For Most high school girls, their teenaged years are filled with driver’s license tests, school dances and social studies exams. Not for Alex Carpenter. She has experienced her social studies firsthand as the youngest member of the 2010 U.S. Women’s National Under-18 Team.
Alex Carpenter | #5
Judging from her performance against players from the Czech Republic, Finland and Japan, she passed her first international test with flying colors.
“Being a 15-year-old, one of the youngest out there, I definitely thought about [my age] a lot,” Carpenter admits. “It got to be a bit overwhelming at first, but all the girls were so great and once I got into the motions, being the youngest didn’t really faze me much anymore.”
Carpenter has been used to standing out in the crowd. The daughter of 18-year NHL star and U.S. Hockey Hall of Famer, Bobby Carpenter, and a mom who med- aled in figure skating, you could say that skating is in Alex’s blood.
“My whole family grew up on ice,” Carpenter says. “It’s just kind of what we did.”
More than just doing it, Alex quickly excelled at it.
After stints playing hockey in New Jersey, where her dad was assistant coach with the Devils, the family relocated to the Boston area, where Carpenter’s talent really began to shine. Since joining the
Governor’s Academy Varsity team as a 13-year-old, Carpenter has already racked up a total of 155 goals and 136 assists for 291 points over three years.
In addition, the team has accumulated three back-to-back New England area championships, with Carpenter garnering back-to-back tournament MVP awards.
It was her success there that helped lead her to the USA Hockey tryout camps where Boston College Head Coach Katie King took notice.
“The tryout process with the U-18 [Team], and when she first started coming to the USA hockey camps was when we really got to see her,” says King, who was a scoring star on three U.S. Olympic Women’s Teams. “She was there as just a 14-year-old, [but she was] someone you knew had a great sense for the game. Her vision of the ice is really ahead of her age.”
That vision was apparent in this year’s IIHF Under-18 World Championships in Woodridge, Ill., where Carpenter helped her team to a silver-medal finish with eight goals and an assist in five games, tied for second in team scoring behind veteran Kendall Coyne.
“I really think she’s [Alex] proven herself this past year with the U-18 Team,” says assistant coach Shelley Looney.
“She was one of our strongest forwards. She has the ability to make things happen, not only scoring, but also creating opportunities. And at only 15 [years-old] and being on the U-18 Team and helping lead us into the gold-medal round, she clearly has a bright future ahead of her.”
But despite all the goals scored and points tallied, the highlight of Alex’s already impressive young hockey career is donning the red, white and blue, just as her father did as a member of U.S. Teams that competed in the 1984 and 1987 Canada Cups.
“It was an honor to be putting the Team USA jersey over my head,” she says. “It’s really what every athlete in the U.S. dreams of. What I really want to do now is go back [with Under-18] and win the gold … I would love that.”
Judging from her early returns, it looks like Carpenter will have many more opportunities down the road.
“The way she [Alex] reads off of her teammates, she knows what she’s going to do,” King says. “When you look at the chemistry she has with some of her older teammates you can tell that they are going to rise to success in this [USA Hockey] program.”
While King will not be coaching with the U.S Women’s National team this year, she will have the chance to coach Carpenter again, as the highly-ranked prospect has verbally committed to Boston College following her senior year.
But no matter what team she plays for, Carpenter is ready to give it her all.
“Whether it’s for my high school team, Boston College or Team USA,” she says, “I just want to go out there and do my best to help lead my team to victory.”
Hometown: San Antonio, Texas
In addition to leading the San Antonio Thunder Bantam team to the River City Hockey Association’s Commissioners Cup last season, Danny Rosengard has plenty on his plate. Danny is a USA Hockey Level 2 referee and coach, as well as a published author. He gained a lot of attention after he wrote a book to help children understand how those with autism are different. Danny’s book, The ABC’s of Autism was inspired by his autistic friend, Matthew. In April, which is Autism Awareness month, Danny was featured on a segment of NBC’s Today Show.