July 6, 2007
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. - Freshman forward Bray Ketchum (Greenwich, Conn.) concluded her participation in USA Hockey's Girls' Select 17/18 Player Development Camp recently, where she was part of a group of the top American skaters in her age group. Yale head coach Hilary Witt, who has experience on the US National Team staff, was on the camp staff.
The week-long camp, held annually at the Olympic Training Center in Lake Placid, N.Y., provides concentrated on- and off-ice training and instruction, as well as the chance to compete against other top players. Entering her first year at the collegiate level, Ketchum appreciated the opportunity to go up against some of the same players she will soon be facing as a Bulldog.
"I think it is great preparation for college because you get to play with and against some of the top talent in your age group," Ketchum said. "It is also a fun way to meet new people."
It was also a chance for Ketchum to cross paths with her new coach, Witt.
"I didn't have her as my coach at the camp this year, but it was fun seeing her around the rink and Olympic training center," Ketchum said. "I'm really excited to play for her next year."
The camp is one of nine player development camps USA Hockey runs for boys and girls of various ages, with a total of over 1,400 players and 170 coaches participating. The 136 players at the Girls' Select 17/18 camp were divided into eight teams for a series of games that consisted of two 25-minute halves. Ketchum was on the White team, which went 4-1. She had one goal and three assists.
"The most memorable part of the festival was definitely the games," Ketchum said. "They were always exciting, especially when they went into a shootout."
This was Ketchum's fourth straight year in Lake Placid. The 2006-07 Boston Globe NEPSAC Women's Athlete of the Year and New England Prep School Division II Player of the Year, she led Greenwich Academy in goals and points for the past three seasons. She captained the team to its third straight Division II championship this past year. Ketchum also played for the Connecticut Stars, where her team won multiple New England championships and was National Tournament semi-finalists in 2005-06.
Witt, who played on the US National Team in 2000-01, has accumulated an impressive amount of coaching experience with USA Hockey even though she has yet to turn 30. In addition to working player development camps for several years, she was an assistant coach with the US National Team in 2006-07. Witt and Yale junior defenseman Helen Resor (Greenwich, Conn.) earned silver medals with Team USA at the International Ice Hockey Federation World Championship in April and at the Four Nations Cup last November.
In addition to Resor and Ketchum, several other current Bulldogs have attended USA Hockey's 17/18 player development camp in recent years. Sophomore forward Caroline Murphy (Woodstock, Conn.) was at last year's camp, and two years ago three juniors were there: forward Crysti Howser (Wilmette, Ill,), forward Sarah Tittman (Chilton, Wisc.) and forward/defenseman Maggie Westfal (New Canaan, Conn.). Freshman goalie Jackee Snikeris (Downingtown, Pa.) has also participated multiple times.
report by Sam Rubin '95 (firstname.lastname@example.org), Yale Sports Publicity