One-on-One with Kennedy Ottenbriet '17
This week I sat down with women’s hockey’s Kennedy Ottenbriet ’17. Ottenbriet scored the game-winning goal for the Big Green in the 3-1 victory over Union College on Saturday, Jan. 10.
Can you tell me a little bit about your season so far?KO: We started the season off with a 5-0 record and then started playing teams that were really high up in the standings, and forced us to really focus more on our systems. We lost some tough games, but in the past five or six games we’ve come back and started winning some more. We’ve really just been focusing a lot on our game plan and trying to execute.
Who has been your stiffest competition this season?KO: Boston College was very tough. Quinnipiac [University], who we ended up tying, was another really good team. We have Harvard [University] at home this weekend, which is really exciting because they beat us at their arena earlier. We’re really excited to face some of these teams later this season and get back at them.
Did you play any junior hockey before coming to Dartmouth?KO: No. Unlike the guys, most girls don’t do that. I went to a prep school in Minnesota — [Shattuck-St. Mary’s School] —so it’s funny now to play against some of the girls from that team. There’s one at Northeastern and another at Quinnipiac right now, so it’s fun when our schedules do meet up eventually.
Can you tell me a little about your game on Friday against [Rensselaer Polytechnical Institute]?KO: Our team ended up having two power play goals, which happened to be two of the three goals. But the girls on my team just gave me the puck to shoot it and they happened to go in, so they did a lot of the work really. Then the third was just an empty net goal, so there wasn’t a lot there.
How do you prepare differently for each team you face?KO: We watch a lot of film about three or four times a week. We watch film on every different team the day before we play them. We also watch a lot of film of ourselves to see where we can improve and what things we can try to change about our systems. So for instance, this week we are going in and looking at the videos from RPI and [University of New Hampshire] to see ourselves and see what we need to do differently moving forward. So it’s not that our systems necessarily change, but more that we focus on what we did wrong and what we did right so that each time we play a team we’ll be ready for them.
What has been the biggest difference you have seen from last season to now?KO: Maturity and experience. We’re older now so we’ve been practicing our systems and we’ve all just been playing together for longer now so we know how each other plays. We’re used to what we’re doing a lot more. I also think we’re just a lot more confident now that we’re older, and I think it definitely shows out there on the ice. Having previous experiences to build from is really helpful.
What does your typical practice schedule look like?KO: We practice every day. We usually get Sundays off, then practice Mondays through Thursdays and then have games on Fridays and Saturdays. We also lift on Mondays and Wednesdays. But sometimes that changes. For instance, this week we only play Harvard on Saturday so, most likely, we will get an extra day off during the week to rest our bodies.
Do you have any pregame rituals or routines?KO: It’s really about routines. A lot of people will just kick a soccer ball around for a bit. Other girls will tape their stick while watching the ice to kind of visualize what they need to do for the game. So yeah, everyone has their own little quirky routine. I know that I also kick a soccer ball around with Lindsey Allen [’16]. It definitely keeps me relaxed and ready to go into the next game. We’re not very good, but it is fun! We’re really trying to stick to our game plan going into the Harvard game. They’re definitely a really great team, but so are we and we have the confidence now to go in and win this game. It’ll be especially fun to be at home playing them this time and have the support from all of our fans here.
Aside from hockey, how have you enjoyed Dartmouth so far?KO: I love Dartmouth! I love it because of the character of the people here. I’m from a small town in Canada where we’re kind of in the middle of nowhere. So I’m just used to having a lot of close friends and knowing a bunch of people around me and being close with a lot of people. So I really love it here at Dartmouth because I can walk across campus and recognize so many faces, but yet I also feel like I can meet new people at the same time. So it’s really a great balance that Dartmouth has. I also think the location is just absolutely beautiful. You really can’t beat it.
This interview has been edited and condensed.