Lewicki inks pro hockey contract

MOUNDSVILLE — Dreams can come true.

Kristin Lewicki is proof positive. Her longtime goal of playing professional hockey has come to fruition. The John Marshall grad has signed a professional contract with the Buffalo Beauts of the National Women’s Hockey League.

The pro pact comes on the heels of a magnificent collegiate career for the diminutive ice star. Lewicki re-wrote the Adrian (Mich.) College record books as well as a host of Division III marks.

The exclamation point came in the form of being selected as the National Player of the Year this past season. Lewicki recently gained another impressive honor as she has been nominated for the 2016-17 NCAA Woman of the Year Award.

“It is pretty exciting (signing a pro contract) and playing in a new league, especially coming from a small town,” Lewicki said. “I am very thankful for this opportunity. I am glad to represent Adrian and West Virginia while also showing the younger generation that anything is possible if you put the work in.

“It is pure excitement right now. I can’t wait to get started,” she added. “I plan on moving to Buffalo the first week of October. We start practicing Oct. 10.”

Lewicki inked her one-year contract early in June. She has already locked up a spot on the 22-player roster.

With that said, Lewicki has began preparing for the rigors and challenges of professional hockey.

“I have been working out with one of my friends who plays hockey at Holy Cross. I am lifting and rollerblading to keep in shape,” Lewicki said. “There is an adult hockey league starting soon in Pennsylvania. That will be a big help to my preparations.

“Our regular season begins in the last week of October. The season runs into March,” she continued. “We play one game in Pittsburgh. So that will be exciting, getting to play in front of family and friends.”

Lewicki graduated this spring from Adrian with a bachelor of arts degree in criminal justice with a minor in business administration. She hopes to work in federal government once her hockey playing days are over.

The 5-2, 120-pound star was a two-time All-American and is the sixth all-time leading scorer in NCAA D-III history. Lewicki scripted a sensational senior season with 32 goals and 34 assists in 31 games. Those numbers pushed her career totals to 179 points in 113 games — 90 goals and 89 assists.

The multi-talented forward also received the ultimate honor. She was named the U.S. College Hockey Division III Women’s Player of the Year for the 2016-17 season.

Kapral may be reached at bkapral@timesleaderonline.com.