women’s hockey program.
“Everything the Shamrocks organization does is geared towards the promotion of players to the collegiate level,” said Fisher. “The development of the complete college-ready player with both how they play and think the game is a major priority for the entire Shamrocks staff.”
The Under-19 team has undergone a complete makeover. The previous coaching done by Corl and Gauthier made the construction of the 2017-18 roster as seamless as possible.
The Shamrocks were able to transition a group of players from the Under-16 team as well as bring in recruits from elsewhere, specifically a Canadian contingent Fisher was familiar with from his time coaching in Manitoba.
“We are excited about the former U16’s that have moved up to the U19 team. The fact they are ready to make a significant contribution is a full credit to the coaching team of Molly Corl and Abby Gauthier at the U16 level the last couple years,” Fisher said. “We will also bring in a number of Canadian players to round out the U19 roster. We’ll have pretty dynamic players at every position.”
Fisher has brought in a new contingent of Canadian players. Julie Alberts, Ashley Hirschfield, Trechelle Bunn, Taylor Tom, Keyara and Keyanna Lea, Mya Jorgenson, Carrigan Umpherville and Shayna Moore have all arrived in Boston ready to meet, practice and play with their fellow Shamrocks teammates.
“[They are] all quality hockey players that will benefit greatly from the facilities, services and exposure that the Shamrocks Hockey Club can provide,” Fisher said, of the Canadian seven.
These signings are a perfect example of why Shamrocks owner Bob Rotondo brought Fisher on board and his new colleagues are happy to have him as Corl and Gauthier pointed out recently, noting the structure and recruiting skills Fisher brings.
“Sean has been awesome so far and definitely brought an immediate sense of organization to the Shamrocks,” Corl said. “It’s always nice to have a breath of fresh air come in with new ideas and ways to do things. Abby and I have been very open to seeing what he has to bring to the table and we are lucky to have Sean.”
Fisher meanwhile could not be more pleased and appreciative of the foundation that Corl and Gauthier laid down when they helped build the Shamrocks organization into what it is today and how they’ve maintained the fundamental values and goals of the program both at the U19 and U16 levels.
“It has been a pleasure to get to work with Molly Corl and Abby Gauthier in my short four months with the organization,” Fisher said. “Both are hard-working staff members, with strong playing backgrounds that clearly have built quality relationships with the players in our organization.
“The talent that is moving to the U19 team and the talent that is returning to the U16 team is a testament to the job they did!” added Fisher.
For Gauthier and Corl, it’s all part of the job of coaching, nurturing and preparing their student-athletes for the next chapter in their lives.
“Being a hockey coach for several years, you prepare for and adapt to certain situations,” Gauthier said. “What you make of it is what counts. We have built several lasting relationships with families here at the Shamrocks, and that has definitely worked in our favor.”
The players moving up from the U16 squad to the U19 this season are Julia Masotta, Shea Verrier, Lauren Coccolutto, Kaleigh Cadorette, Kailey DeSantes and Madison Nichols. Returning to the U16 squad are Sheridan Terrazano, Jackie Lees, Sydney Vautour, Riley Nichols, Mia Buenarosa and Dena Akers.
The Shamrocks also welcomed new U16 assistant coach Samantha Pion, who will bring a lot of knowledge of the game to the organization.
“Going into this off-season, we were excited for the opportunity to move up a good amount of our U16’s and players that have been in the organization,” Corl said. “We were also very optimistic to bring in new players that fit what we want out of our organization. We are very excited going into the season with the rosters that we have, and we are very excited to work with this great group of girls.”
Another key to this latest roster transformation and pushing the organization forward has once again been the leadership and stewardship of Rotondo. Constantly working, innovating and adapting, Rotondo remains the backbone of this organization and that has not gone unnoticed by his staff.
“Bob is Bob. He always finds a way,” Gauthier said. “That’s why Molly and I look up to him so much, because he has that ‘never back down or give up’ attitude about him and is relentless. I continue to learn from him each day I’m in the organization.”
“All along, Bob has always been there for the girls,” she said. “Bob has been a constant and is in it for all of the right reasons. He is always honest with people about expectations and realities. Bob is truly in this for the girls, and for their development not only on the ice but also off the ice.”
Fisher has seen the same from his new boss and is appreciative of Rotondo allowing him to come in, implement and execute his plan.
“Bob has been fully supportive of me in the role I have with the club,” Fisher added. “He has allowed me to bring in players from all across North America. The fact he has shown the confidence in me to do the job allows me to be the best hockey coach I can be. At the end of the day, that is what is best for our players. What I admire most about Bob is the fact that he never wavers in putting the player first.”
The Shamrocks, with Rotondo at the helm, and with Fisher, Corl and Gauthier working together with their new rosters, are ready to play some hockey, compete with the best in the JWHL and, of course, help place their players in the best possible spot to live the next chapter of their lives.