Saugus native Alyssa Wohlfeiler has had a long professional career on the ice, but still has no end in sight. In fact, the 13-year veteran says she’s felt better about her play every single year since turning pro.
Wolhfeiler, a forward, now enters her fourth season with the Connecticut Whale of the Professional Hockey Federation.
“I feel so much better physically, mentally and skill-wise in the last few years of my career,” said the 33-year-old Wohlfeiler. “So it’s almost like it’s been flipped from a normal trajectory. I don’t even think about my age and I don’t play like my age.”
The former Centurion was part of a big flip for the team last season when they finished a franchise-best 15-3-2. 2021-22 saw the Whale post more wins than in its last five seasons combined.
“The Whale was kind of the basement team for quite a while, it’s kind of a tough location,” said Wohlfeiler. “It’s not in a big city or anything and girls have to have full-time jobs. Salaries are getting higher so we’re not having so many girls working full-time jobs. It’s been difficult to get elite players but the organization has done a great job bringing in top players. They want to come here now. It’s been a good turnaround.”
It was an incredible year for Connecticut but a bittersweet finale as the team lost in the PHF finals to Wohlfeiler’s former team, the Boston Pride.
The Whale is coached by former NHL pro Colton Orr, who has been with the team since 2019. Orr has a great rapport with Wohlfeiler and his team
“I have a great relationship with [Orr],” said Wohlfeiler. “We get along really well. He lets me be me, which is not so easy for some people. He has an open-door policy and I always feel comfortable talking to him.”
The team began the season with a finals rematch with Boston but were dropped 4-0. The team still has big hopes for this season and will aim to prove last year was no fluke.
The team’s only rookie, Caitrin Lonergan, has impressed the forward in their short time together.
“[Lonergan is] quite a player,” said Wohlfeiler. “She plays with speed and that’s how I like to play. It’s been a good duo so far.”
The 13-year veteran has been part of plenty of strong fronts and duos as she’s played in Switzerland, Sweden, Germany as well as in the United States.
Wohlfeiler has come a long way from being a 5-year-old in roller hockey at the YMCA. She switched to ice hockey at 9 years old and then later played for the California Selects, one of the two all-girls club teams in Southern California at the time.
Her time in Switzerland was special as she led HC Lugano to a national title with 29 points in 18 games.
The forward will now lead a young Whale team in which she sees a ton of potential.
“Our roster looks really good, we have a lot of depth,” said Wolhfeiler. “I’m excited to see what we can accomplish this season.”
While she may be the oldest player on a team with 16 players under 27 years old, Wohlfeiler was clear: She feels better than ever and is ready to lead this team to a PHF championship.
“I haven’t been told to play a different role. I don’t even think about my age,” said Wolhfeiler. “I feel better every season and I get fitter and smarter every season. I enjoy playing as much as ever. I think my age is pretty irrelevant.”