US captain Coyne Schofield duplicates Olympics |

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BEIJING (AP) — Kendall Coyne Schofield hasn’t completely quit her day job while captain of the United States women’s hockey team at the Beijing Olympics.

In her second year as the Chicago Blackhawks’ player development coach, Coyne Schofield plays a dual role at the Games overseeing Chicago goalie prospect Drew Commesso, who plays for the United States men’s team. United.

“My focus, obviously, is first and foremost with this team,” Coyne Schofield said, referring to the reigning Women’s Olympic Champions, who will face Finland in the semi-finals on Monday. “But I will definitely be watching, cheering from afar, and reporting to some of our folks in Chicago.”

To be clear, she said, the Blackhawks aren’t forcing her to do anything but focus on the game while in Beijing. And yet, Coyne Schofield feels compelled to do her part for the franchise she grew up for, and it made her the team’s first female coach.

Coyne Schofield has texted Blackhawks interim general manager Kyle Davidson to say she will be monitoring the team’s Olympic hopes.

“He says, ‘No, don’t worry about that. We got it,” she said. “I have their full support. But if I have the opportunity to see them play, I obviously look forward to it.”

There could be nothing wrong with her first report after Commesso – the youngest goalkeeper to play for the United States at the Olympics – stopped 29 shots in one opening of the tournament victory 8-0 on China on Thursday. The 19-year-old is in his second season at Boston University after being selected by Chicago in the second round, 46th overall, of the 2020 draft.

“She’s been really great with me,” Commesso said.

“I’m a big fan of her,” he added. “I watched her play in this tournament and I hope we will keep in touch. And hopefully I can get a signed stick or something from her because she’s a legend in women’s hockey.

It also helps that Commesso’s professional relationship with the three-time Olympian gives him advice on how to prepare for his first Winter Games experience.

“That aspect is pretty cool, because she knows what it’s like to perform on a stage like this,” he said. “She has been a great tool for me. And I will continue to use her to get help and contact her when I need it.

Commesso missed his opportunity to represent the United States at the world junior championships, which were abruptly canceled due to COVID-19 concerns shortly after they began two months ago. And yet, without omicron’s push, which led to the NHL’s decision not to compete in the Olympics, Commesso would not have had the chance to play for the United States.

He left BU with a 12-8-3 record this season to play for a youth-laden USA men’s team that started 2-0. The Americans will face Germany on Sunday night, with a chance to clinch the top seed and advance to the quarter-finals.

Coyne Schofield has three goals and two assists in five games for the Americans. She scored an empty net and set up Hilary Knight’s equalizer in the second period of a 4-1 quarter-final win on the Czech Republic on Friday.

In addition to playing and scouting, Coyne Schofield is also active in the Professional Women’s Hockey Players Association’s campaign to establish an economically viable women’s league in North America.

“It’s going to slow down at some point in life, isn’t it?” she says of all the jobs she juggles. “Being part of the change we are seeing in women’s hockey and women’s sports is extremely important to me. And if I can be a part of that change, it’s a role and an honor that I want to fulfill every day that I can.

Working with the Blackhawks gives her a glimpse of a career each time she’s finished playing.

“I appreciate where I am right now,” said Coyne Schofield, who turns 30 in May. “I’m so grateful for the support I’ve received from the Blackhawks to continue playing while being a full-time employee, especially this year because I haven’t been able to focus on them as much as I did last year. last time. year.”

The least she could do was give Commesso some advice.

“Before he gets here, he asks about packaging like most Olympians,” Coyne Schofield said. “And it’s basically just bring your underwear because you get so many clothes here.”

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