Girls Hockey: Wingers’ Haley verbals to Minn.-Duluth
Now, all three members of the Red Wing girls hockey team’s highly touted top line are Division I-bound.
This week, junior forward Reagan Haley gave a verbal commitment to play for the University of Minnesota-Duluth, giving the third-ranked (1A) Wingers three players bound for the Western Collegiate Hockey Association.
“I’m really excited,” Reagan said about her commitment to the Bulldogs. “It was a good fit and it just felt right to go there. I visited there in the fall and I loved it. It’s a good distance from home, and they’re in the WCHA, which is the best hockey in the country.”
Heading into the weekend, Minnesota-Duluth is 11-8-5 overall and 9-6-5 in the WCHA. Historically, the Bulldogs have been one of the most successful women’s hockey programs in the country, winning five national championships, including as recently as 2010.
“I loved the coaching staff. They’re a great team, and they’ve had a great past with five national championships,” Reagan said. “I just really clicked with them. It just felt right.”
After Red Wing’s 6-2 win Thursday over Farmington, Reagan has 63 points, which ties her for seventh best in the state. Her 43 assists are second best in the state.
With the verbal, Reagan joins line mates Nicole Schammel and Emily Stegora as the team’s D-I recruits. Schammel and Stegora signed National Letters of Intent back in November to play at Minnesota State University, Mankato. Together, the line has combined for 83 goals and 112 assists.
Reagan’s older sister, Paige, is in the midst of her freshman year as a forward/defenseman for the University of Minnesota. The Wingers also have former defenseman Rose Alleva playing at the D-I level, playing her senior season at Princeton University.
“It’s really nice for our program to be able to have four kids in the WCHA all at one time for quite a few years,” said Red Wing head coach and Reagan’s father, Scott Haley.
For years, Reagan teamed up with her sister and her line mates Schammel and Stegora. But Reagan is anxious to face her teammates on the other end of the ice.
“It’s so exciting to know I get to play against them in the future,” Reagan said. “I get to play Nicole and Emily, and my sister as well. It’ll be fun to battle it out with them.”
Reagan added, “(Paige) was very supportive of my decision, so that made it easier. It’s going to be awesome (playing against her). We’re really competitive with each other.”
Now, there’s the matter of which maroon and gold sweater Scott and his wife, Colleen, will wear when Reagan and Paige go one-on-one.
“We’re going to have to decide what the rules will be, if we’re going to go home or away, or if we’re going to go split jerseys,” Scott said. “It should be fun.
“It all kind of seems surreal. When the kids are little, you’re not thinking in terms of one of them’s going to be playing for the Gophers and one of them will be playing for Duluth. Between Duluth, Minnesota and Wisconsin, they own every single Division I national title. We’re excited for (Reagan) to be there and she’s excited about going. We’re thrilled the decision has been made.”