Wednesday, 6 January 2016

Marissa Gedman a second generation sports star for the Boston Pride

Among the remarkable accomplishments in her distinguished sporting career, Marissa Gedman gained the opportunity to participate in a historic match. Joining her teammates from the Boston Pride, she took to the frozen ice surface in front of over 43,000 fans for the Women’s Winter Classic at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts. Competing against the CWHL’s Canadiennes de Montreal in the first-ever professional women’s ice hockey match hosted outdoors, the final result was a 1-1 tie.

The real victory was the chance to raise awareness of women’s hockey to an unprecedented level as two of the finest professional teams in North America added an exciting new chapter to the epic Boston vs. Montreal hockey rivalry. For Gedman, the event gave her an opportunity to share an experience that her father Rich was accustomed to for so many seasons.

Having competed in major league baseball with the Boston Red Sox from 1980-90, Gedman was a two-time All-Star and a runner-up for the American League Rookie of the Year Award in 1981. A lifetime .252 batter, he was the club’s starting catcher for most of that decade, reaching a pinnacle in his career in 1986 when the Red Sox participated in the World Series. It was not uncommon for Gedman to play in front of capacity crowds numbering over 50,000 fans, especially in the World Series, when he and his Red Sox teammates certainly became household names.
The diamond has also been the sight of several glories in Gedman’s accomplished sporting career, serving as a place where family can bond. Attending preparatory school at Noble and Greenough, she was not only a captain for the school’s field and ice hockey teams, she served as a three-time captain on the softball team.

Bestowed the honor of All-Independent School League honors for softball in 2007 and 2009, her glorious softball career represented an opportunity to emulate her dad’s baseball glories. It also allowed her to follow in her mother’s footsteps.
 
Of note, her mother, Sherry, was a softball and basketball player with the University of Connecticut. In addition, her brothers Matt and Mike Gedman played on the varsity baseball team at the University of Massachusetts. Matt was selected by the Red Sox in the 2011 MLB Draft, while Mike has played for the Worcester Tornadoes.

Prior to competing with the Boston Pride, Gedman had made a name for herself at the NCAA level with the prestigious Harvard Crimson. Earning ECAC All-Rookie Team nods in 2010-11, Gedman was the leading scorer among Crimson rookies with 17 points.

As a sophomore, she would follow it up with four game winning goals, including the winning tally which eliminated Princeton from the 2012 ECAC quarterfinals. After redshirting the 2012-13 campaign, she valiantly returned for her junior campaign, gaining the honor of team captain. Among the highlights of her season, she would log the game winning tally in a road contest against Cornell, providing the Crimson with their first win on Cornell’s home ice in five seasons.

Coincidentally, she was not the only member of the Crimson roster with proud sporting roots in her family. Competing alongside Gedman for three seasons was Kalley Armstrong, the granddaughter of legendary Toronto Maple Leafs captain George Armstrong.

Making her debut with the Boston Pride on October 11, 2015, she would log her first career point one week later. Competing on the road against the New York Riveters, Gedman and Brianna Decker (recognized by The Hockey News as the finest women’s player in the world for 2015) earned an assist on Jordan Smelker’s third period goal, a 7-1 final for Boston.

The impact of the Women’s Winter Classic was just as special for Marissa as the World Series was for her father. Taking into account that she was also the recipient of the Boston Bruins’ John Carlton Award in 2010, (the Bruins were also the host franchise for the Winter Classic), it added an even stronger sense of achievement. Jubilant in the Classic’s aftermath, she was excited to share in the excitement of such a proud accomplishment, sharing her joy with reporters and earning the opportunity to shine in the spotlight, while extending the Gedman’s proud sporting legacy in Boston.

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