Boston Pride’s Jillian Dempsey ready for 2019 NWHL All-Star Game: ‘I’m so excited’ | NHL

Issues have been going nicely for the Boston Delight this season.

The 2016 Isobel Cup champions are taking part in their greatest hockey because the 2016-17 season, and they’re doing it with out gamers akin to former teammates, and Workforce USA superstars, Brianna Decker and Hilary Knight.

Now, the 2019 NWHL All-Star Sport is that this weekend and Boston will likely be well-represented in Nashville. Seven members of the Delight will rep the workforce on the Feb. 10 recreation: rookie goaltender Katie Burt, Alyssa Gagliardi, Lexi Bender, Haley Skarupa, Amanda Pelkey, Gigi Marvin and workforce captain Jillian Dempsey.

For the second-straight yr, Dempsey has been main the way in which for the resurgent Delight.

On a Delight workforce that’s stacked with a gifted group of forwards – together with three who received Olympic gold with Workforce USA in Pyeongchang – Dempsey leads the way in which in objectives, main factors, and even-strength scoring.

Desirous to attend her second NWHL All-Star Sport, the nation music fan is trying ahead to her first go to to Music Metropolis and lining up together with her fellow All-Stars. 

“I’m so excited,” Dempsey, 28, shared with Sporting Information. “It’s one thing I by no means anticipate. You by no means know with that type of factor. You’re employed actually arduous and do your greatest on the ice and if you get a nod like that it’s clearly a rewarding feeling.”

As amped as Dempsey is, she and the Delight are nonetheless reveling within the latest announcement of the workforce’s partnership with the Boston Bruins. On Jan. 10, the 2 organizations shaped a partnership, changing into the fourth workforce within the league with an NHL accomplice. That information adopted the Delight’s partnership with Warrior Hockey, which was the second team-specific sponsorship in NWHL historical past.

The historic cope with the Bruins means the world to the Delight’s captain. A lifelong Bruins fan, Dempsey received a contest to call the Bruins’ mascot when she was simply 9 years previous. Understandably, she’s nonetheless processing what the partnership with the Bruins may imply for her, her workforce and the league.

“We knew Hayley [Moore, the NWHL’s deputy commissioner] was going to inform us one thing, however we didn’t know what,” the native of Winthrop, Mass. shared. “We had been doing loads of hypothesis. None of us thought it was going to be a partnership with the Bruins, as a result of we didn’t need to get our hopes up.

“When she instructed us, everybody was speechless for a second as a result of that was one thing we’ve all been wanting for years. It by no means actually felt prefer it was shut or prefer it was taking place. It was such a shock for us.”

Paul Mara, a former NHL defenseman who performed in 59 video games with the Bruins, is in his first season because the Delight’s head coach. Dempsey has slot in seamlessly to the Belmont, Mass. native’s model of up-tempo hockey, which echoes the model of Workforce USA. She considers him to be an actual gamers’ coach.

“One of many massive issues that he stresses for us daily is to play quick,” Dempsey mentioned of her coach, who was an assistant with the gold medal-winning USWNT. “We have now a lot pace, so let’s use it. Let’s assume, ‘Get the puck, make the play,’ and let’s do it rapidly.

“I believe we’ve the depth and the pace to be actually profitable and we’ve to maintain reminding ourselves to make use of it in each space of the sport.”

Underneath Mara, the Delight have already moved previous final season’s disappointing file (4-8-4). In 2018-19, Boston has emerged as one of many NWHL’s prime groups and is at present battling to safe home-ice benefit for the playoffs. As one may anticipate, Dempsey’s 13 factors in 13 video games this season has been an enormous a part of the workforce’s success; nonetheless, she brings much more to the desk than objectives and factors.

“The one phrase I might use to explain Jill is ‘passionate’,” Gagliardi, who has been Dempsey’s teammate for the previous 5 seasons, instructed the Sporting Information. “She’s probably the most passionate particular person I’ve ever met, and I do not assume I’ve ever had a pal or teammate that loves hockey a lot.

“I believe I really like hockey, however after I’m close to Demps, I am not even shut. She’s inspiring in how she approaches each follow, each exercise, and each recreation. She’s assured to be the toughest working participant on the ice.”

Collectively, Gagliardi and Dempsey have raised the CWHL’s Clarkson Cup (Boston Blades) and the NWHL’s Isobel Cup. Dempsey appreciated her teammate’s sort appraisal and agreed with the overall concept — in spite of everything, she’s a full-time fifth-grade instructor who makes a degree of attending to video games and practices early at any time when she will be able to. 

“I’ve all the time discovered that with all the pieces I try this I’m both all-in, or not in in any respect,” Dempsey defined. “No matter I do, I need to give my greatest effort and my complete coronary heart.

“Hockey is clearly one thing that I like to do, and I like to be part of. My workforce is so essential to me. Being part of a workforce, and having that function the place you set the workforce first is one thing that’s important to how I view myself … I simply love the sport.”​

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The Delight’s captain credit her father and grandmother because the supply of her tireless work ethic. Her dad, Jack, served within the U.S. Coast Guard for over 30 years and is at present a hearth marshal and deputy fireplace chief within the Boston Hearth Division. When Jillian was rising up, her father instructed her and her siblings, “You’ve received to be there, it doesn’t matter what.” In any case, her Nonny (grandmother) steadily instructed her that Bruins legend Ray Bourque by no means missed a follow. 

That work ethic has made Dempsey among the best defensive facilities in skilled girls’s hockey. As you may anticipate, her teammates discover how arduous she works when she doesn’t have the puck.

“She’s actually artful and hard-nosed,” Gagliardi defined. “From a defensive perspective, any time Demps is battling in opposition to you within the nook that she’s going to have good physique place and [will] be pondering one step forward … Within the D-zone, she communicates a ton and is de facto conscious, which [her teammates] actually recognize.”​

Dempsey could have the short arms of an All-Star ahead, however she has the center and motor of an vitality line participant, and in her sixth season {of professional} hockey that feeling hasn’t gone away.​ She’s the engine that retains the Delight operating.

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