Former Connecticut Whale defenseman, Kaliya Johnson, will be headed up to Boston after signing with the Boston Pride for the 2017-2018 National Women’s Hockey League season on Monday.
Johnson, the stay at home, standout defender from Boston College, put up three assists in 14 games while protecting the blueline for the Whale during the 2016-2017 season. After completing an internship with the athletic department at Boston College, assisting in student-athlete development, she will be starting a position, coordinating volunteer engagement with the Boston based, non-profit organization Building Impacts.
Johnson said, “I had a great time with the Whale, but my home and job are in Boston, so going to the Pride is a personal decision. I am excited about the potential of getting the Isobel Cup back to Boston. You can’t win games without strong defense, and that is what is building with Thomas Poeck as head coach.”
While earning her degree, in Sociology, Applied Psychology and Human Development, from Boston College she put up seven goals and 36 assists in 142 games for the Eagles. She also helped Team USA Under-18 team capture the silver at the 2012 World Championships.
While growing up in Arizona, Johnson developed her game in the Desert Youth Hockey Organization, including two years in the boys’ program. She added, “Then the checking got a bit much, I broke my arm, and it was girls’ hockey only for me after that.”
From the age of 15 until earning a scholarship at Boston College, the 2012 Junior Women’s Hockey League First All-Star, played at the North American Hockey Academy in Stowe, Vermont. She helped lead NAHA to a league championship in the 2011-2012 season.
Two interesting pieces of information she has shared are, that her boyfriend, whom she met during her time at BC, is New York Mets pitching prospect, Justin Dunn. Dunn is currently playing for the single A, Port St. Lucie Mets.
She also noted she wears the number 10, to honor her mother, Kelli, who wore the number as a professional and college basketball player. Johnson said, “I honor my mom and all of the sacrifices she made for me to get to where I am today.”
The Pride will try to bring the Isobel Cup back to Boston, as they battle the Whale, New York Riveters and defending champions, Buffalo Beauts, when the 2017-2018 NWHL season faces off in October. All four of the “Founding Four” clubs will have their full slate of home games, in addition to a few neutral site matchups, when the puck drops on Season Three.