One-on-one with women's ice hockey goalie Christine Honor '19

by Justin Kramer | 11/3/17 1:00am

christinehonor_courtesy
Source: The Dartmouth

Women’s ice hockey player Christine Honor ’19 etched her name into the record book last Friday with an unprecedented 61 saves, an NCAA record for the most saves in a shutout. The goaltender’s efforts stymied the Quinnipiac University offense, helping the Big Green to a 1-0 victory. Honor, a native of Mississauga, Ontario, was awarded NCAA First Star of the Week for her first-career shutout and seems poised for a bigger role this year after the departure of star goalkeeper Robyn Chemago ’17.

Take me through the game — what is the pressure like in a situation where one goal would tie the score for the last 45 minutes?

CH: Obviously it was a really intense game. Quinnipiac is a pretty good team, and they put a lot of pressure on us. Getting that goal early by Alyssa Baker [’19] was huge for us, and I think we just battled the entire game to keep the score where it was. You don’t really think about it too much while you’re in the game, just take it one shot at a time, one play at a time. We battled really hard.

Were you keeping track of your saves throughout the game? How did you find out you had broken the record?

CH: It was on the Jumbotron, but I wasn’t really keeping track. I found out afterward from [assistant director of varsity athletics communications] Charlotte [Brackett].

Can you take me through the mindset of a goalkeeper and how you manage to maintain focus?

CH: I think the biggest thing is focusing on one shot at a time, so not getting too ahead of yourself or thinking too much about the overall picture of the game. For me, just focusing in on the puck, dialing in and not worrying about external distractions.

What does being named NCAA First Star of the Week mean to you?

CH: It’s pretty significant to me. This is my third year here, and that’s definitely the biggest thing that’s happened to me so far. It’s definitely a humbling experience but really cool too.

What was your background in ice hockey through high school and in what ways has it shaped the player you are today?

CH: I started skating when I was 3- and 4-years old and played hockey ever since. I grew up with both of my brothers as goalies, so I played learning from underneath them which was cool. In high school, I played club hockey for Etobicoke, a suburb of Toronto. I got a lot of pucks, a lot of action on that team which was huge.

What was the experience of playing in the Provincial Women’s Hockey League like?

CH: Where I’m from in Ontario, you go to high school and hockey is a separate club team. But it was a really competitive league, and I learned a ton from playing there.

How have your first two years at Dartmouth prepared you to take up perhaps a bigger role this year?

CH: I’ve learned a lot obviously. Playing under [Chemago] last year was huge; she’s a big role model for me. I’ve been practicing every day and gotten the opportunity to get faster and stronger.

What hopes do you have for the women’s ice hockey team in the coming year?

CH: This year, our goal is to become a winning program and compete in every single game. I think we’ve done a pretty good job of that so far. Obviously, we’re just going to keep working and try to get that winning record, so we can keep building for the future.

What are some of your favorite parts of playing hockey?

CH: The biggest thing is that when you step on the ice, nothing else really matters. You forget about every other stress in your life like school, or family or anything like that. With hockey, you’re able to zone all that out.

What do you enjoy doing off the ice when you’re not playing hockey?

CH: I like hanging out with friends, reading and watching Netflix. My other favorite sport is badminton, which I played in high school.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity and length.