In her first season with the Illinois-based Lindenwood University-Belleville Lady Lynx, Williams Lake’s Hallie Fisher is a American Collegiate Hockey Association silver medalist.
The 19-year-old forward, who made the big decision to leave her family in Williams Lake and head east to Ontario to pursue her dream of playing hockey at the age of 15, said her freshman season with the ACHA division one Lady Lynx was nothing short of remarkable.
Lindenwood University-Belleville fell just shy of a national championship, hosted in Frisco, Texas, falling 5-2 in the final March 31 to Liberty University. At the ACHA National Championships, close to 1,500 players from 72 teams across all five ACHA divisions converged to compete March 21-31 in both men’s divisions one to three and women’s divisions one and two.
“It was just a really good season,” Fisher said. “We were hoping to win, so we were kind of bummed out, but this is the furthest this team has ever gone at nationals, so we made history.”
“I’m loving it here, the girls are amazing, and we’re like a big family. It’s just insane.”
Fisher was one of 12 freshmen on the club — over half the team’s roster.
“I’m having so much fun.”
The team played a 27-game regular season, where weekly rankings were issued by the ACHA in order to seed teams for nationals.
In round one the Lady Lynx were pitted against Grand Valley State University in a best-of-three series beginning March 27.
The Lynx lost game one 4-3, then rebounded with a 10-2 drubbing of Grand Valley, before winning the do-or-die game three 3-2 in overtime.
“The first game we weren’t mentally there,” Fisher said. “That game set us back, but we came back mentally, physically prepared and came out and did our job and in the third game we could just not bury the puck no matter what we did, but our captain came through and scored in overtime.”
In the semifinal Fisher and her teammates beat Adrian College 4-2, before the championship versus Liberty University.
Off the ice, Fisher is pursuing a degree in exercise science.
Of playing in a national championship, Fisher said it was an amazing experience.
“It was 24C out when we arrived [in Texas], and super nice,” she said. “Everyone at the tournament was super welcoming, and the community was great, and the rink was amazing. Overall, a really great experience.”
After moving from Williams Lake Fisher played for the Timmins Falcons Midget ‘A’ team in Ontario, before joining the Ontario Hockey Academy U19 Juniors where, in her final season, she recorded 20 goals and 30 assists in 80 games — also leading the team to a silver medal in the Eastern Women’s Hockey Conference while earning a 4.0 GPA.
Asked about the recent decision to shutdown the Canadian Women’s Hockey League, Fisher said it’s unfortunate news.
“Women’s hockey isn’t as big as men’s hockey, so it’s a bummer, but the National Women’s Hockey League has now announced they’ll have two new teams in Canada so that’s awesome. There’s always an upside to everything.
“Maybe after I’m done my degree and if the opportunity came up [to play in the NWHL] I’d jump at it.”