At the helm of the University of Connecticut women's ice hockey program since its inception, head coach Heather Linstad is set to guide the Huskies in her 11th season behind the bench. Linstad has led the Huskies to two Hockey East Championship appearances, including last season's runner up finish. She has mentored five student-athletes to major Hockey East awards with Cristin Allen and Jennifer Chaisson receiving inaugural Best Defensemen and Best Defensive Forward Awards following the 2009-10 season.
Ten members of the UConn women's ice hockey team have garnered All-Hockey East Selections over the past seven years, including one first-team selection and a trio of honorable mentions last year. Allen was named to the first team in 2010 following her second team honor in 2009 while Alexandra Garcia, Jody Sydor and Monique Weber all received honorable mentions.
Linstad has been a head coach for 18 seasons, spending the last 10 at UConn, collecting 141 of her 302 career victories with the Huskies. On Feb. 13 with a 4-1 victory over Providence, Linstad captured her 300th career victory to become one of just three Division I women's ice hockey coaches to achieve 300 or more wins in their career. That win placed Linstad among the elite as there are only four head coaches in either Division I or Division III women's ice hockey to have won 300 or more games.
A career highlight amongst a season of program highlights, Linstad and the UConn coaching staff guided the team to a 21-9-7 overall record and a fourth-place finish in the Hockey East standings after a 10-5-6-1 showing and a series of tiebreakers. The Huskies used a pair of quick starts to earn their place in the Championship Game, winning games at Northeastern and at top-seeded Providence. UConn ultimately fell in the first-ever overtime Championship Game in Hockey East Tournament History to Boston University. Cristin Allen, Michelle Binning and Amy Hollstein all earned spots on the Hockey East All-Tournament Team giving UConn the most number of honorees in program history.
During the season, the Huskies reached the highest national ranking received at No. 7 for two-consecutive weeks, ending the season at No. 9 according to the USA Today/USA Hockey Magazine Poll. Connecticut spent 11 weeks among the nationally-ranked women's ice hockey programs following the 2008-09 season during which the Huskies spent eight weeks among the top teams.
The 2008-09 season saw Linstad lead the team to its third-consecutive Hockey East Tournament berth with a 10-8-3 conference record. UConn finished the season with a 19-12-4 overall mark, that included a nine-game winning streak, during which the Huskies defeated eventual national runner-up Mercyhurst at Mark Edward Freitas. UConn defended its Nutmeg Classic Title with its third-consecutive such championship, hosting Wayne State, Yale and Quinnipiac.
Linstad mentored a trio of student-athletes to post-season recognition with Cristin Allen and Dominique Thibault each earning spots on the All-Hockey East Second Team while Brittany Wilson garnered an honorable mention following her final season. Allen was also honored with a spot on the New England Writers' All-Star Team, becoming the sixth Connecticut student-athlete to do so. In 2009-10, Allen followed with her second-consecutive such honor, becoming the first Connecticut player to earn a spot on the New England Writers' All-Star Team twice in their career.
At the time, it was arguably the most successful season in women's ice hockey history in Storrs, although the achievements of Linstad and her 2009-10 team challenged the 2007-08 squad that laid the foundation for success to come. The Huskies set a program-high for wins in a single season (22) and achieved the most number of Hockey East victories (13) in program history. En route to the nine-game winning streak that was tied in 2008-09, the 2007-08 Huskies won four games over nationally ranked opponents and set a plateau yet to be reached - an 11-game unbeaten streak.
In addition to the team accolades achieved throughout the 2007-08 season, two individuals were acknowledged for the contributions to the team. Dominique Thibault was named the program's first ever Hockey East Player of the Year and All-American. Jaclyn Hawkins because the team's first student-athlete to earn the Sportsmanship Award, capping off one of the most successful women's ice hockey careers in Husky Hockey.
Entering the Hockey East Tournament for the second-straight year, UConn was the No. 2 seed as well as among the top-10 in the nation throughout the entire season with the exception of just two weeks.
The Huskies defeated or tied five of the eight teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament en route to their 2006-07 conference tournament appearance. UConn won 17 games, including 12 conference victories with four wins over nationally-ranked programs. All program-bests would last just one year as Linstad and the Huskies set new records the following season. Among a season of highlights, UConn was the only team to hand, eventual Frozen Four participant, Boston College a pair of losses at home. Following a stellar rookie campaign, Hawkins was a record setter, creating new plateaus in career goals, assists and points and was one of four different Connecticut players to take hardware home from the 2006-07 Hockey East Banquet.
In a season hampered by injuries, the 2005-06 Huskies fell in the Nutmeg Classic title game a year after capturing the championship for the first time. UConn concluded the season with a 12-21-1 overall record that included a 10-11-0 mark in Hockey East action. Midway through the year, four Connecticut student-athletes were selected to the Hockey East All-Star Team led by Linstad that took on Team USA in an exhibition game.
The senior class of the 2004-05 achieved one of their objectives, ending the year among the top 10 programs in the nation according to both the USCHO.com and USA Today/American Hockey Magazine polls after finishing the season with a 16-12-8 record. UConn put a cap on an 11-5-4 Hockey East regular season record en route to a third-place finish in the final conference standings. The Huskies advanced to their first ever appearance in the championship game, falling to defending champion Providence. Linstad players garnered weekly awards from the Hockey East and USCHO for their play through the season, culminating in a variety of postseason accolades. Hawkins was named both the Hockey East and USCHO Rookie of the Year while also earning spots on the All-Hockey East Rookie and Second Teams. Netminder Kaitlyn Shain also earned a spot on the second team while Natalie Vibert received first team honors.
In addition to invaluable guidance on the ice, Linstad emphasizes success in the classroom and has mentored her student-athletes to achieve in the classroom as well. Overall, 63 student-athletes have collected Hockey East All-Academic Team Honors over the past eight years. In 2004, a program-high 15 student-athletes were acknowledged by the conference for the academic prowess. Three of the six honored following the 2009-10 season had earned honors the season before with Alexandra Garcia, Jaclyn Camardo and Nicole Camardo were joined by Rebecca Hewett, Maude Blain and Claire Francis.
Lisa Beck was twice named the Top Student-Athlete by the conference, earning the highest grade-point average (GPA) among the league's defenders in 2004 and 2005. A highlight among Connecticut's academic achievements, Beck tied for the Top Scholar Athlete average with a 4.0 GPA.
Linstad was acknowledged for her significant impact on USA Hockey in 2007 for her 15 years of service both as a speaker and coach. She has been a presenter at the USA Hockey Master's Symposium and the Level 4 Coach's Certification program. Behind the bench, Linstad has been a coach at the USA National Hockey Festival in Lake Placid, N.Y. five times, including the 1997 Festival which was an Olympic selection year. She has coached USA Hockey Junior Development Camp for athletes ranging from 14 to 18 years of age. She has been a part of the USA Rocky Mountain District Camp from 1996 through 2002 and again in 2004. Linstad served as the head coach of the Australian National Team in Sydney in July of 1996. She was the head coach of the Hockey East All-Star Team that competed against Team USA during the 2005-06.
In accordance with mentoring student-athletes toward success beyond hockey, Linstad has instilled a sense of community awareness within the women's ice hockey program at Connecticut. For the third-straight season UConn headlined the Hockey East's Breast Cancer Awareness fundraising program, Skating Strides Against Breast Cancer, raising $9,000 during the 2009-10 season. The Huskies continue to expand their impact on the conference-wide fundraising program and have raised well over $20,000 since the program began four years ago.
Expanding their community involvement has seen the Huskies create a Christmas evening for a YMCA girls' home with Linstad's team supplying the tree, ornaments, lights and gifts while sharing pizza, in an effort to create invaluable memories with the girls in 2006. UConn adopted a family from Hartford in 2005 and helped provide the everyday essentials for a memorable holiday.
A native of Chlemsford, Mass., Linstad came to Connecticut after compiling a 161-71-27 overall record at the helm of the Northeastern University women's ice hockey team for eight seasons. While at Northeastern, Linstad guided those Huskies to four Beanpot titles and earned one of the fourth berths to the first-ever collegiate Women's Hockey National Championship Tournament (AWCHA) in 1998. Before that, Linstad guided Northeastern to the ECAC Championship in 1997 while boasting a then-school-record with 27 wins.
Just prior to joining UConn, Linstad was inducted to the Chelmsford High School Hall of Fame in 2000.
Linstad, a 1989 graduate of Providence College, earned a degree in business administration while representing the Friars in three varsity sports. She was team captain for three of the four seasons she played on the women's ice hockey team, scoring 76 goals and adding 72 assists. Linstad is ninth on Providence's all-time career points list, fifth in goals and seventh in assists. She was awarded the 1989 ECAC Player of the Year Award and continues to hold the distinction of being the only individual to earn the ECAC Player of the Year Award and the ECAC Coach of the Year Award. In addition to her outstanding ice hockey career at Providence, Linstad played three seasons of soccer and spent a year on the softball squad.
Linstad currently resides in Vernon, Conn. with her black lab, Sydney.
Jaime Totten immediately joined her former head coach Heather Linstad to develop the University of Connecticut women's ice hockey program and enters her 11th season with the Huskies. Totten has been an instrumental aspect of the Division I program's foundation at UConn since the Huskies' began playing women's ice hockey in 2000-01.
Totten will resume her position as the recruiting coordinator for Connecticut as she has since the day she began, continually bringing student-athletes who make an immediate impact on the ice and in the classroom. The 2004-05 season marked the first year that four full recruiting classes took the ice for UConn and the 2009-10 season saw the graduation of arguably the most successful class. During the 2009-10 season, the Huskies notched their highest ever national ranking of No. 7, surpassing the plateau of the eighth-national ranking set by the 2004-05 squad. The 2009-10 team also matched the 2004-05 squad in earning Connecticut's second Hockey East Championship Game appearance.
In addition to her recruiting responsibilities, Totten runs the defensive end of the bench, assists in daily practice and preparations, directs special teams plays and directs the team alumni efforts.
Under her tutelage, Cristin Allen became the first-ever Connecticut player to be named to the New England Writer's All-Star Team twice in her career in 2009-10. Allen also earned back-to-back All-Hockey East accolades and was named the league's inaugural Best Defensemen with the guidance of Totten.
Totten served as an assistant coach with the Hockey East All-Star Team that included Allen, Amy Hollstein, Jody Sydor and Monique Weber midway through last season. The Hockey East All-Stars played Team USA prior to the 2010 Vancouver Olympics as part of the National Team's Qwest Tour.
In 2008, she served as an assistant coach for the USA Women's National Under-22 program against Canada for a three-game series in August. She was responsible for assisting daily practices and instructing the defensive end of the bench. Totten was chosen to work with the USA Hockey Under-14 Select Camp in 2007 in Rochester, N.Y. She also coached the Select 16's and 17's that same year at the Junior National Camp in Lake Placid, N.Y.
Prior to her coaching career, Totten was a mainstay at several USA Hockey Camps and Festivals as a player. She served as an assistant captain during the 1995 Junior National Team and participated in the 1997 USA Festival during the 1998 Olympic Team selections.
Totten appeared in every single game of her four-year varsity career at Northeastern. She was twice the recipient of All-America honors while serving as captain in 1997-98 and 1998-99. Following the 1996-97 season, Totten earned ECAC First Team All-Star Honors after helping Northeastern to the ECAC Conference Title, finishing the season with a then-school record 27-9-0. Her on and off the ice leadership combined with her sportsmanship earned Totten the prestigious Sarah Devins Award from the ECAC as a senior.
After graduating with honors, earning a bachelor's degree in cardiopulmonary science with a concentration in exercise physiology, Totten served as student-assistant coach for her alma mater during the 1999-2000 season. She was awarded the National Student Athlete Award and was named a Scholar Athlete during her career.
A native of Stafford, N.Y., Totten currently resides in Mansfield Center, Conn.
Returning for her third season as an assistant with the Connecticut women's ice hockey team, Kirsti Anderson joined the Huskies prior to their historic run in the 2009-10 season. Anderson was an assistant at Hamilton College for two years where she helped the Continental with on-ice practice and game preparation. She made a seamless transition to the Huskies, continuing similar responsibilities, including working with the defensive unit.
At Hamilton, Anderson contributed to the program's alumnae communication efforts, recruiting and travel planning in addition to her coaching responsibilities. Under her guidance, defenseman Kate Marek earned a spot on the NESCAC First-Team, leading the conference in defensemen in scoring during the 2008-09 season.
Anderson attended the NCAA Women Coaches Academy in 2008 following a brief time with the Union College women's ice hockey team as a volunteer assistant. There Anderson conducted weekly video sessions and contributed to the defensive elements of the game during games and practices.
Her collegiate playing experience began at Division III Bowdoin where Anderson was a First-Team All-American on a pair of Final Four squads. She was acknowledged as the NESCAC's Rookie of the Year and Bowdoin College's Freshman Female Athlete of the Year. She earned a spot on the all-conference first team as a rookie and as a sophomore guided the team to a third-place finish at the NCAA Tournament. That season, Anderson co-led defensemen in scoring in Division III ice hockey.
From 2003-05, Anderson was an instrumental part of two NCAA Final Four teams at Dartmouth where she helped lead the Big Green to the Ivy League Championship in 2004. That season, Dartmouth was an ECAC Semifinalist followed by a ECAC Second Place finish the following season.
Anderson has participated in the USA 18s and 19s Junior National Camp and was twice a part of the USA Women's National Team Festival in 2002-03. She was invited to the 2003 National Team Tryouts as well.
A 2005 graduate from Dartmouth with a degree in biological sciences, Anderson played defense for the Ottawa Raiders and Oakville Ice of the National Women's Hockey League in Canada prior to pursuing her coaching career.