During the National Hockey League lockout that changed the landscape of professional hockey in the autumn and winter, hockey fans should have taken advantage of the opportunity to watch a remarkable hockey player from Cole Harbour, Nova Scotia. This player is not Sidney Crosby, rather she is a phenomenal multi-dimensional player who is working towards returning the New Hampshire Wildcats to the glory of season’s past.
Like Crosby, the talented Alexis Crossley attended Shattuck-St. Mary’s academy in Faribault, Minnesota. With Shattuck, Crossley won bronze medals in 2009 and 2011 at the Under 16 U.S. National Championships. In 2010, Crossley would help Shattuck claim the Under 16 gold. In addition, Crossley helped Shattuck to the gold medal at the 2011 Under 18 U.S. National Championships.
Emerging as the new hockey hero from Cole Harbour, the 5’8” defender made her debut for Team Canada with the National Under-18 program in August 2011. During a highly emotional three game series versus the United States U18, Crossley bolstered the blueline as Canada prevailed in the series.
Crossley follows in the footsteps of another remarkable women’s hockey player from Cole Harbour; 2012 CWHL Draft pick Suzanne Fenerty. Of note, Fenerty was the captain of the St. Francis Xavier X-Women. She would help Canada grab the gold medal at the Winter Universiade in 2011, respectively.
Her contribution to the Canadian team would be part of a 2011 filled with many exciting events. She would compete with the host team Nova Scotia at the 2011 Canada Winter Games (hosted in her birthplace of Halifax). Although the host team finished in eighth place, she logged a respectable six points (three goals, three helpers) in six contests. A few months later (November 2011), Crossley competed with Team Atlantic at the 2011 National Women’s Under-18 Championship in Saguenay, Quebec.
Despite being an underdog squad, Crossley helped the club to a very respectable fourth place finish. Several of her teammates would go on to NCAA schools. Goaltender Stefannie Moak is in her freshman year with the Cornell Big Red. Shannon MacAulay (who would play with Crossley at the 2012 IIHF U18 Worlds) joined the Clarkson Golden Knights.
Hockey truly runs in her blood as her father Brad played university hockey in Canada for the Dalhousie Tigers. As a side note, Brad Crossley also coached Crosby at the Midget AAA level with the Dartmouth Subways. She is the oldest of four children, all of whom competed for the Cole Harbour Bel Ayr Wings. One of her brothers, Brett, also competes at Shattuck St. Mary’s. He is currently in the Bantam T1 level. Brady Crossley participates with the Truro Bearcats, while youngest sister Haley Crossley plays in the Nova Scotia Female AAA Hockey league.
She first came to prominence in minor hockey, where she would gain a reputation as a proven winner with gold medals in three consecutive Atlantic Challenge Cups. The 2007 edition saw her claim the gold medal for Team Nova Scotia along with winning the Hard Hat Award. She would follow it up a year later with gold at the Irving Oil Atlantic Challenge Cup as a member of the Cole Harbour Bel Ayr Wings. In 2009, she would claim gold once again with Team Nova Scotia.
As a member of the Canadian Under-18 national women’s team in 2012, Crossley provided more hockey heroics. She won a gold medal with the Canadian national team in heroic fashion at the 2012 IIHF Under-18 Women’s Worlds. In a 3-0 win on January 7, 2012 versus the United States to claim the gold medal, Crossley scored the first goal (which would stand as the gold medal winning tally). She would follow it up with an assist on the second goal of the contest, a power play tally by Sarah Lefort (who would also earn a two point performance).
Currently, the prodigious Crossley is emerging as one of the prized recruits of the 2012-13 NCAA women’s ice hockey season. Her first NCAA goal came in her second career game with New Hampshire. Against the Colgate Raiders in an October 6 contest, Crossley netted a power play tally in the third period with assists going to Kristine Horn and Kristina Lavoie.
For the month of December 2012, Crossley was named Hockey East Rookie of the Month. During every New Hampshire contest in December, the first year phenom logged at least one point, including a power play goal in a 4-1 loss to the Boston College Eagles.
During the first half of her rookie campaign, her greatest performance was a three point effort on October 20 versus the Boston College Eagles. In a 4-3 win versus the Eagles, Crossley opened the scoring in the contest, and then she notched a power play goal at 9:33 in the final frame. Her second goal stood as the game winner as New Hampshire fought back from a 3-2 deficit. Two days later, she was named Hockey East Rookie of the Week.
The large ice surface at New Hampshire complements the skills of the multi-talented Crossley. Despite playing defense, Crossley is an offensive minded defender. Her skills have paid remarkable dividends for a rebuilding Wildcats program looking to return to its NCAA Frozen Four since 2006.