Kasey Boucher always prided herself on playing solid defense.
Part of a Boston University women’s team that nearly captured a national title a year ago, Boucher and her defensive presence were a big reason why the team got there in the first place.
This year, as her Terriers push one more time into the postseason, Boucher’s hard work on the back end is earning her some extra, well-deserved hardware. The Lewiston native and BU senior earned Tuesday the distinction of top defender in Hockey East.
“To be honest, it was something I had always hoped for,” Boucher said. “Whether I believed it was realistic or not is another story. There are so many good players and defensemen on my team, never mind Hockey East in general. A lot of girls would have been perfect candidates for the award. I was actually a little shocked when I found out this morning. I am just extremely honored to be receiving the award.”
Boucher’s season was her best defensive effort of her four for the Terriers. She played in 20 of the team’s 21 league games and registered a plus-15 rating, best on the team.
“The award really means a lot to me especially because my style of play,” Boucher said. “I’ve never been a flashy player, and I have always been happy with being the defenseman who doesn’t get all the points as long as the other team isn’t scoring when I’m on the ice. It feels amazing that people have recognized it even though my name isn’t exactly on the score sheet all the time.”
She notched nine assists in conference play and totaled one goal and 13 assists in 33 regular-season games. She is the second Terrier in as many years to earn the Best Defenseman Award — Catherine Ward won it last year.
But Boucher would gladly turn in this one for a shot at a bigger trophy.
“I would trade it in a heart beat to take home the Hockey East championship and NCAA championship this year,” Boucher said. “It was an amazing experience making it to the national championship last year. However, it was bittersweet because we got so far that we could almost taste a national championship. This year, things have started to click at the right time of the season for our team, and I know we have what it takes to go all the way.”
Boucher played one season of hockey at Hebron Academy and then transferred to the North American Hockey Academy in Vermont, from which BU recruited her. After her run through the playoffs with her team this season, Boucher is unsure what exactly is next.
“I’m not sure exactly what I will be doing next year, either law school in Boston or working in Boston while playing for the women’s professional team, which they might be making two teams in Boston next year, and continuing training,” Boucher said. “It’s still in my dreams to make the Olympic team, and if I have any shot at it, I do want to go for it. I’m really unsure of my plans for the future, but as for now I just want to go win the Hockey East championships this weekend and eventually take home a national championship this year.”