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Sports

March 13, 2014

Goaltender Bradley of Swampscott stars in record-setting year at UMass-Boston

(Continued)

Bradley’s biggest moment at UNH came during her sophomore year, when she drew a start against top-ranked Minnesota. The Gophers had beaten the Wildcats 10-2 the previous night and would go on to win the NCAA title with an undefeated season. Bradley went out and made 39 saves in a respectable 4-0 defeat. Nothing prepares a goalie for a battle like having U.S. Olympian Amanda Kessel come in on a breakaway.

“I was so proud that I didn’t get pulled. It was one of those days I walked away a happy kid,” Bradley recalled. “I never imagined myself playing against Minnesota. That’ll stay with me pretty much forever.”

Minnesota had a goalie considered the best in the world in Finland’s Noora Raty. She retired after this year’s Olympics, something that wasn’t lost on the young goaltender from the North Shore.

“Thinking about Raty at the other end of the ice from me is insane. Hands down one of the coolest things I’ve done in hockey,” Bradley said. “If she were a man, with her talent, she’d be snatched up by the pros so fast. Women have nowhere to go and it’s a shame to see her retire.

“That’s something I thought about in transferring to Division 3. Unless you’re on the national team, you can’t make hockey your life. Division 3 was such a realistic place for me to be.”

Key words

Majoring in communication with an eye towards marketing, Bradley found UMass-Boston through an assistant coach that was a former Blades teammate. Her ex-Shamrocks teammate Kesley MacIsaac also skates for the Beacons.

When Bradley met Harris, there was a connection. She trusted the coach, and now calls the decision to transfer “a no-brainer.”

Bradley jelled with her teammates immediately. She joked that she plays “for the teammates and the free sweats” and is relishing the chance to “live the life with these girls right now. We’re 22 and we’re living together, playing hockey together in Boston. What could be better?”

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