The following article was posted on www.nwhl.zone on Friday, June 21 featuring former Yale University standout Bray Ketchum.
By Dan Rice.
The last time NWHL fans saw Bray Ketchum on the ice she was hoisting the Isobel Cup over her head following the Metropolitan Riveters championship game win. That game was the last of Ketchum’s professional career. Last week we saw Ketchum near another hockey trophy, the NHL’s Stanley Cup, as she was in attendance for a few games of the Stanley Cup Final in Boston, including the Game 7 that crowned the St. Louis Blues as champions for the first time in their franchise's long history.
For the record, Ketchum is a New York Rangers fan but she has a deep connection to one of the Blues’ stars - Jaden Schwartz - that will last a lifetime. “When I was at Yale University, Mandi Schwartz was in the class ahead of mine,” explained Ketchum. “Her brother Jaden now plays for the St. Louis Blues. I played with her for a few seasons and when she got sick (with acute myeloid leukemia) she was on a line with myself and Aleca Hughes, who is the founder of the Mandi Schwartz Foundation.”
“When Mandi got sick we were in touch with the Schwartz family to keep tabs on her when she had gone home for treatments,” Ketchum said. “We continued to support her and tried to assist in finding a bone marrow match, which is why we started the annual Yale Mandi Schwartz Marrow Donor Registration Drive in her honor. Since that, we launched the Mandi Schwartz Foundation, and the Schwartzes are also very involved in it and part of the board with us.”
The savviest of hockey fans may be realizing right now that both Ketchum and Jaden wear the number 17. That’s no coincidence.
“Mandi wore no. 17 at Yale and when I had the opportunity to choose my number when I joined the Riveters I asked Rick and Carol (Mandi’s parents) if it would be okay if I wore her number in her honor and they couldn’t have been happier,” Ketchum recalled. “She was someone I thought about every day, especially every time I went out on the ice. It was pretty special to be able to wear that number and support her.”
Living not too far from Boston once the Blues advanced to the Final, Ketchum definitely wanted to be there to support Schwartz chasing his dream of winning the Stanley Cup.
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