Katie Lachapelle might not remember statistical informational from her playing days at Lewiston High School and Providence College. What she will remember is the friendship and memories she created in the Twin Cities and The Renaissance City.

“I loved it, we had a great program and great teammates,” Katie Lachapelle said of playing for the Providence College women’s hockey team. “When you get older, you don’t remember the scores, you remember all the fun you had with your teammates or how you grow as a person and your team grew as people.”

Her on the field and on ice accomplishments at Lewiston and Providence, along with her coaching accomplishments at Boston University, have led to her induction into the Auburn-Lewiston Sports of Fame this Sunday at Lost Valley in Auburn.

Lachapelle played three sports for Lewiston — field hockey, hockey and softball. She was the lone female on Lewiston High School’s 1995 Class A state championship hockey team. She then took her talents to Providence College, where she continued her field hockey and hockey careers through 1999.

One of her memories at Lewiston was building up the field hockey program with her fellow classmates.

“With field hockey, my freshmen year, we had an OK team, by my senior year we were making it to tournaments and had a big program shift,” Lachapelle said.

She only played three years with the Providence College field hockey team, taking her senior season off to recover from an injury and get ready for ice hockey. She had a goal and an assist in her three year career.

There wasn’t much rest between seasons, nor getting away from her coach. Not only did the field hockey and ice hockey seasons clash, but the sports also shared a coach.

“The seasons were a little shorter back then, but my field hockey coach (Jackie Barto) was also my hockey coach,” Lachapelle said. ” So I couldn’t be someplace where she wasn’t. We would go from field hockey season, go through playoffs and I didn’t play hockey until playoffs were over. When playoffs were over, the next day I was on the ice.”

Growing up, girls’ and women’s hockey were still in their infancy. The first International Ice Hockey Federation Women’s World Championship wasn’t held until 1990, a year before Lachapelle entered high school. It was another eight years later before it became an Olympic sport.

During her playing days at Providence College, it wasn’t a sanctioned sport by the NCAA — that distinction didn’t come until 2001. It was up to conferences to sanction the sport, it wasn’t until 1997, when the American Women’s College Hockey Alliance was created by the U.S. Olympic Committee, that women’s hockey had their first national championship.

While she did compete on girls’ teams that went to national championships, it was playing with the boys all four years at Lewiston that led to the opportunity with the Friars.

“I don’t think I thought about it too much back then because we were just playing,” Lachapelle said. “There weren’t the opportunities to really play with girls’ teams. We had a club team that we went to nationals a couple years, but for the day-to-day during the school year, it was boys’ hockey. I don’t remember when it was, but at some point I started to get letters and calls from college coaches, that kind of helped with the process.”

She made an easy transition from schoolboy hockey to women’s college hockey. In her time with the Friars, she was a Eastern College Athletic Conference Honorable All-Star in 1997, when she had 13 goals and 18 assists in 29 games as a defender. She finished her career with 40 goals and 58 assists in 116 career games.

Lachapelle was also the team’s captain during her senior season, in 1998-99.

One of her fondest memories of her college career occurred her freshman year. She played in the longest women’s college hockey game on record when Providence faced off against the University of New Hampshire in the 1996 ECAC championship game.

“We lost (3-2 in five overtimes), but having played in that game was quite a thing,” Lachapelle said.

After her playing career was over she quickly jumped to the college coaching ranks joining the Union College women’s staff for two years before moving to Niagara University, where she helped the Purple Eagles to a 2002 Frozen Four appearance.

In 2004, she reunited with her college coach, Jackie Barto, at Ohio State. Barto left Providence prior to the start of Lachapelle’s senior season to start up the Ohio State women’s program.

“When I was coaching in Niagara she called me up and said, ‘Hey, do you think you want to make the move out to Ohio?’ So for me to go out there to see the other side of it, not the player side of it, but being her peer and learn from her. I learned so much from Jackie on how to carry yourself and really how to work at being a Division I coach.”

After four years at Ohio State she moved closer to home and was named an assistant at Boston University in 2008 where she still currently coaches. She coached fellow Lewiston native Kasey Boucher from 2008-12, and a player many call the Sidney Crosby of women’s hockey, Marie-Philip Poulin, from 2010-15. Poulin helped Team Canada win the gold medal at the 2010 and 2014 Olympic Games.

She has also coached fellow Canadian Olympians Jenn Wakefield, Catherine Ward and Tara Watchorn at BU.

During her tenure with the Terriers, BU has gone to six consecutive NCAA tournaments while reaching the Frozen Four in 2011 and 2013. During that same stretch, they also won the Hockey East tournament six times.

Her work as an assistant coach has garnered national recognition as in 2013 she was named as the American Hockey Coaches Association announced she won The Women’s Ice Hockey Assistant Coach Award.

Also in 2013, she was named an assistant coach to USA Hockey’s Women’s Under-18 team, coaching the best teenage girls’ hockey players the country has to offer. After taking silver in 2014 at the IIHF World Under-18 Championships against Canada, she helped lead the Americans to Gold in January, defeating their rivals to the north.

“That’s been awesome, I’ve been luckily enough to be asked to do that the last two years,” Lachapelle said of coaching Team USA. “It’s kind of a neat transition coaching the 15-, 16-, 17-year olds, you are coaching college kids all year and to coach them it a little different. The jokes are different, the innocent is funny, they are innocent loving life kids. It’s pretty cool to be around them.”

With a few head coaching jobs open this spring in Division I at schools like Harvard and Quinnipiac, it’s a goal of hers to become a head coach.

“I didn’t apply for anything, but I do want to be a head coach,” Lachapelle said. “I love where I’m at and love the experience I’m getting there — what I’m learning from (BU head coach) Brian Durocher. I know I want to be a head coach at some point.”


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