The good news is that two of Northeastern’s biggest ice hockey stars will be competing at the Olympic Games next month in Beijing.
The difficult news is that the Huskies’ nationally ranked teams must survive without the leadership of senior forward Alina Mueller, who will be playing for Switzerland, and sophomore Devon Levi, a goaltender for Canada.
The women’s team always figured that Mueller, 23, would be leaving for what will be her third Olympics. At 15 she scored the winning goal in the bronze-medal game at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi, Russia, making her the youngest player to medal in women’s ice hockey.
In 2018, Mueller scored an Olympic-record four goals in one game while helping lead Switzerland to fifth place in South Korea.
The selection of Levi, 20, was finalized recently. He emerged as a surprise star one year ago at the World Junior Championships while leading Canada to the final. An injury prevented him from playing for Northeastern last season, but this year he is leading the NCAA with a .948 save percentage and nine shutouts, needing just 17 games to break the school record of six.
Levi becomes the first active men’s ice hockey player at Northeastern to represent his country at the Olympics—a result of the NHL’s refusal to participate in these Winter Games because of COVID-19 disruptions.
“I’m really proud of Devon,” says Northeastern men’s coach Jerry Keefe. “That’s a huge honor to get selected to play for Team Canada at the Olympics. I know our whole team is proud of him and we’ll miss him. But at the same time it’s a great opportunity for him.”
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Photo by Ruby Wallau/Northeastern University.