Boston Pride’s Lauren Kelly Wins Denna Laing Award For 2022-23 Season

A well-deserved honor for Kelly


Apr 13, 2023

The Boston Pride continue to take home offseason awards.

Loren Gabel and Corinne Schroeder earned the Newcomer of the Year and Rookie of the Year, respectively after strong individual seasons for the Pride, Kali Flannagan was named the Premier Hockey Federation’s Defender of the Year and Thursday Lauren Kelly joined her teammates as award winners.

Kelly was named the recipient of the Denna Laing Award, which is presented to the PHF player who “most exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to the sport.” The award is selected by Laing, who suffered a severe spinal cord injury during the 2016 Outdoor Women’s Classic when she crashed hard into the boards.

Kelly’s fifth season with the Pride didn’t go as planned after the defender suffered a season-ending ankle injury that required surgery. Though she was unable to help her team on the ice, that didn’t stop Kelly from still being a leader from the bench.

“This year’s winner, Lauren Kelly, has garnered the respect of her coaches, teammates, opponents, officials, and fans. After suffering a season-ending injury before the year even began, Lauren battled back in therapy and continued to show up for practices and games even though she couldn’t be on the ice,” Laing said, per a PHF press release. “I think this dedication to the sport and the team makes Lauren a quintessential teammate as well as the perfect candidate for this award. Everyone faces adversity to some extent, but not everyone can adapt to a different role and gracefully excel as Lauren has this year.”

Kelly said despite her injury, she still wanted to be a good teammate and a positive voice in the locker room.

“This season I was challenged mentally and physically in a way I had never been before,” Kelly said, per the PHF press release. “I relied on my family, friends, and my Pride family to get me through the hard times during recovery. I’m grateful to have had all of the support throughout the season. My goal for this year was to be the best teammate I could be. I wanted to be a consistent positive voice in the locker room, and support the team the best I could.”

Captain Jillian Dempsey noted Kelly was “dedicated to our team” despite not being able to be on the ice.

The Pride officially are in the offseason and will look to strengthen their team even more before the 2023-24 campaign begins.

Thumbnail photo via Brian Fluharty/USA TODAY Sports Images
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