Head Coach: Digit Murphy
Digit Murphy comes to KRS with an extensive back- ground in coaching and leadership experience, at Brown and in the CWHL with the Boston Blades.
At Brown she became the winningest coach in Division 1 women’s ice hockey history. She finished her NCAA career with 318 wins. She won 6 ECAC titles and 5 IVY League championships in her career. She coached 1
Patty Kazmaier Award Winner, 3 All-American, and 7 participants in the Winter Games.
During her previous stint in the CWHL with the Boston Blades she served as the head coach and general manager. She led the team to 2013 and 2015 Clarkson Cup Championships, as well as a runner-up Clarkson Cup appearance in 2014.
During her playing career at Cornell, Murphy served as the two time captain and was named Ivy League Player of the Year and nished her career with 123 goals and 90 assists. She was enshrined in the Cornell Athletic Hall of Fame in 1994.
In 2015 Murphy and her partner Aronda Kirby founded the United Women’s Lacrosse League (UWLX), in conjunction with the Play It Forward Foundation, the first professional women’s lacrosse league in history.
Head Coach: Saara Niemi
Saara Niemi (Tuominen) joins the KRS coaching staff for the inaugural season. The Finland native and former Finnish National Team member has worked with her national team on the Finnish Coaches board from 2016 to present. Prior to that she was a volunteer mentor coach at the Finnish Ice Hockey Association.
Before coaching, Niemi represented Team Finland in two Olympic games (2006. 2010) and was the assistant captain from 2008-2010. She played in three world champion- ships- 2004, 2008, 2009 and was named Best Forward in the IIHF World Championship in 2009. She was the Student Athlete of the Year in Finnish Female Ice Hockey for 2008.
Niemi was one of the most prolific players in collegiate history at the University of Minnesota-Duluth. Niemi played in the Frozen Four all four years she was in college and was a member of two national championship teams (2008, 2010). Niemi embraced a leadership role as a three year captain for the Bulldogs
Niemi graduated from the University of Minnesota-Duluth in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in applied science and a focus in Exercise and Sport Science. She is currently working on her master’s thesis from the University of Jyväskylä in Sport and Health Sciences.
Assistant Coach: Sun Rui
Sun Rui joins the KRS sta after retiring from inter- national play. Sun Rui is one of the most decorated hockey players in the Chinese national team history. and captained the team.
She competed for the 2010 Chinese Olympic Team which finished 7th out of 8, and also competed in eight top-level World Championships and two Winter Olympics between 1999 and 2013.
Sun represented China during many memorable moments such as the 2008 Women’s World Championship held in her home city of Harbin while also scoring at both the 2002 and 2010 Winter Olympics.
Sun Rui joins the KRS staff to help pass on the knowledge she has gained from years of experience with the Chinese team to help lead the next generation of the Chinese as they strive for success in the 2022 Winter Olympics hosted in China.
Goalie Coach: Santeri Matikainen
Santeri Matikainen joins the KRS sta as the goalie coach for the 2017-18 season. He comes from Finland with years of coaching goalies. Matikainen earned his 3 Step Goalie Coach Qualification from the Finnish Hockey Association.
Most recently he was working in Peliitat, Mestis in Finland for the last two years as the goalkeeper coach. Prior to that Matikainen worked Ilves Hockey ltd., from 2013-16.
With Ilves he coached the U18 goalies, as well as coordinated the U7-U20 teams.
Matikainen has worked with NHL draftee Markus Ruusu and NHL Entry Draft Prospect Emil Larmi and several other junior national team goalies.
Matikainen comes from a strong hockey background, as his dad is currently coaching the Pelican Lahti with previous stops in the KHL and Finnish National Team, and also played for the Oshawa Generals.