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Hurricanes name Alyssa Gagliardi girls’ and women’s hockey specialist

The native of Wake County, a two-time professional league champion, joins the Hurricanes youth and amateur hockey department.

2016 Isobel Cup - Game 2
Cary’s Alyssa Gagliardi (#2, at right) celebrates the Boston Pride’s 2016 Isobel Cup victory.
Photo by Andy Marlin/Getty Images for NWHL

Alyssa Gagliardi has made a career out of blazing trails, which comes with the territory when you’re one of the few professional hockey players native to central North Carolina. On Thursday, she added another first to her collection, as the Carolina Hurricanes announced that they have hired the Raleigh-born Gagliardi, who grew up in Cary and won back-to-back titles in 2015 with the CWHL’s Boston Blades and with the NWHL’s Boston Pride in 2016, as their girls’ and women’s hockey specialist, the first time in the team’s history they have created a position dedicated exclusively to women’s hockey.

Gagliardi will work with Shane Willis, the Canes’ manager of youth and amateur hockey programs, and Emile Hartman, who performs a similar role for boys and men’s hockey, in expanding the Hurricanes’ inroads with local rinks and partnering with local girls’ and women’s leagues.

According to a press release from the team, Gagliardi will focus on running youth and amateur hockey events for girls and women throughout North Carolina, and will develop new camps and clinics including developing a Girls Continue to Play program. “We’re excited to add Alyssa to our organization,” said Canes GM Don Waddell. “We’re committed to growing girls’ and women’s hockey in our community, and she’ll be a major part of those efforts.”

A defender who spent four seasons at Cornell University, captaining the Big Red in her senior year, Gagliardi has twice been named to the NWHL’s All-Star Team. She currently serves as a board member of the Professional Women’s Hockey Player Association. The release from the team is below.

Raleigh native played last four seasons with NWHL’s Boston Pride

Don Waddell, President and General Manager of the National Hockey League’s Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has hired Alyssa Gagliardi as its Girls’ and Women’s Youth and Amateur Hockey Specialist.

“We’re excited to add Alyssa to our organization,” said Waddell. “We’re committed to growing girls’ and women’s hockey in our community, and she’ll be a major part of those efforts.”

In her role, Gagliardi will be involved in all aspects of the Hurricanes Youth and Amateur outreach efforts. Her focus will be to organize and run the team’s Girls and Women’s youth and amateur events, including leading the development of a Girls Continue to Play program, as well as new female camps and clinics. She will also teach floor hockey clinics at elementary and middle schools in North Carolina as part of the Industry Growth Fund in-school program and consult with other Female Hockey Ambassadors and Hockey Development Departments across the NHL to advise the club on female-focused initiatives.

As a player, Gagliardi tallied 25 points (3g, 22a) in 65 games with the National Women’s Hockey League’s (NWHL) Boston Pride. Named an NWHL All-Star in 2016 and 2018, she helped the Pride capture the Isobel Cup in 2016. Before joining the Pride, she registered four points (2g, 2a) in 21 games with the Canadian Women’s Hockey League’s (CWHL) Boston Blades and won a Clarkson Cup championship in 2015. Gagliardi is currently a player and board member with the Professional Women’s Hockey Players’ Association (PWHPA), which is aimed at promoting a single, viable professional women’s hockey league in North America. Born in Raleigh and raised in Cary, N.C., Gagliardi recorded 88 points (20g, 68a) in 138 NCAA games with Cornell from 2010-14 and captained the Big Red as a senior.