Virden’s Kayleigh Chapman wrapped up her college hockey career in spectacular fashion.
The daughter of Robert and Colleen Chapman posted career numbers for the Bemidji State University women’s hockey team, while helping the squad achieve several school records. Chapman has helped the Beavers take several steps forward and certainly will be missed next winter.
“I will miss seeing her every day,” Bemidji State head coach Jim Scanlan wrote in an email interview. “She always has a smile and a cheerful hello. She is a very nice person who makes my job coaching this team a very enjoyable experience. I will miss her leadership, her compete level, her work ethic and her passion for the game!”
Chapman helped her Minnesota-school squad set program records for wins (21) and conference victories (13). The Beavers made it to the Western Collegiate Hockey Association championship game and finished the season ranked 10th in the nation. As a defenceman, Chapman posted career highs in games (37), assists (four), and points (four).
“She is good at moving the puck up the ice to the forwards,” Scanlan wrote. “She also does a great job of making herself an option in the offensive zone.”
As well as chipping in offensively, Chapman helped the Beavers on the ice in other ways. She blocked 30 shots last winter.
“She plays hard! She is hard to play against,” Scanlan wrote. “She is a very physical defenceman who competes very hard in all situations. She is a great penalty killer and shot blocker.”
Chapman developed into an important leader for the Beavers.
“She comes to practice every day and works hard and pushes her teammates to do the same” Scanlan wrote. “She makes sure she is ready to play when the puck drops and she is focused and engaged in what is going on during the game.”
Growing up in Virden, Chapman played eight years of boys hockey for the Virden Oil Kings. She went on to play two seasons for the Westman Wildcats program. Chapman helped the ‘Cats win the first ever ESSO Cup, Canada’s female midget national championship. She spent her Grade 12 year studying and honing her game at the Warner Hockey School in Alberta.
At Bemidji State, Chapman was successful off the ice as well as on. She majored in physical education with a minor in economics. This past season she was named to the WCHA All-Academic Team.
Scanlan only had the opportunity to coach Chapman for one season at Bemidji State. He said he wishes Chapman, whose boyfriend is Calgary Flames forward Michael Ferland, could be around the program longer.
“She is an outstanding ambassador for our hockey program both here at the university, and also in our community. She has also done a terrific job of representing her family and her hometown and I hope they are all very proud of her for what she has accomplished these past four years! She will go on and be very successful at whatever she chooses to do after graduation!”