Senior hockey players shine on and off the ice
By: Mack Drake/Garrett Osterode
February was a big month for all Grand Canyon University Club Sports teams.
While there were many qualified candidates for the GCU Club Sports February Athlete of the Month Awards, there were two senior hockey players that were a stick above the rest.
Women’s Ice Hockey: Kylie Kramer
As her final games with GCU Women’s Ice Hockey came and went, Kramer had flashbacks to her childhood, when she first became enamored with the sport as a 7-year-old girl watching her older brother glide on the ice in her hometown of El Mirage.
“I was at the rink all the time to watch him play,” Kramer reflected. “After watching him for so long, I finally gave in and have been in love with the game ever since.”
A product of Shadow Ridge High School in Surprise, Kramer’s love of the game has fueled her to become one of the best players in GCU Women’s Hockey history, and a key figure in the program’s early beginnings in 2016.
A defenseman, Kramer’s senior season with the Lopes included three goals, nine assists and 12 points in 15 games. Her nine assists led the team and her 12 points ranked third behind teammates Faith Casola (13) and Annabelle Koethe (15).
“It’s been surreal,” said Kramer, who played for the Southern California-based Anaheim Lady Ducks in high school. “It’s been a lot of fun being part of the inaugural season (in 2016) and watching the program flourish in the last few years. GCU Hockey has really helped me grow as a leader – on and off the ice.”
Kramer and her teammates take great pride in growing the sport of hockey in the Valley, especially among young girls. For her part, Kramer serves as a coach for the Arizona Kachinas and Small Frys girls hockey program, which was created and operated by the Arizona Coyotes.
Founded in 2018 by Olympic silver medalist Lindsey Fry and Arizona Coyotes Director of Hockey Development Matt Schott, the programs were designed to expose girls to hockey and get them skating at a young age.
GCU Women’s Ice Hockey Head Coach Natalie Rossi is also heavily involved with both programs.
“It’s incredible to be a part of a growing girls’ hockey movement in the state I grew up playing in,” Kramer said. “GCU’s involvement with girls’ hockey in the community has helped me fall back in love with the game that I fell in love with as a little girl.”
Kramer will graduate in the spring with a Bachelor’s Degree in Biology – emphasis in pre-medicine. The next step in her journey will be to medical school, where she plans to go into the field of orthopedics.
Until then, Kramer is focused on finishing her last few classes and enjoying the company of her friends, many of whom were she forged close bonds with as teammates on the ice.
“The highlight of GCU Hockey for me has definitely been my teammates — they’re like family,” Kramer said. “I have made friendships that have helped me grow into a better person. I wouldn’t have wanted to play with any other team, especially my senior year.”
Men’s Ice Hockey: Trey Greene
A part of the first recruiting class in GCU Men’s Ice Hockey history and ending his career as a part of GCU’s first-ever ACHA Division I team, Trey Greene, a senior forward from Moorhead, Minnesota, has built a legacy with the GCU Men’s Ice Hockey team. Greene is one of three seniors on this young Lopes’ squad, providing leadership on and off the ice.
“Being a four-year senior has allowed [him] to really build something within this team,” said Lopes’ Head Coach Daniel Roy. “He was one of the first players I recruited and one of just two four-year seniors.”
Greene not only has been a part of the entire history of GCU Ice Hockey, he also has produced on the ice at a very high level. The forward has scored double-digit points each season, including a career-high 32 in 2017-18.
A moment that highlighted Greene’s accomplishment on the ice came on October 20, 2017 when he poured in three goals for his only career hat trick, helping the Lopes to a 5-3 win over Weber State University.
Interested in joining GCU club sports? Click here to learn more!