Airdrie, Alberta is a hockey hotbed in Western Canada. It’s a Southern Alberta outpost that has produced countless hockey players, from NHL’ers and professional women’s players to Junior hockey stars and minor leaguers. Codie Cross is the latest to come from Airdrie and make an impact in the sport she loves.
Cross played two seasons at the Warner Hockey School from 2014-16. While there, she represented Canada at the 2016 World Junior Championship, helping the country claim a Silver Medal at the event. She used that 2015-16 season as a springboard to the Division 1 level of the NCAA. Cross headed to the United States for her college journey, joining the Northeastern University Huskies for the 2016-17 season.
Cross scored 16 points in three of her four seasons, and provided steady play for coach Dave Flint from the blueline. Over the course of 134 NCAA games, Cross scored 62 points (12 g, 50 a) and was a strong two-way presence.
While with the Huskies, Cross won three Hockey East Championships, the first three in program history, in 2018, 2019 and 2020. She also helped the Huskies win two Hockey East regular season titles (2018-19, 2019-20), and advance to three NCAA Tournaments (2018, 2019, 2020). Cross also suited up for the Huskies against Cornell in the 2019 National Quarterfinal at Matthews Arena. That game was a milestone because it was the first-ever NCAA Tournament game hosted by the Huskies.
This season, Cross elected to stay in New England. She decided to join the PWHPA after graduation, and tried out for the New Hampshire Regional Training Hub. Cross is likely to fill a top-four role for coach Bill Flanagan this season, teaming up with fellow Hockey East stars like Kali Flanagan, Megan Keller and Lillian Ribeirinha-Braga.
‘The Women’s Hockey Tribune’ recently caught up with Cross to talk about her favorite memories in the sport, her origins in the sport and much more!
WHT: What drew you to the sport of hockey as a young girl, and what fueled the passion that has led you on a very impressive career?
CC: I grew up basically spending every weekend in an arena when I was little because my dad and older brother both played hockey. Everything my brother did I wanted to follow, and since I first started skating at the age of 2 that is what sparked my love for the sport. I also grew up playing with boys, which I believe is a large part of why I am so competitive and have been so driven to play at the highest level possible.
WHT: What drew you to the PWHPA? What about the organization’s goals and values stood out to you?
CC: Playing in the PWHPA means competing against the best of the best. To me, that is what was a huge draw. Also, the mission behind the PWHPA drew me in. Woman’s hockey deserves more recognition and support, and I believe the PWHPA is doing what they can to make the a sustainable professional league a reality.
WHT: How has your experience with the PWHPA been so far?
CC: My experience so far has been awesome! I couldn’t ask for more from Coach Flanagan and Alex, who have been working so hard to make sure we are on the ice as much as possible even with COVID being a huge obstacle right now. Playing boys teams has been a lot of fun and super competitive, however it will be really nice when we can start playing showcases with the other PWHPA Regional Training Hubs.
WHT: I always like to ask this question because the answers can vary so much, what is your favorite memory in the sport of hockey?
CC: This question is so hard for me to answer because I have had so many amazing memories in my hockey career that it really is difficult to pick just one. Two that really stick out in my mind, because they are so recent, would probably be when our team won the Beanpot this year, and winning Hockey East for the third year in a row.
I didn’t get to play in the Beanpot championship game due to a high ankle injury. I got in the first Beanpot game, but watching the team and feeling the excitement around the room was something really special.
WHT: What are some of your goals both personally and for the region as a whole this coming season?
CC: My goals for this season personally are to continue to build my hockey skills, learn from the amazing players I am surrounded with and build off my last season of college. My college career was anything but smooth, I dealt with a lot of injuries that impacted me greatly both mentally and physically, so playing this year 100% healthy is something I am very much looking forward to.
My goal for our region is to continue competing hard against these boys’ teams and practices so that when we are able to play in the showcases, we are confident in our play and each other.