Keri Clougherty has been a standout at each level in her impressive ice hockey career.
From her earliest days of skating in the Lynn Youth Hockey program, to her time with the Assabet Valley and Junior Eagles Tier 1 teams, to her current status as an All-New England Prep School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) defenseman at Deerfield Academy, Clougherty has been recognized as a rising star in women’s hockey.
And the next destination in her hockey career says it all about how highly regarded she is among the nation’s Class of 2021 prospects. Clougherty, a 5-foot-9-inch Deerfield captain, will be continuing her hockey career at Boston College, one of the elite programs in Division 1 women’s hockey and also one of the most prestigious educational institutions in the country.
“I’m really excited about going to BC,” said the 17-year-old Clougherty. “I signed my letter of intent in November. I had committed to BC back in December of my junior year. I talked to a few schools, but BC was the one I was really focused on, for sure.”
Influenced by her Talented Brothers
Keri Clougherty is a member of a well-known Lynn hockey family. Her father, Kevin, has helped countless boys and girls learn how to skate in his role as the director of Lynn Youth Hockey’s “Learn to Skate” Program.
Keri’s older brothers, Michael, 21, and Brian, 20, have also inspired her in a big way. Both were offensive forces and linemates for the Lynn Jets high school hockey team, combining with John DiFilippo to tally a remarkable total of 150 points in the 2017-18 season. The Clougherty brothers went on to play junior hockey. Michael is currently a freshman at Boston College and coaches a junior team. Brian is a freshman at Worcester State University waiting to make his collegiate hockey debut for the Lancers.
“My brothers have been a big part of me playing hockey,” credited Keri. “I definitely look up to them a lot, seeing all that they did at Lynn breaking all the records. It was really cool to see them playing hockey together. I honestly wasn’t supposed to be skating, let alone playing. My mom [Kathleen] wanted me to be like a dancer or something like that.”
Making her Mark in Prep School Hockey
After participating in the LYH “Learn to Skate” program at the age of five, Keri began playing competitively for the Lynn Comets boys’ teams. Her father was a constant source of coaching expertise and support.
“My dad has always been around – he definitely was on the bench when I played hockey at Lynn,” recalled Keri. “He was always coaching my brothers. Once I switched over to girls hockey teams, he wasn’t like a coach, but he and my mom were always driving me around and being at my games.”
At nine years old, Keri moved on to the Assabet Valley girls’ program which is based in Concord. There she began to further develop her noteworthy talents while winning state championships and competing in national tournaments.
She is currently skating with the Boston Junior Eagles, one of the most competitive AAA girls’ hockey programs in New England. She earned a spot on the Eagles’ Tier 1 teams competing with and against the top players in the region including some future BC teammates.
A graduate of St. Pius School in Lynn, Keri attended the Winchendon School for two years and played hockey, volleyball, and softball there.
In the middle of her sophomore year, Keri made a decision to transfer to Deerfield Academy. As a first-unit defenseman at Deerfield, Keri helped lead the Big Green to a 14-win season, falling just shy of a berth in the New England Prep School playoffs.
“We had a really competitive season compared to the previous years,” related Keri. “The team camaraderie was awesome and the coaching was really good – that’s what drew me to Deerfield.”
She received All-New England Prep School Athletic Council (NEPSAC) Honorable Mention honors following her junior season.
What does Keri see as the strengths of her impressive end-to-end game?
“I feel I see the game pretty well,” she replied. “I’m working on getting up into the offensive zone. But for me, I feel I move the puck a lot – I’m not a big puck carrier or stickhandler, I’m more a move-it-and-go type. I also think my shot from the point has always been a big part of my game.”
BC Always on her Radar
As young as eight years old, Keri Clougherty knew a bit about the prestige and glory of BC women’s hockey.
“I remember telling my mom, ‘I want to go to Boston College when I’m older to play hockey,’ and that’s just kind of where it came from. It’s always been my dream school. I’m going to be honest – I didn’t think I was going to be able to do it, but things happened. I think I just worked really hard and I’m still working hard to improve. But I’ve always wanted to go to Boston College to play hockey and I’m really lucky to have this opportunity.”
Keri’s entrance into the BC hockey program continues Lynn’s homegrown channel to the Heights, following BC’s former record-setting goaltender Katie Burt and BC’s current junior forward Savannah Norcross, one of the Eagles’ leading scorers this season.
“I’ve known Savannah since I was little,” said Keri. “We were teammates when Lynn had its first girls’ team. I was 7-8 years old playing with the U-12 team and Savannah was on that team. I’ve always stayed in touch with her. Our families are really good friends.”
Training in Lynn
Keri Clougherty will return to Deerfield Academy in western Massachusetts this weekend and resume in-person classes, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, her final prep school hockey season has been canceled. She hopes to play varsity softball for the Big Green this spring.
This summer Keri will be preparing for collegiate hockey with strength and conditioning sessions at the Lynn Fitness Center under the direction of personal trainer Kenny Green Jr., a 1995 Lynn Classical graduate.
And then it’s on to Chestnut Hill and the realization of a dream come true.