One last national tournament awaits for Chilliwack’s Michaela Read, who leads her Lindenwood Lions into the American Collegiate Hockey Association Div 1 nationals in North Dakota in mid-April. (Submitted photo)

One last national tournament awaits for Chilliwack’s Michaela Read, who leads her Lindenwood Lions into the American Collegiate Hockey Association Div 1 nationals in North Dakota in mid-April. (Submitted photo)

Chilliwack’s Michaela Read finishing university hockey career with third appearance at nationals

Read leads the Lindenwood Lions back to the American Collegiate Hockey Association Div 1 tournament

Time flies when you’re having fun, and Michaela Read has enjoyed three great years playing women’s hockey at Lindenwood University.

Now it’s almost over for the talented forward, who wraps up her university career in just over a week’s time when she leads the Lions into the American Collegiate Hockey Association Div 1 nationals in North Dakota.

Read has played in this tournament twice previously. Lindenwood is the fourth seed heading into this one, which runs April 15 to 20, and she’s excited to try and go out on a winning note.

“It’s the whole reason I moved to a different country and across the continent,” Read said. “Truly I want it more than anything, but regardless of the outcome I’m so happy I had the experiences that I did at Lindenwood.”

The 21-year-old had another solid season for the Lions, posting 13 goals and 22 points in 32 games.

A top liner for Lindenwood, Read was fourth in the league scoring and her two-way play had her playing in all situations, seeing lots of time on the power play and penalty kill.

“We had a shorter bench this year and I had more opportunities,” Read said. “I even dropped back to play defence in certain situations. It was a similar experience to when I played in Chilliwack and we had smaller teams. It’s come full circle that way and hopefully we can end it with a national championship.”

RELATED: Chilliwack’s Michaela Read leads Lindenwood Lynx to hockey final

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The G.W. Graham alum had 10 goals and 21 points in 26 games in 2019-20, and eight goals and 17 points in 26 games as a freshman in 2017-18. In only three seasons she climbed to ninth on the all-time Lynx/Lions scoring list.

It feels crazy asking a 21-year-old about her legacy, but Read has thought about her place in Lindenwood hockey lore.

“When I found that out I was like, ‘Wow, that’s amazing,’” she said. “That will hold as this program continues to build and grow. I’m incredibly blessed to hold a place in the history of Lindenwood hockey.

“But more than anything, what I want now is to add a team title.”

Team wise, Read’s crew won 12 of 19 games during regular season play, finishing second behind Midland in the top division of ACHA women’s hockey.

The second-seeded Lions had a disappointing time in the Women’s Midwest College Hockey (WMCH) conference tournament with losses to third-seed Minot State and fourth-seed Midland, but the ACHA tournament offers Read and Lindenwood a chance at redemption. Those two foes await along with arch-nemesis Liberty University, forming the top of the field.

“Without a doubt Liberty is an amazing team to play and every game is hard-fought good, clean hockey,” Read said. “We beat them once this season and it felt amazing. I’m exciting to try and get another win out of them, and when the bracket came out we were also excited to get another opportunity to play Minot State and Midland, and show ourselves and the league that we are the best team.”

Win or lose, after the tourney Read will be graduating with honours in Biological Science and Pre-Med. She has a lot of education still to come, but she’s putting it on hold as she takes a year off to work and travel.

She won’t miss hitting the books over the next 12 months, but she will miss the hockey.

“It’s been an amazing four years, with unique and crazy experiences and an amazing education. I’ve played some great hockey and met some lifelong friends and I’m ready to move on to the next stage of my life,” Read said. “It’s been 13 or 14 years of playing hockey, and I’ve travelled all over North America doing it, but I’m excited to see what life holds for me past hockey.”


@ProgressSports
eric.welsh@theprogress.com

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