By Michael Mullen
If you did not make it out to see the women’s hockey team play their season opener, you missed a great game. The Dutchwomen took on the University of Connecticut Huskies.
The first period started slow until Connecticut scored first on a power play after a hooking call on Union. But two minutes later the Dutchwomen caught a break on a Connecticut high sticking penalty. After shots by Rhianna Kurio ‘13 were stopped, Freshman forward Jessica Kaminsky put in the rebound.
The game remained tied until the closing seconds of the first period when Connecticut scored again on the power play. The Dutchwomen had lost the lead but came out in the second period ready for a fight.
Early in the period, Union went on another power play and Junior forward Stefanie Thomson had a great scoring chance, but the UConn goaltender flashed some leather and made an outstanding save. Forward Bryanne Panchuk ‘15 put on a clinic with her hustle, causing several turnovers and frustrating UConn’s defense. The Union effort paid off as Emma Rambo ‘13 scored off an assist by Haley Welch ‘15. After this second unanswered goal, things started getting a little rough.
Most people know that women’s hockey has rules against most checking, but what the refs don’t see won’t hurt them but may bruise UConn. Christine Valente ‘15 dropped a UConn forward on a great hit that drew a roar from the crowd and cheers from the Union bench. The Dutchwomen took this momentum into the locker room as the second period ended in a 2-2 tie.
A few minutes into the third period, Union went on a power play which almost ended in disaster as a bouncing punch got by a Union defender and led to a UConn shorthanded two on one. But, Senior goaltender Alana Marcinko wasn’t having any of it and stonewalled the shot.
Union picked up another power play goal off the stick of Valente ‘15 halfway through the last period of play. With a 3-2 lead, the nail biting began as the UConn goaltender made a few timely saves to keep her team in the game. An unfortunate tripping call with about two minutes left put UConn on the power play. As UConn gained possession, they pulled their goalie to go two attackers up and began desperately trying to score. The Union defense stepped up and cleared the zone multiple times, showing just how determined they were to win. The horn sounded and the team celebrated a well-fought battle.
There seems to be a new spark to the Dutchwomen this year and I hope that anyone who hasn’t come out to support the team will mark his or her calendars. Union begins a long series of away games, so if you see any of our hardworking ladies around, congratulate them on a great win and wish them luck as they go up against a few tough opponents in the coming weeks. The next home game is scheduled for November second against Syracuse.