Despite setting a new record for the longest-point streak by a rookie defensemen in NHL history, former Dutchman Shayne Gostisbehere is not the only Union Hockey alumnus making their mark on the professional stage this season.
Shenae Lundberg ’15 and Ashley Johnston ’14 both had outstanding careers while at Union and their success has translated into professional contracts with the New York Riveters of the newly formed Nation Women’s Hockey League, or NWHL.
“We’re bringing in two solid, consistent players with Lundberg and Johnston.” said Riveters General Manager Dani Rylan in an NWHL press release at the time of the women’s signings, “Shenae helped bring Union to the next level and we look for her to have a similar impact with the Riveters, and Ashley is a strong blue-liner who’s always in the right place and not afraid to jump up into the play.”
Johnston, a defenseman, tallied 19 career points in 130 games over her four years with the Dutchwomen.
In her senior season, the Burlington, Ontario native led the team in shots blocked, with 59, and registered the fifth most shots on goal, with 53. Johnston was also a candidate for the NCAA’s Hockey Humanitarian of the Year Award in her final season due to her research and development of a prosthetic limb made to grow as a child grows. She was also an ECAC All-Academic Team selection for three of her years at Union.
“I work really hard. I have a lot of grit, so day in and day out my teammates will know what to expect. It’ll be the same hard play every single time.” Johnston said in an NWHL press release, “This is a huge step for women’s hockey — the first paid professional hockey league — to be a part of that is very humbling and I’m pretty honored.”
Johnston added, “I play more of a hybrid game in the sense that I like making the big defensive plays, being a shut-down player. But at the same time, who doesn’t like scoring goals? If there’s the opportunity, I definitely want to take it.”
Lundberg, a goaltender, finished her career at Union setting a new career-high for save percentage of 0.918 percent in her senior season.
Lundberg also ranks second all-time in Union Hockey history for a saves in a single season, with 1,110.
She tallied 3,023 saves during her career at Union, good for twentieth all-time in NCAA history.
As a senior, Lundberg also received the Robert M. Ridings Memorial Award, presented annually to a Union senior female athlete for her attitude, ability, participation, and achievement in intercollegiate sports.
“I’ve trained pretty much my whole life looking for an opportunity like this and it’s pretty special to be a part of something so new and revolutionary in women’s hockey.” Lundberg said in an NWHL press release, “This is the next big step and I’m just really lucky to be a part of it.”
Lundberg’s time with the Riveters was short lived. After spending the first half of the season with New York, logging 28 minutes of play in a relief effort, Lundberg was traded by the Riveters to the Connecticut Whale for another goalie, Chelsea Laden.
Although now separated, the two will look to continue their hockey success for years to come with the NWHL.