three hockey players compete for the ice puck in the beijing olympic hockey games

Two Northeastern graduates win Olympic silver medals

Two Northeastern graduates received silver medals at the Olympic Games in Beijing early Thursday morning—an accomplishment that left them both proud and disappointed. Kendall Coyne Schofield and Hayley Scamurra were on the podium with their United States teammates after losing 3-2 to Canada in the women’s ice hockey gold medal game.

“A lot of people don’t understand. They say, ‘How can you be so upset, you just won a silver medal?’” says Northeastern women’s ice hockey coach Dave Flint, who was a team assistant at the 2010 Olympics when the U.S. won the silver medal. “But you work so hard, you’re trying to achieve the highest goal, and your expectations are to win a gold medal.

“When you win a silver medal, which is a remarkable feat, there’s still that disappointment. They’re all proud of themselves—and everybody’s proud of them—that they won silver, but, for them, their expectations are gold. And sometimes that’s a tough process.”

Alina Mueller, a Northeastern senior who will be returning soon to play for the Huskies, came close to medaling in Beijing. Mueller was sensational in helping drive Switzerland past the Russian Olympic Committee team in an Olympic quarterfinal. But Switzerland was overmatched in a 4-0 loss to Finland in the bronze medal game.

Mueller finished with 10 points (four goals and six assists in seven games), making her the only player among the top nine in scoring to not represent Canada or the U.S., the only nations to have won gold medals in women’s ice hockey.

“She showed in this Olympics that she’s one of the best players in the world,” Flint says of Mueller. “It’s a big deal for Switzerland to get to play for the bronze medal. I know she’s disappointed that they didn’t win. If you think about the supporting cast that all the U.S. and Canadian players have—if she was on one of those teams, I don’t know how many points she would have had.”

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Photo by Xavier Laine/Getty Images.

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