The Girl Who Played Goalie

At first glance, HFCHS junior Alex Pellicci looks like a normal high schooler. Growing up in Prior Lake, Pellicci loved hockey after her uncle first introduced her to the sport of Minnesota. “He called me up and told me to show up to the rink the next day, and so I scrambled for equipment and went the next day and fell in love,” she said. As an 8 year old, in her first year of organized hockey, she played some time as a goalie, and some as a regular player, like all the kids did. It wasn’t until she was a 5th grader, that Alex started playing full time in net. “My older cousin [Kaitlyn] was a goalie, and she has always been my role model, so she was the reason I wanted to become goalie,” said Alex when talking about her cousin who plays for St. Olaf. At only 10 years old, Alex led her U-10 team to a district 6 victory (the first and still only Prior Lake girls team to win the district) and a state tournament appearance, winning 36 shootout duels, which was the start to the career of perhaps the best girls high school goalie in the state, if not, the country.


After that 2014 state tournament run, Pellicci started to get looked at by elite teams in the state. She made the Minnesota Machine Orange team when she was 11, as well as making the team that represented Minnesota at the Selects World Championship in Finland. At the end of her season in 2016, she was invited to her first HP Hockey Invite Camp, which is a tryout to send the best players in MN to the Team USA tryouts.


Starting to be well known throughout the state and in the Prior Lake Hockey Association, Pellicci was asked to play for the Bantam B-1 team for the 2016-17 season. She showed up in fashion, leading the Lakers to a 9-6-1 season. That summer, her district-6 select team won the Minnesota Championship, earning a spot at the Tier 1 National Championship in Detroit. If that wasn’t enough, Pellicci won the NAHA Labor Day Tournament with Minnesota Whitecaps’ (MN’s Pro Women’s Hockey Team), youth affiliate team, known as Os.


Going to Holy Family was a no-brainer for Pellicci, a Freshman in 2018, as her older brother and #1 super-fan Sam attended there. At the time, HF co-oped with Waconia, making the Wildfire. Alex started as a freshman, recording a season total 12 wins, 2.14 Goals Against Average (GAA), and a .928 save percentage. She made the all-Wright County Conference team and was named a captain for the inaugural 2018-19 Holy Family girls hockey season, after the co-op broke with Waconia, all of this at just 15 years  of age. Around this same time, Pellicci did something that a very, very few number of people do: verbally commit to a Division 1 college. Her college of choice? The prestigious Harvard University. Alex verbally committed there during her freshman year, as one of the few to do so in the state that early. For the 3rd year in a row now, Pellicci also was invited to the HP Hockey Camp, eventually finally reaching the USA Hockey Player Development Camp. As the Sophomore captain in 2018, and well known around the state, Pellicci was expected to achieve high standards. Achieving those standards that season would be an under-statement, as she was a brick wall to anyone trying to pass. She recorded 9 wins, a 1.76 GAA, and a tremendous .942 save percentage, landing her at 4th in the state ( the 3 ahead of her were all seniors). She went on to yet again lead her Tier 1 team to a National Tournament, and notching a spot on the USA Hockey Player Development Camp roster.


During the summer, Pellicci decided to do something almost unheard of: play hockey for a boys high school team. Training through the summer, Pellicci confirmed her decision early in the school year. A girl playing goalie in a boys league sounded ridiculous until 1992, when Manon Rheaume played in a preseason game in the NHL for the Tampa Bay Lightning. She paved the way for girls like Pellicci to play boys hockey on such a high level. Alex, a junior now, and the rest of her Holy Family boys hockey team, rostering one of the best forwards in Minnesota, Lucas Jorgenson, ASU commit Trey Fechko, and Junior defensemen Luke Roelofs, who won a world championship this summer with his club team, Blue Army, are on the verge of not only going to the first boys hockey state tournament in school history, but potentially even winning it.