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Senior Spotlight with Reagan Fischer

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By David Silverman(
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HANOVER, N.H. — In her third full season with the Big Green, senior Reagan Fischer (Irma, Alberta) wears a C while she plays for the Dartmouth women's hockey team. Fischer shares the honor of being a captain with fellow seniors Jenna Hobeika (Alpine, N.J.) and Kelly Foley (South Boston, Mass.), but came to receive the honor and get to where she is on a slightly different path.

Fischer came to Dartmouth from the small town of Irma, Alberta, which according to the forward doesn't have a traffic light. Despite the lack of advanced traffic technology and the lack of large population, Fischer got her start in hockey because of her father's love of sports.

"I'm from a really small town that was very sports oriented. We played hockey in the winter and softball in the summer, and that is kind of what everyone did," Fischer said. "My dad was really into sports so getting his kids involved was kind of what he did.

"He started the first all-girls team in Alberta for my age group and I fell in love with the sport and didn't look back. At the beginning we played in a boy's league because there weren't any other girls teams to play. The closest team was a 25-minute drive. Once I got into high school, I played for Lloydminster, which was an hour and a half drive."

Playing for the AAA team and at the U18 Canadian camp helped get Fischer noticed by the Big Green and other Division I programs. She ended up coming on a campus visit to Dartmouth and the atmosphere and the people pushed her to make her decision.

"My official visit was the last weekend in October and there were eight or nine other recruits here that weekend," Fischer stated. "Brittany Mills (Winchester, Mass.) was one of the other players here that weekend and we kind of clicked. I came down here and knew Larissa Roche '11 who was a freshman at the time. I stayed with her and absolutely loved my visit."

After talking it over with people from home, Fischer made her commitment to Dartmouth and played well right from the start. Fischer played in all 34 games as a freshman, and finished sixth on the team in points with 26 on 15 goals and 11 assists. Despite the success, the forward had to deal with quite an adjustment when she first showed up in Hanover.

"It was definitely a big change. I had always been at home, lived at home and had never been away from home for a long period of time," Fischer said. "Also, the amount of hockey was an adjustment. At home, you only play two or three times a week and you come here and you are practicing two hours a day, plus weight training and other things. But the people here, from the team to the coaching staff, do a wonderful job to make everyone feel at home and included."

Fischer didn't play her sophomore year, but came back after a year off to a lot of change. The 2009-10 team had a large freshman and senior class, so when Fischer returned in 2010-11, there were a lot of new faces.

"I was a little worried about it. Essentially, I didn't know half the team again," Fischer stated. "So there were the thoughts of how I was going to fit in, but once I got back all the worries were gone. Everyone did a great job making the return as easy as it could have been."

Not only did the Alberta native come back to the team of new faces, but her team had selected her to be one of the three assistant captains.

"It was surprising. Head coach Mark Hudak called me that summer and asked me if I would accept the role of assistant captain," Fischer said. "I was very honored to be given the privilege to wear an A and lead the team. It was very exciting but also a very humbling moment."

The forward lived up to the expectations by playing in all 34 games, totaling 28 points on nine goals and 19 assists, earned ECAC Hockey's Co-Best Defensive Forward honor and helped the team get back to the NCAA Tournament. The individual honor came as quite the shock to Fischer.

"It was very flattering. It was surprising and something that I wasn't thinking about. The line that I played on was pretty good with Foley and Hobeika, so I don't know if I can take full responsibility for my defense, but it was nice."

This season, Fischer moved into the captain's role, but with three captains on the team it took a little time for everyone to realize who does what.

"It was definitely different. When you have one captain and three assistants like we did last season it is kind of automatic on who takes the reins on each issue," Fischer said. "But when there are three of us it kind of works both ways. All of the pressure isn't on one person and you can get together and make group decisions.

"At the beginning of the year we were trying to feel out the situation without stepping on each other's toes. We have kind of learned to do what we are comfortable with and to go with our guts. We have each other's backs and it has been going smoothly of late."

Everything has been going smoothly of late with the team winning six of its last seven games, and before the overtime loss to Cornell, the Big Green had an eight-game unbeaten streak. Fischer has played in all 22 games and has nine goals and 12 assists for 21 points, good for third on the team. Dartmouth has slowly been moving up the ECAC Hockey standings, and is now tied for third with Quinnipiac and Clarkson.

Fischer knows there are still ups and downs ahead, but she is always grateful for what she has earned and been given. An opportunity not many people get, and she's happy she's had the chance to take it.

"It's something that a small town girl dreams, being able to go far playing hockey," Fischer said. "Especially, using it to get an Ivy League education."