As much as Justine Reyes tries to pass on attention, it still finds her.
And speaking of passes, the St. Lawrence senior had one last Saturday night that found its target and was forwarded right to the back of the net.
That event is nothing new in Reyes’ college career, but her assist on Nadine Edney’s power-play goal gave the longtime Anaheim Lady Ducks standout 100 points in her Division I career. In the process, she became just the 29th player in the Saints program’s history to reach that milestone.
“It was a really cool moment,” said Reyes. “I don’t think you can picture how something like college hockey will play out before you start. I’ve always wanted to play my best and have fun in the process, and I feel I’ve accomplished both of those things.”
Reyes, who received the puck after a teammate fished it out of the opposing net, has consistently provided offense for the Saints, and the century mark in points was just further validation of that.
As a freshman, she tied for the team lead with 12 goals. As a sophomore, she was fourth on the team with 23 points. She tied for the team lead last season with 40 points, and she’s again leading the team in scoring with 17 points.
As impressive as the offense is, consider this: Reyes has never missed a game in her college career. She is at 131 consecutive games and counting – a remarkable run of durability and toughness.
She has accomplished this while making incremental improvements to her game.
“I’m much more of a complete player,” she said. “Let’s just say I came in lacking on the defensive end. We’ve had the same staff the entire time I’ve been here, so I’ve been lucky in that regard.”
Reyes cited at least two factors that helped her hit the ground running in college.
One was the preparation she received growing up in the Lady Ducks program, where she twice served as a captain and was an assistant captain a third season.
“Kathy (McGarrigle) and Caroline (Marchant) are so dedicated to helping everyone in the program move on to whatever level is appropriate,” Reyes said. “My teammates really helped me out, as did every coach I had.”
Another factor that has been huge for her is playing in college with a couple of familiar faces – former Lady Ducks Kayla Nielsen and Lydia Grauer.
“My freshman year the three of us roomed together, and it helped all of us get acclimated to college and college hockey sooner,” Reyes said. “I’m grateful for them.”
A psychology major, Reyes was selected to the ECAC Hockey All-Academic team last season. The options in front of her are plentiful, and include in no particular order graduate school and continuing to play hockey.
“(Continuing in hockey) is the goal, but I’m playing it by ear right now,” she said.
And why wouldn’t she? She has two more months to add to her growing legacy in college hockey.