NEW YORK, New York. – Former Quinnipiac rugby and women’s ice hockey player Elena Orlando (Winters, California) has signed a professional contract to play for the New York Riveters in the inaugural season of the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL).
“I'm extremely excited to play in the NWHL and for the Riveters,” Orlando said. “A paid professional league for women is a huge step for hockey, and women's sports in general, so I'm very lucky to be a part of it. I was able to see the talent the Riveters had signed while playing in the Beantown Classic, so I knew how good the team was going to be and I wanted to be a part of that. Also, being able to play with Morgan again is going to be great!”
Orlando is the fourth Bobcat to sign a contract with the NWHL where she will reunite with Morgan Fritz-Ward (Mason City, Iowa) on the Riveters. Orlando also joins Chelsea Laden (Lakeville, Minnesota) and Shiann Darkangelo (Brighton, Michigan) in the NWHL, who have signed with the Connecticut Whale. Overall, Orlando is the 10th former Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey player to sign a professional contract after graduation.
“Elena is a true athlete and we’re excited that she has an opportunity to continue to pursue her hockey dreams,” Quinnipiac women’s ice hockey head coach Cassandra Turner said. “She was and will continue to be a responsible, committed player and a great teammate.”
Orlando played four years of ice hockey and three years of rugby for the Bobcats, competing as a
dual athlete during her junior and senior seasons. In her ice career, Orlando appeared in 82 games where she scored three goals and assisted eight more for 11 points.
"Elena's selection does not surprise our program or our staff,” Quinnipiac women’s rugby head coach Becky Carlson said. “Her dedication to rugby was just a small portion of her impressive and diverse athletic resume. I have no doubt she will be a vital asset in this next endeavor in professional ice hockey and I couldn't be prouder of her continued achievements as both a person and athlete."
Since joining the Quinnipiac women’s rugby team, Orlando was a valuable contributor at the inside center position. During the 2014 season, Orlando scored four trys and was one of the top contributors for the Bobcats.
Orlando and the Riveters open up the inaugural NWHL season on Saturday, October 11 at 1:30 P.M. when they travel to Chelsea Piers in Stamford, Connecticut to face the Connecticut Whale in the first game in the history of the NWHL.