Former Olympian McLaughlin Named Assistant Coach
Monday, August 6, 2012
Pittsburgh –- Robert Morris University women’s hockey head coach Paul Colontino announced Monday the hiring of former Colonial goaltender and United States Olympian Brianne McLaughlin as an assistant coach.
McLaughlin, who served as a volunteer assistant with RMU during this past season, had a record-breaking career as a goaltender for Robert Morris before earning medals for her country in both Olympic and World Championship events.
“I’m excited to be back,” McLaughlin said. “I've always wanted to venture into coaching, and I think this is the perfect opportunity. I went to RMU, played here and already did some coaching here. I have a huge passion for the school already so being a part of something I love so much is a pretty special thing. I had a blast last season as the volunteer [coach], so I'm excited to see what this year brings.”
McLaughlin was hired in July 2011 as a volunteer assistant and immediately helped the Colonials to the most successful season in the history of RMU women’s hockey. She helped Robert Morris post the largest year-to-year win improvement in Division I this past season before the squad completed the year with a storybook ending as RMU captured the program's first-ever conference championship. Robert Morris tallied a program-record 19 victories, an amazing 13-win improvement from the prior season, as the squad also broke all-time records for longest winning streak and longest unbeaten streak.
McLaughlin played a role in the Colonials' great progress on the defensive end in 2011-12 as RMU was one of eight squads nationally to allow fewer than two goals per game. She helped netminder Kristen DiCiocco (Niagara Falls, Ontario / Stoney Creek Jr. Sabres) to a turnaround junior season in which she won multiple major awards. DiCiocco led College Hockey America (CHA) in both goals against average (1.97) and save percentage (.928) to win the league's Regular-Season Goaltending Trophy. DiCiocco then posted a career-high and RMU postseason record 45 saves in the CHA Championship against nationally-ranked Mercyhurst and was subsequently named as the tournament's Most Valuable Player (MVP).
In her role last season, McLaughlin assisted with aspects such as day-to-day operations, individual player development, video analysis, community service involvement and alumni events. She will maintain some of these responsibilities moving forward but will also now participate in other areas, such as recruiting and being more involved with on-ice instruction.
Before coaching the Colonials, McLaughlin had a storied collegiate career for RMU. In 120 career games for Robert Morris, McLaughlin stopped a NCAA-record 3,809 shots, a figure that is more than 200 clear of the closest netminder. McLaughlin was a four-time All-CHA award winner and also earned national defensive player of the week honors on three occasions in her career. She led RMU to one of the biggest wins in school history Oct. 3, 2008 when she made a single-game school record 63 saves to lead the Colonials to a stunning road upset of No. 3 Minnesota. McLaughlin recorded at least 40 saves in 27 contests in her RMU career and stopped at least 50 shots on eight occasions.
Less than one year after she completed her collegiate career, McLaughlin traveled to Vancouver, British Columbia for the 2010 Olympic Games as a member of the U.S. National Team. She appeared in the team's first game of the tournament, becoming the first Colonial student-athlete to compete in the Olympics, and went on to help the U.S. earn a silver medal.
McLaughlin then added another item to her award collection as she won a gold medal with the Red, White & Blue at the 2011 IIHF World Women's Championship in Switzerland. McLaughlin got the start between the pipes in the opening tournament game for the U.S. against Slovakia and certainly rose to the occasion in her first ever world championship appearance. She stopped every shot she faced to record her first-career shutout in a U.S. uniform despite having to face the Slovakian power-play unit on five occasions. McLaughlin's effort would prove to be America's only shutout of the tournament as the U.S. squad would go on to win its third-consecutive world championship with a thrilling, 3-2, overtime victory over Canada.
McLaughlin competed in her second World Championship this past April. She notched a shutout of Finland en route to helping the U.S. claim a silver medal, the third medal she has earned at a major international competition in her career.
McLaughlin graduated from Robert Morris in 2011 with a degree in nursing.
ABOUT ROBERT MORRIS UNIVERSITY
Robert Morris University, founded in 1921, is a private, four-year institution with an enrollment of approximately 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students. The university offers 60 undergraduate and 20 graduate programs. An estimated 22,000 alumni live and work in western Pennsylvania.