Coyotes’ new hire Fry remains avid supporter of inline hockey
Chandler’s Lyndsey Fry is perhaps best known as a member of the USA women’s ice hockey team that captured the silver medal at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.
In November, she landed an NHL front-office job as a special advisor to Arizona Coyotes president Ahron Cohen as well as becoming a brand ambassador for the team.
But she also boasts a highly-successful inline hockey component to her game after winning a silver medal with the USA senior women’s team at the International Federation of Roller Sports (FIRS) inline hockey world championships in 2016 and a gold medal in 2018.
“I love inline,” the former Harvard University standout said. “I can’t say enough great things about it, to be honest. I think I like that the game and culture are a little less structured than ice hockey. Ice hockey is a very systematic, positional game. Inline is more of a creative, possession and flow game.”
Fry, who also won a gold medal with Team USA at the 2013 IIHF World Championships in Canada, said she prepares the same for both ice and inline.
“As far as my approach to the game, I mentally prepare exactly the same,” she said. “I focus on working hard every shift and having fun. I will say that from a tactical point of view that I often have to remind myself that if I don’t like my options entering the zone in inline, I can always turn back and regroup with my teammates. Ice is different because we have rules like offsides and icing that prevent us from doing that sometimes.”
The United States defeated the Czech Republic 3-2 to win the gold medal at last July’s FIRS world championships in Italy.
Fry, the first Arizonan of either gender to play hockey in the Olympics, was among three Arizonans on the U.S. roster, joining Allison Era (Youngstown) and Katherine McGovern (Tempe).
The USA senior women finished 5-1 overall at the tournament, including a 3-0 showing in the playoffs in which every game was fiercely fought.
The Americans were required to win a nerve-racking 2-1 shootout over New Zealand in the quarterfinals to begin their gold medal odyssey.
The championship game victory made amends for a 5-1 loss in pool play to the Czechs.
“I think our key to success this year in particular though was to let go of the idea that we were defending world champs and accept that we had to work just as hard as any other team throughout the entire tournament,” she said.
Fry admitted winning a world inline championship is “a completely different experience than the Olympics,” but she said it still ranks very high on her list of accomplishments.
“Of course, the Olympics is something special that I will cherish forever,” Fry said. “However, I take a lot of pride in my inline medals because my role is different for that team. I am much more of an impact player for the inline team than I was for the Olympic ice team, so I loved winning gold this past summer with sweat covering my face and smiling with my teammates.”
Fry, who served as an assistant coach for Team USA junior women’s team at last summer’s FIRS world championships, said she would like to continue to represent her country on the international inline hockey stage.
“I would love to play for Team USA Inline as long as my body will let me,” she said. “The competition continues to get better and better, though, so I will have to continue to train hard if I want that to happen. It sounds crazy, but if inline gets into the Olympics in 10 years, I would love the opportunity to play on that team.”
— Phillip Brents
(Jan. 31, 2019)