By Lexi DeLorimiere, Staff Writer
Three members of the Long Island University Women’s Hockey team will represent their home countries by competing for their national teams in upcoming tournaments. The players were selected to play against the best teams in other countries. Sophomore defender Paula Bergstrom and sophomore forward Matilda Af Bjur both made the Sweden National Team. Sophomore defender Linn Thomsen made the Denmark National Team. During the 2019-20 season, Bergstrom and Af Bjur made the New England Women’s Hockey Alliance (NEWHA) All-Rookie team.
Playing for the National Team is a significant honor, and Bjur was very excited to have this experience. “Being selected to play for my national team is always a big achievement, and one of the biggest honors in my eyes,” she said. “This time was extra special to me because it was the first time I got to represent Sweden on the senior level and play my first games.”
Bergstrom will use this opportunity as momentum for the upcoming season. “The nationals gave me an extra boost of confidence that I will bring when I come back to LIU. It is important to me that I stay humble and keep playing my game,” she said. “I am also excited to get back on campus to work on the parts that needs improvement so I can take my game to the next need.”
The hockey program is young, but in their first season, they were named NEWHA Champions. Thomsen has high standards going into the season and long term at LIU. “My goal is to defend our title as NEWHA champions and keep getting better and grinding in this difficult time as a team so we can play in the NCAA tournament next season,” she said.
The Sharks will return to play in January 2021 as part of the NEWHA conference.