Kendall Cornine ’15
Ice hockey superstar Kendall Cornine ’15 set all-time scoring records at Morristown Beard School and at Rochester Institute of Technology before being drafted to play professionally for the Metropolitan Riveters of the National Women’s Hockey League (NWHL). A true pioneer of the sport, Cornine became hooked on ice hockey from an early age. She started playing hockey with her next door neighbor in the driveway when she was 6, and the rest is history. “I fell in love with the sport right away,” she said. “I loved the speed and competitiveness.”
Cornine soon traded the concrete for the ice as she took some lessons at a rink and picked up skating quickly. At MBS, she was able to gain a greater love and understanding for the sport by playing for former NHL star Bruce Driver. By the end of her high school career, she became the School’s all-time leading scorer with 104 goals and 95 assists in just 74 games (Ally Detre ’18 bested her mark by one point in 2018). Cornine was named NJ.com’s Player of the Year for the 2014-15 season, when she recorded 34 goals and 32 assists, scoring at least one goal in every game. She was also a four-time all-state selection and was named the New Jersey Devils High School Player of the Year during her junior and senior seasons.
“My fondest memories at MBS were spending time with my teammates in the locker room and on the bus,” she said. “And, of course, winning the WIHLMA (Women’s Interscholastic Hockey League of the Mid-Atlantic) championship every year.”
Capturing the WIHLMA title during her senior season was especially rewarding since the girls ice hockey roster was extremely small due to injuries. “With just eight skaters on the team, to be able to do what they did was incredible,” said Coach Bruce Driver. “Kendall came off the ice only once during the championship game, and that was during the third period.”
Cornine credits Coach Driver with being “a huge part of my MBS experience and development as a hockey player and as a person.” She is also grateful for Jenna Sumner, former Director of the Center for Teaching & Learning (CTL), for keeping her on track academically. “She knew that hockey was a huge part of my life, and that I wasn’t always the easiest in the classroom my freshman and sophomore year. She really motivated and understood me.”
After MBS, Cornine played Division I hockey for Rochester Institute of Technology, where she also re-wrote the record books and finished her career as the school’s all-time leading scorer. From there, she was selected sixth overall by the Metropolitan Riveters of the NWHL. “It was pretty amazing. Getting to come home and play for the team in my home state around family and friends has been great,” she said.
“Hockey has taught me discipline, hard work, accountability, teamwork, and about 20 other things I could rattle off,” she said. “Along with being a professional hockey player, I’m also a PE teacher at New Canaan Country School. Being an athlete, having learned many lessons throughout my playing career and from all of my coaches and mentors, really set me up to be a successful educator.”
Cornine hopes to continue to play hockey professionally for a few more years and is encouraged by the interest she has seen in the sport. “I think the growth of girls ice hockey, even since I graduated in 2015, has been exponential,” she said. “The number of teams in the state has probably doubled since I was at MBS.”
She advises today’s female student-athletes to “set goals for yourself, work hard when no one’s watching, be a great teammate, and believe that you can take yourself and your sport to the next level. This is an amazing time to be a woman in sports.”