EVERETT, Wash. — Reagan Carey is taking it all in.

Standing in the entryway between the locker room and the bench at the Xfinity Arena, Carey is watching the U.S. National Women’s Hockey Team go through their paces at practice, dashing from drill to drill, preparing for a tough tournament ahead at the International Ice Hockey Federation’s Women’s World Championship.

As the director of women’s hockey and the national team’s general manager, Reagan oversees the development of the program, one that has enjoyed a strong amount of success since she took the role in 2010. The national team has won either a gold or silver medal at each of the Women’s World Championships (the tournament wasn’t held in 2010 or 2014 due to the Olympics) during her tenure. It was also under her watch that the program went on to win a silver medal at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

It wasn’t all that long ago that Carey — the director of the U.S. Women’s hockey program — was going the paces of a hockey practice herself. She’s a 2001 graduate of Colby College in Waterville and was a member of the women’s hockey team. She was teammates with Courtney Kennedy, the Colby graduate who would go on to play on two Olympic teams, winning a silver medal in 2002 in Salt Lake City and a bronze medal in 2006 in Turin, Italy.

“Colby was an incredible experience for me,” Carey said. “I had a lot of places that I was interested in, but once I visited the campus to visit, everybody was so welcoming and nice. I was sold from there and wanted to be a Mule from then on. I had a great time from an athletic standpoint and academic.”

Carey’s Maine roots run far deeper than Colby, however. She’s the granddaughter of Mexico native Wendall “Chummy” Broomhall, who was a member of two Olympic ski teams in 1948 and 1952. Broomhall has also served the Chief of Events and the designed the courses for skiing at the 1960 Olympics in Squaw Valley, Calif., and in 1980 in Lake Placid, New York.

Broomhall is also noted for donating 300 acres of land to the Chisholm Ski Club after his time with the famed 10th Mountain Division during World War II, which helped lead to the formation of the Black Mountain ski resort in Rumford.

“It was always special to hear him talk about the Olympics, or just the sport in general,” Carey said. “He’s so passionate about it. We spent a lot of time in Maine at Christmastime or in the summers and to hear him just sit around a table and talk about the camaraderie of the sport, just what it takes to make sure that, one, players are getting better and the sport is developing. Just the time and volunteers he would gather just to make sure that — particularly in Maine — that kids had the opportunity to go places through sport, in his case cross-country skiing.”

Carey said her current role with USA Hockey and her Olympic ties have helped form an even stronger bond with her grandfather.

“It was exciting for me to tell him that I was going to be doing this and to have that camaraderie with him as well,” Carey said. “I think I had a huge advantage (when taking the job) just from the advice he had given me. He’s in his mid-90s and in Maine, and he’ll get on the live streams and follow the games. He’s the first one to call or email after. It’s a pretty special bond that we have.”

Carey has worked up the hockey ranks. Before working for USA Hockey, she spent two years as the director of fan development and youth marketing for both the Atlanta Thrashers of the National Hockey League and the Atlanta Hawks of the National Basketball Association.

The Women’s World Championship is an eight-team international tournament that will take place between March 28-April 4 in Kamloops, British Columbia. The eight countries involved are broken up into two groups during the tournament. Team USA is in Group A, along with Canada, Finland and Russia. Sweden, Switzerland, Japan and the Czech Republic comprise Group B.

The national team is comprised of 23 players from around the country. Half of the team members just wrapped up their college hockey seasons, while the other half just ended the season with the National Women’s Hockey League, a pro level program comprised of four teams that began in 2015. The team varies in age and experience. Megan Keller of Boston College is the team’s youngest player (19) and playing in her first WWC, while 30-year-old goaltender Jessie Vetter is a two-time Olympic silver medalist and a veteran of seven WWCs.

Team USA will have a target on its back, as the defending champion.

“There’s a lot responsibility, the players are sacrificing a lot,” Carey said. “These are their dreams that you’re dealing with and making sure that what we’re bringing to the table helps with them achieving their goals and their goals.”

“Really the job is providing the best resources, the best coaching staff, support staff and environment that they can have. In that regard, it’s a lot of responsibility, but it’s a lot of fun and it’s certainly a unique thing to be able to share that experience with people and to know that we get to surround ourselves with people that are the best at what they do. Going to work every day is pretty easy in that sense.”

The team is headed up by a former NHL player with Maine ties. Ken Klee played for seven teams (Washington, Toronto, New Jersey, Colorado, Atlanta, Anaheim and Phoenix) during his 14-year career. He was also a member of the Portland Pirates during the team’s inaugural season of 1993-1994, the year the team won its lone Calder Cup. Throughout the week, Klee has been able to keep a light atmosphere at practice while still preparing the team for the rigors of a national tournament.

“I think Ken has done a great job of keeping it light, positive and fun for the players,” Carey said.

Team USA faces rival Canada in the first game of the tournament on March 28.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.