Erin Dwyer AWHS ‘13, skates-up as a pro with Boston Blades women’s hockey team

Former Archbishop Williams High School Girls Hockey Captain Erin Dwyer '13 with her AWHS coaches, from left, Head Coach Mark McHale, Coach Ashley Faiella, and Coach Bob Sullivan. Erin has been drafted to play for the Boston Blades, a professional women's hockey team in the Canadian Women's Hockey League.

Former Archbishop Williams High School Girls Hockey Captain Erin Dwyer '13 with her AWHS coaches, from left, Head Coach Mark McHale, Coach Ashley Faiella, and Coach Bob Sullivan. Erin has been drafted to play for the Boston Blades, a professional women's hockey team in the Canadian Women's Hockey League.

Erin Dwyer ‘13, former captain and player for both the Lady Bishops girls hockey team and the Purple Knights women’s team at St. Michael’s College - where she was coached by fellow alumnus Christopher Donovan ‘69 - has been selected to play for the Boston Blades, a team within the professional Canadian Women’s Hockey League (CWHL).  

"The Boston Blades are excited for the upcoming season. We are thrilled to have players like Erin Dwyer trying out this year as we rebuild our team and get ready for the 2017-2018 season," said General Manager Jessica Martino.

It’s an honor for Dwyer with deep roots at Archbishop Williams High School.

“I am so grateful for the support, encouragement and skills that I received from Coach Mark McHale, Coach Bob Sullivan and Coach Ashley Faiella during my time playing hockey at Archbishop Williams,” Dwyer said. “Through their guidance I was able to grow as a hockey player and continue to play at Saint Michael’s College.”

“I had the privilege of coaching Erin for four great seasons,” said McHale. “As a person, she led by example on and off the ice. She was an Honor Roll student, always willing to help her peers in and out of the classroom and her teammates on the ice. Erin won the prestigious Hobey Baker High School Ice Hockey Award her senior year which was a tremendous award for leadership and dedication. Erin was captain of the Lady Bishops her junior and senior year - that alone speaks volumes about her.”

Donovan, a four year hockey player at Archbishop Williams, coached the Weymouth native all four years at St. Michael’s.

“Erin was easy to coach because she always came to practice with a great attitude and work ethic,” said Donovan. “She knew the game very well and had this knack of being able to steal the puck from players while behind the player. I have never seen anyone do it so well.”

Erin Dwyer, '13, and St. Michael's College '17, playing for the SMC Purple Knights, who were coached by Chris Donovan, AWHS '69. 

Erin Dwyer, '13, and St. Michael's College '17, playing for the SMC Purple Knights, who were coached by Chris Donovan, AWHS '69. 

Donovan began his hockey career at Archbishop Williams playing for his role model, coach Frank Quinn who taught him the skills he would later pass on to Dwyer. After Archbishop Williams, Donovan advanced to play at the college level for four years at Norwich University, where he was named captain in 1973. A coach for 27 years - 22 years coaching women - he has been at St. Michael’s College for 18 years.

“Archbishop Williams has always had a great hockey program,” Donovan said. “That is the reason I chose AWHS and I’m sure it is for a great number of players both girls and boys. Although Erin is the only alumna (at St. Michael’s) that I have coached from AWHS, I am sure there will be another along the way.”

Erin Dwyer '13, standing, fourth from left, was captain of the St. Michael's College Purple Knights women's hockey team. She has been drafted to play for the Boston Blades professional women's hockey league.

Erin Dwyer '13, standing, fourth from left, was captain of the St. Michael's College Purple Knights women's hockey team. She has been drafted to play for the Boston Blades professional women's hockey league.

For Dwyer, her academic success at Archbishop Williams laid the foundation for her academic success at St. Michael’s College, which earned her acceptance into the highly competitive Tufts University School of Dental Medicine for the fall of 2018.  

“I had an amazing experience at Archbishop Williams High School and learned valuable lessons on and off the ice that I will continue to use throughout my life,” Dwyer said. “I am thankful for my time at Archies and for all the opportunities it has given me.”

Below is the official announcement from St. Michael’s College about Dwyer’s draft into the Boston Blades, including more information about her hockey experience at the college:

COLCHESTER, Vt. - Saint Michael's College women's ice hockey alumna Erin Dwyer '17 of  Weymouth, Mass., and a graduate of Archbishop Williams High School ‘13, was taken by the Boston Blades on Sunday, August 20, with the 64th overall pick in the Canadian Women's Hockey League (CWHL) Draft. Dwyer, the first selection in the 10th round, will join Desiree (Biron) Casian '10 as the second member of her program to play professional ice hockey.

"I am so grateful for the opportunity to be drafted in the Canadian Women's Hockey League by the Boston Blades organization," said Dwyer. "This opportunity would never have been possible without the support and encouragement of my coaches, teammates, the community and the athletic department of Saint Michael's College."

Dwyer played four years for the Purple Knights, tallying 31 goals and 25 assists in 103 games. She is tied for first in program history for career games played, sixth for goals, seventh for points (56) and tied for eighth in assists. A 2016-17 captain and three-time league all-academic qualifier, she tallied a total of 14 points with nine goals and five assists during her senior season after posting 10 goals as a junior, among the top 10 figures in program history. Dwyer earned the Victor V. LeMieux '35 Award at the 2017 Block 'M' banquet, which recognizes a student-athlete's loyalty and leadership in their program, both on and off the field of competition.

"Erin's a very gifted athlete and understands the game of hockey very well, and I think she'll have a good amount of success playing for the Boston Blades," said Saint Michael's head coach Chris Donovan.

In the spring of 2017, she completed her undergrad in biology and psychology, minoring in chemistry. On top of her student-athlete successes she was a member in five honor societies: Beta Beta Beta, Chi Alpha Sigma, Delta Epsilon Sigma, Phi Beta Kappa and Psi Chi. She served as vice president of the College's chapter of Beta Beta Beta. Currently, she is attending Tufts University School of Dental Medicine.

The CWHL, the highest women's ice hockey league in Canada, was founded in 2007. The Boston Blades started playing for the league for the 2010-11 season. Dwyer joins a Boston franchise that won the Clarkson Cup, the championship of the seven-team league, for the second time in three years in 2014-15. They are the only U.S. team in the CWHL, joining squads based in Calgary; Montreal; Toronto; and Brampton, Ontario; and two teams in China. The Blades begin their 2017-18 season near the beginning of October.

(Special thanks to Josh Kessler, Director of Athletic Communications at St. Michael’s College, for this article).