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Alaskan native performs well for women’s hockey

November 15, 2007

Students and faculty should be advised that hidden amongst this year’s class of freshman is a girl with a serious condition. She might be the girl in the front of the class or one who passes by on campus, but like a werewolf under a full moon, she goes through a serious transformation upon entering Hunt Arena.

Witnesses say that she enters the locker room a freshman girl and comes out a five foot six Alaskan menace, covered in body armor, and dawning a mask, only to face a barrage of shots unleashed by a firing squad of college athletes.

Her intention is to feel the impact of every shot. It could be fearlessness or it could be madness. It could be that the women’s hockey team has found their new goalie.

Cassi Campbell is a true freshman goaltender who joined the Falcons this year from the Toronto Rattlers, a Canadian women’s hockey team where she tended goal following her high school career. Hailing from Anchorage, Alaska, Campbell attended West Anchorage High School, where she was both the student body president and class president, as well as being named to the academic honor roll four times.

On the ice she excelled, receiving invitations to the USA National Development U 15-16 camp in 2005 in Lake Placid, New York, and the U 17-18 camp in 2006. Neither could top Campbell’s biggest hockey thrill, which was winning the Alaska State Championship in 2006. Helping lead her team to the championship as an assistant captain got Campbell named to the all-conference team as well as named the team’s most inspirational player.

Upon joining the Falcon hockey team Campbell became the go-to net-minder when it came to replacing All-American goaltender Amber Linder this season.

With the season underway, Campbell got her first taste of collegiate victory after making 25 saves in her first college start against St. Catherine. She also got the call for the second game of the season in which the Falcons fell to Gustavus, stopping 22 of 24 shots.

Campbell was recruited by head coach Joe Cranston after he watched her in net two years ago playing in Minnesota.

“Considering her strong background and play at the development camps we knew she was a solid goalie,” Cranston said. “She’s the type of player that can give us a chance to win every game.”

Campbell credits the coaching staff and team chemistry with making her transition to college a more enjoyable one.

“I love our team,” Campbell said. “The upperclassmen are the experienced ones, the freshmen all get along with everyone and the coaches are some of the best I’ve ever had.”

The positive team chemistry helped settle the shock of new surroundings.

“I was a little scared at first,” Campbell said. “Because I feared not knowing anyone, and I was bummed because I had to fly here from Alaska, and I didn’t get to bring hardly any of my stuff.”

Following a large shopping day at Target, Campbell joined up with her roommate, fellow hockey freshman Bailey Vikstrom, who plays defense.

“Bailey made living easier right away,” Campbell said. “Soon I got to know the town and realized that it was its size that really appealed to me. I wouldn’t get lost and I could get to know people.”

The new Alaskan addition to the women’s hockey team that is goaltender Campbell, brings to the position a strong work ethic, a willingness to learn and an extremely positive attitude.

Her goals for the year include getting better each day, being a goalie that the team can always depend on and helping the team get to the NCAA Tournament.

Campbell was named player of the week after she stopped 24 of 26 shots against Gustavus Nov. 10 and has a save percentage of .942 this season.

The Falcons travel to Lake Forest to open NCHA Nov. 16-17.