SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

March 18, 2014

Bruins, MIAA honor Beverly's Woods, Fenwick's Groom

By Matt Williams
Staff writer

---- — BOSTON — Being at the TD Garden two days in a row was a pretty good reward for Beverly girls hockey captain Nicole Woods.

After watching the Panthers’ boys team in the Division 2 state title over Mefield Sunday night, Woods was back in Boston yesterday to be honored by the Massachusetts Interscholastic Athletic Association (MIAA) and the Bruins as one of the state’s Sportsmanship Award winners.

For 12 years, the MIAA and the Bruins have honored one representative as chosen from each of the state’s hockey leagues. Woods was the choice from the Northeastern Hockey League and was honored during last night’s Bruins contest against the Minnesota Wild.

“Nicole’s the type of kid that’s held in high regard by her peers and teachers, too,” said Beverly High athletic director James Coffey. “She’s really laid back in school and she’s always smiling ... and then when she gets out on the field she’s a great competitor.”

It was the second straight year the girls hockey league’s sportsmanship award winner came from Beverly after Livvy Konaxis won it last year.

Woods went to the game with her mom, Betsy, last night.

What does sportsmanship mean to Woods, who is Beverly’s all-time leading scorer and set a single-season record with 70 points this winter?

“Probably being able to play the game with a positive mindset,” Woods said. “No matter what negative things are happening on or off the ice, you stay positive.”

Bishop Fenwick’s Nina Groom was also selected as a Sportsmanship Award winner. The Crusaders, who are only in their third years as a varsity program, play an independent schedule and their captain from Swampscott was chosen as a representative from those schools that aren’t officially members of a league.

“Nina is a great kid,” said Bishop Fenwick girls hockey coach Doug Anderson. “She was our only senior this past season and was an outstanding leader.”

The honorees were welcomes by the Bruins in a reception before the game that included team legend and president Cam Neely, and each received medals in the shape of the B’s logo.

The other sportsmanship award winners from the leagues that include teams from The Salem News coverage area were North Reading’s Shane Driscoll (Cape Ann League), St. Mary’s of Lynn’s Jackson Allard (Catholic Central Large), B.C. High’s Stephen DeForge (Catholic Conference) and Lynn’s Anthony Uva (Northeastern Conference).