Growing women’s hockey at all levels will take persistence

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Kelley Steadman has 10 points in seven games for Buffalo this season. — NWHL

Last season was rough, Kelley Steadman confided.

Make no mistake, the 26-year-old former Mercyhurst (Pa.) University star was used to donning multiple uniforms in a given year, since she had participated in two International Ice Hockey Federation women's world championships for the United States, plus one under-18 worlds and countless national team events and camps.

But 2015-16 took her itinerary to another level. The New York native was in the midst of her second season as director of operations for the Robert Morris women's team, and she was moonlighting as a part-time player for the Buffalo Beauts of the first-year National Women's Hockey League, playing 10 games and practicing when she could.

And as if her hockey life wasn't crazy enough, she was also in the process of completing her graduate degree at Robert Morris.

"That was a lot," Steadman said Friday evening at the RMU Island Sports Center.