Striving for Greatness: NJ Native Kendall Cornine | Youth1

Striving for Greatness: NJ Native Kendall Cornine

Going back to only a few years ago, playing a women’s professional ice hockey game or even hearing your name called at a professional women’s ice hockey draft was impossible; because none of it existed. Seeing a growing popularity in the sport at the youth level and a huge skill increase across all levels, it was only a matter of time before a women’s professional league started. Now in it’s fourth season, the NWHL has expanded from 4 teams to 5 and is the only place to professional women’s hockey in the USA.

One such player that is very excited for the addition of a professional level for women’s hockey is Kinnelon, NJ native, Kendall Cornine. Kendall, growing up in the most hockey laden county in NJ, quickly fell in love with the game at a young age. Playing both girls and boys hockey through middle school, her coaches knew right away that she was going to be a star in High School and college.

“Coaching Kendall in middle school was a great experience, being a co-ed league, she never waivered and her speed set her apart from her peers. We all knew she’d be playing in college one day.” – Middle School Coach Dave Zielinski

Kendall went on to have a one of the best high school careers in Morristown Beard’s history. She amassed 199 points in 4 years and was the NJ Girls player of the year in her junior and senior seasons, committing to RIT’s division program her senior year.

“Playing college hockey is something that I wanted from the time that I started skating, committing to play division 1 hockey was such a surreal moment.” – Kendall Cornine

Kendall burst onto the college hockey scene the only way she knew how to, scoring goals. Breaking in as a freshman at the division 1 level is not easy in any sport. Going up against other athletes 2-4 years older on a daily basis. But Kendall was not fazed at all. She played in every game her freshman year recording 9 points in the process. Over the next two seasons she would lead the Tigers in scoring BOTH seasons during her sophomore and junior team campaigns with 20 and 16 points respectively.

She knew that coming into her senior season of college that she did not want it to be her last. Over the summer she works out with one of NJ’s top hockey strength and conditioning coaches to continue to make gains and works towards playing professionally. In her workout group are typically Men’s NCAA D-1 and D-3 players as well as an NHL player for the San Jose Sharks.

“My strength coach over the summer helps push me to my limits to improve as much as possible in the off season. I have been there since I was in high school and I continue to get better each year. This past summer I also added triathlon training and competitions for conditioning into my workout routine and it’s paid off so far.” - Kendall

Paid off is right. So far in her senior season at RIT, Kendall, the captain of the division 1 team, has played in every single game, while leading the team in scoring with 16 points, while already leading her team to more wins than they have ever seen since her time began at RIT with 9 so far.

“Being Kendall’s strength coach for the past 6 years, I was able to watch her set the bar for how hard people should be working in the off-season. All of the younger girls (and boys) in the gym would watch in awe as Kendall was working out.” – Strength Coach - Bill Katinsky

All of the hard work came to fruition this past winter when the Metropolitan Riveters selected Kendall first in the second round, #6 overall in this years NWHL draft. Pushing so hard for so long has paid off in a big way for Kendall.

“I’m extremely excited to have been selected by the Metropolitan Riveters in the 2018 NWHL Draft. I am grateful for the opportunity to further my playing career in the NWHL and to be able to be apart of growing the game. I am thankful for all past and current teammates and coaches that I’ve been lucky enough to play with and for. It was a very special moment being selected by the Riveters, especially them playing so close to home. The game of women’s hockey has come so far with the help of the NWHL these past years and I’m excited to be apart of it all. I can’t wait for the future!” - Kendall

Not only was she drafted; she was drafted to basically her hometown team. I am sure her family is excited that they can now come watch her every home when she begins her professional hockey career as is her coach, Randy Velischek who has seen Kendall progress throughout her career as he was coaching at the same high school she played for!

We wish Kendall continued luck on her hockey journey!

*Photo Credits to RIT Womens Ice Hockey and NWHL*


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