Kiira Dosdall, a Connecticut native, played her college hockey at Colgate University where she remains the second-highest scoring Raiders defenseman of all time. In her senior season at Colgate in 2008-09 Dosdall was nominated for the Patty Kazmaier Award which is awarded to the top player in NCAA Division I women's ice hockey. It goes without saying that Dosdall has been turning heads and making waves in women's hockey for quite some time now. After her outstanding college career playing in the state she would later return to for the 2015-16 season to play professionally, Dosdall went overseas to play hockey at the highest level with the Vienna Sabres.
After Dosdall finished her NCAA career, she left for Austria to play for the Vienna, where she helped win four straight Austrian titles and three European League titles. Dosdall is the first player to be named to the EWHL All-Star team for four years in a row. Last season, she played with the Boston Blades of the CWHL.
While playing with and serving as the captain of the Vienna Sabres and collecting championships in Austria, Dosdall met and roomed with current Riveters teammate and close friend Janine Weber who was the first player to be signed both by the Riveters and in the NWHL. Their friendship has traveled across the Atlantic and it served as one of the early seeds for the outstanding team chemistry that the Riveters enjoy in their locker room. Dosdall was one of the earliest players signed by the Riveters in the offseason before the NWHL's inaugural season. The Colgate standout joined the Riveters on June 30th on the same day that alternate captain Morgan Fritz-Ward inked her deal.
A right-handed defender, Dosdall uses her 5'10" frame exceptionally well and her long reach makes her just as effective playing defense in the transition game as she is defending around her own net. Her size also makes her a nuisance for the opposition's forwards along the boards and around the Riveters' net where Dosdall's sound positioning and strength always seems to snuff out chances and disrupt developing plays. Early in the 2015-16 season Dosdall has been playing big minutes on the Riveters' blue line and she is frequently deployed during special teams play. The Riveters, who had been shorthanded on their blue line before the arrival of Sydney Kidd to the team, have had to ask a lot of Dosdall and thus far she has had a rock solid start to her NWHL career on New York's blue line. Nothing seems to phase or rattle the big defenseman and she has been one of the Riveters' early standouts this season.
Recently Kiira Dosdall of the New York Riveters was kind enough to agree to an interview with me. Let's get to know #26 on the New York Riveters' blue line a little bit better!
: How old were you the first time you stepped onto the ice in a pair of skates and picked up a hockey stick?
I was 5. My parents say that the skating school coaches fit me for figure skates, and I cried until they let me wear the "black ones."
MM: With being born in Connecticut does going on the road to play the Connecticut Whale mean a little something extra to you?
Absolutely. I grew up playing boys' hockey in Darien and Stamford, so it's incredibly special to go home and see so many girls with their teams in the stands. I remember getting chills when I stepped out on the ice for that first NWHL game in Connecticut and looked around at the players, the fans, and especially the young girls. I remember thinking, "Wow. This is so cool. 20 years ago, I was the only girl I knew in a 20 mile radius from here who played hockey."
MM: During your senior year at Colgate you scored 24 points in 36 games from the blue line and you are Colgate's all-time leading defenseman scorer. Has offense always been a big part of your game?
It definitely depends on my role within the team.
MM: How did it feel to be nominated for the prestigious Patty Kazmaier award in your senior year at Colgate?
The feeling was very similar to the feeling of signing a contract with the Riveters: humbling.
MM: What made you decide to join the Vienna Sabres after your college career?
I always wanted to explore life in another country, so finding the opportunity to play hockey, teach and live in Austria was an easy decision to make!
MM: What does it mean to you to share your NWHL experience with longtime teammate and friend Janine Weber?
Part of the reason Janine and I have become such good friends is because we follow our dreams and don't let certain expectations restrain us. It's becoming a common habit for us to just stop, take in the moment, and then laugh. We still can't believe we're living in NYC together playing pro hockey!
MM: In 2013-14 you played for the Boston Blades of the CWHL for a season after your time in Austria with the Vienna Sabres. What was that experience like?
Any opportunity I have to play hockey at the highest level is a great one.
MM: After two years as the girls hockey coach at Brewster Academy you joined the education technology company Schoology in New York City. When did your passion for education start?
I always wanted to be a teacher. Well, a teacher and a hockey player. When I moved to Austria, I had the opportunity to teach Kindergarten at the American International School, and my passion for education has developed ever since. Now, I work at Schoology, a company filled with passionate people who are transforming education. I am so proud to be a part of it!
MM: Thus far in the 2015-16 season you've been frequently paired with Gabie Figueroa. Do you feel like you and Gabie are developing some good chemistry as a defensive pair?
Absolutely. Gabie is such a creative, strong player and the best teammate. I am always confident when stepping on the ice with Gabie!
MM: How would you describe your game?
Tough and focused.
MM: Why number 26?
Totally random. I like to switch it up.
MM: What made you decide on joining the New York Riveters?
The greater NYC area is home for me. Plus, I'm a Rangers fan!
MM: Do you have any pregame rituals or superstitions? Any specific routine before you play in a game?
Juggling the soccer ball with teammates (or trying to), and pre-game cooking with Janine.
MM: What does it mean to you to know that you have and will inspire young girls to try hockey for the first time?
It's what makes this the greatest job on the planet. My passion for hockey fulfills me, but the impact of this league extends so far beyond me. That's really what makes it so special.
MM: What are your thoughts on life in Brooklyn so far?
I love Brooklyn. I love my neighbors, the park, the escape from Manhattan, the restaurants, the night life, the easy commute, etc.!
MM: Is there anything you'd like to say to New York Riveters fans?
I appreciate every single one of you and can't wait to see you at our games. You are as much of a part of this league's success as any of the players are. You rule!
MM: What did it mean to you and your teammates to get your first victory at home ice in front of your fans on Sunday night?
We have a great team with a ton of character, and I don't think it could have been any better. To beat Boston in front of the fans who still believed in us after a tough loss a few weeks ago was emotional, to say the least.
MM: How would you describe what kind of captain fellow defenseman Ashley Johnston is?
Stretch's confidence and poise make her a natural leader both on and off the ice. She believes in herself, and helps the rest of us believe in each other and ourselves. I think the confidence and camaraderie that we build under Stretch's leadership will only grow more powerful as the season continues.
A big thank you to Kiira Dosdall for agreeing to do this interview during her very busy schedule. You can get to know #26 of the New York Riveters even better by giving her a follow on twitter at @KDosdall. You can also support Kiira by picking up her jersey at the NWHL shop!
Kiira Dosdall and the Riveters next take to the ice on Saturday at 3PM against the Boston Pride for the Pride's home opener. Today, it was announced that the Riveters vs Pride game (their third meeting of the young NWHL season) will be aired on NESN. The Riveters will be looking for their second win in a row in what will surely be an intense game.
Thanks for reading. Let's go Riveters!