While youth girls’ hockey in Pittsburgh has seen a steady increase in opportunities and enthusiasm over the past decade, no program has been more successful in the area at providing a link to professional women’s hockey than Robert Morris University women’s hockey team. Although the team has seen better days in the AHCA, the RMU Women’s ice hockey program has seen players, assistants, and coaches involved with the NWHL in various ways.
In 2017, the Buffalo Beauts drafted forward Brittany Howard from RMU. Meeri Räisänen, the Finnish goaltender that recently signed with the Connecticut Whale is also a RMU alumni.
Brianne McLaughlin, a former Beauts goaltender and former Olympian not only played for RMU, but now leads a hockey camp for young players in the same facility where RMU holds its games.
Recently retired two-time NWHL All-star Kelley Steadman spent 2017 as an assistant coach at RMU before heading to Mercyhurst to become their Head Coach.
With a women’s ice hockey program nearby this well-connected to the NWHL, the potential for players familiar with the area already from their time at RMU, one way or another, could provide a Pittsburgh franchise with a starting point for their roster or front office.