Photo Courtesy: USA Hockey - Reagan Carey, the new director of women’s hockey for USA Hockey, hopes her first IIHF World Women's Championship in charge leads to a gold medal on Monday in Switzerland.
Darren Eliot is best known for his work as the television analyst for the National Hockey League’s Atlanta Thrashers.
Reagan Carey, who became the director of women’s hockey for USA Hockey in August 2010, also knows him as someone who could predict her future.
“I had sensed something like this position was coming to her two or three years prior,” said Eliot, who also oversees the Thrashers’ community hockey programming and worked alongside Carey in that capacity. “I told her she was going to be either an athletic director or a director of women’s hockey. After she got the job, I told her ‘See, I told you so.’ I had no doubt she was the uniquely right person for the job both from the sports standpoint and from the business standpoint.”
Eliot hasn’t looked into his crystal ball to predict the outcome of the IIHF Women’s World Championships, being held this week in Switzerland, but Carey has to like the outcome so far. The U.S. topped Slovakia 5-0 in its opening game on Sunday and then cruised past Russia, 13-1, in Monday. Team USA rounds out preliminary play with a game against Sweden on Wednesday, and hopes to round out its World Championships debut under Carey’s leadership with a gold medal next Monday.
With a mix of veterans and young players also making their World Championships debut, Carey like the newest version of Team USA.
“I don’t think we have to harp on what the objective is at the World Championships,” Carey said. “Everybody is really focused on what they need to do as a player, team and coaching staff. We’ve been spending a lot of time evaluating our own performance to know exactly what we need to do to get the job done.”
Among those on the roster are Angela Ruggiero and Jenny Potter, the only U.S. player to have played in all four Olympic Winter Games since the women’s hockey was added to the program in 1998.
On the other end of the spectrum, four players from the U.S. team that won the 2010 Under-18 World Championships will make their debut with the senior team this week. That number is not lost on Carey.
“They’re well aware of what kind of opportunity they have to play for their country,” she said. “Given that they are young, it’s impressive to see that they don’t take it for granted. We’re starting to see that leadership develop, and we hope that translates as they continue on to the senior level. (The U-18 national team program) has given those players an opportunity to grow and develop on the international level before they hit the international team.”
For the select players who make the national team in the future, Carey plans to use all resources available. The residency program