Lyndsey B. Fry ’14 and Michelle L. Picard ’15 have been playing hockey for most of their lives—and this November, they’ll be playing together for the U.S. National Women’s team at the Four Nations Cup in Finland. Both are players on the Harvard women’s hockey team, and the two sat down with FM to talk about the Mighty Ducks and friendship, on and off the ice. The interview has been edited for concision.
“I started watching Mighty Ducks movies—the Disney movies—and probably when I was four my parents ended up buying me the strap-on-your-shoes rollerblades, so I was just going up and down my street and could not stop and loved every second of it. Finally, my dad brought home a stick and put it in my hand.
When I was five I started playing roller hockey at a roller rink by my house. At that time, my dad was commuting to California, so I got to see some real Mighty Ducks games, which was cool. When I was six, they built an ice rink by my house, and I started playing ice hockey and never went back to roller.
When I was a junior in high school, I got invited to my first camp for the U.S. team. The way it works is, you don’t ever play with the U.S. team all year round unless it’s centralization for the Olympics. Otherwise, you play on your separate teams, and then you go to these camps and make the team hopefully, and then you go to the tournament that’s coming up. So when I was a junior in high school I made my first camp, and then I got invited to my first U-18 team [for players under eighteen years old].
Then, I got to Harvard, and that Christmas I made my first over-18 camp. But I didn’t really perform that well there, and then the next year—things weren’t quite going the way I wanted them to go. So this summer I just really committed myself to making it to this August camp where there was going to be a U-22 [over-18] series. I worked really hard and ended up making that U-22 team. And then after that I got picked for this Four Nations tournament, which is what’s coming up in Finland.
The Four Nations tournament—it’s us, Canada, Sweden, and Finland, and we just rotate every year. Four Nations is a big tournament; it tells everyone where they’re at. I’m excited to see where I fit in with the best of the best.
I met Shelly my second year of U-18s. But I wouldn’t say I knew her that well at that point. It wasn’t until she got here last year that we started getting really close, and now she’s one of my really good friends. She’s an awesome person to be around off the ice and especially on the ice. She’s an incredibly motivated person and she knows what she wants. When my head wasn’t necessarily right last year and hockey wasn’t going well for me, she was a really good person to look up to in that way.
It’s an interesting dynamic, just because I’m her upperclassman here but she’s been on the national team before, so she’s the one with the experience. So I respect her so much and look up to her in that regard, and she looks up to me here. It’s really cool. We have a good relationship and we’re both on the same page with everything this year, and I think it’s going to carry out throughout our season.
If you’ve never seen hockey before in your life, I think you’d be surprised at how fun it really is to watch. But even if you do watch hockey and you’ve never seen a women’s game, and just assume that it’s not going to be as fun as a men’s game, you’re wrong. What I want people to know is that the women’s side is just as worthy as the men’s side. It’s the truth. It’s a different game, sure, but it’s a fun game to watch and be a part of.”
“I’ve been playing since I was five or six. My older brother played hockey, so I grew up in the ring. It’s just natural for me to play.
For the US team, how it works is, each time there’s a tournament you have to make the team. So just because I made it for this tournament it doesn’t mean that I’ll ever be on it again in the future [laughs]. It’s all invitation-based.
My very first time [playing for the national team] was with the U-18 national team. The Worlds were in Chicago, so we had a championship game. The rink was packed with fans. For our championship game—I remember this moment so clearly—we were coming out for the third period. We were ahead, but I don’t remember the score. The band was chanting “USA!” My heart was pounding. It was one of the most memorable moments.
This August I was invited to our training camp, which is forty girls, and you’ll be on teams and you practice and play games and the coaches are watching you and evaluating you. A team was named, and we played up in Calgary against Canada’s U-22 team, and those were basically the tryouts for the tournament coming up in November.
In August, there were five of us from Harvard who were [at the training camp]. Two got hurt, so now aren’t playing, but it’s exciting that Lyndsey and I get to go. I wish it was more of us, but things happen. It’s cool because we get to know each other so well at Harvard, and to have that familiar face and friend on the team makes it more comfortable—someone you know who’s always there.
I first met Lyndsey when we were seventeen. We played on a U-18 world championship team together in Chicago. I didn’t really get to know her that well in that tournament, but then when I came here obviously we were teammates and that’s when we really became friends. It’s cool that we get to go play this together, too. I’m excited we get to share this experience.
I try to get her the puck, and she tries to score. On the ice. it doesn’t matter that she’s from Harvard—we’re all just teammates.”