By Michael Mullen
This past weekend the Union Women’s Ice Hockey team made history when they defeated Providence College for the first time since the team joined Division I ECAC competition.
The team split a double-header, winning the first game 5-2 and falling in the second game 6-2.
During the first game on Friday night, goaltender Shenae Lundberg ‘15, put on a clinic saving 22 of 24 shots. The only goals of the game resulted from two deflections.
Forward Courtney Turner ‘16 and forward Christine “Huggie” Valente ‘14 sparked the Union offense.
They each scored two goals apiece off of great assists from captain Ashley “Stretch” Johnston ‘14, defenseman Alex Tancrell-Fontaine ‘14 and forward Stefanie “Jobin” Thomson ‘14.
In the second game, the Dutchwomen got off to a rough start in the first period, allowing a power play goal and an uncontested shot that slipped past Lundberg.
Defenseman Kathryn Davis ‘16 put Union on the board with her first career goal.
After allowing another goal, the Dutchwomen scored again off the stick of forward Kathryn Tomaselli ‘16, bringing the score within two points.
Providence closed out the game with two more unanswered goals, one an empty-netter.
Even with the loss in the second game, the Dutchwomen are certainly showing some energy early in the season.
As Tomaselli assures us, “This is a brand new Union this year.” The team has gone 13-78-11 over the past three seasons, but the team seems to have a new outlook on what they can achieve.
Johnston, whose skills and speed have increased drastically since her first days on the ice at Union, elaborated on how the team is going to achieve one of its goals. She said, “We will out-work every team this year in order to achieve our goal of making play-offs. It’s going to happen!”
The team has some great first-years this year in Davis, Alli Devins, Emily Erickson, Eastyn Yuen and Emma Pincott.
They will learn quickly from the upperclassmen and the coaching staff, which has one new addition this year.
Assistant Coach Nick Carpenito joins Union from Elmira College, where he helped the team bring home a Division III National Championship last season.
Along with Head Coach Claudia Asano Barcomb and Assistant Coach Ali Boe, he should bring a fresh perspective to the team.
Tancrell-Fontaine said that the new perspective is very welcome. “He has already taught the team lots of things, including new neutral zone and offensive zone tactics. His impact is already making a mark on our team,” he said.
The team is anxious to compete for an ECAC playoff spot, and they understand just how important each league game will be.
Although they have not yet played any league games, and won’t until they play Dartmouth on Nov. 1, they have already started strong by winning their first two games against the University of Connecticut and Providence College teams.
This team has a great chance to make a name for Union in women’s Division I ice hockey, but they could use some support from the campus community.
This week is sure to be an intersting test for the Dutchwomen as they opened their season with a 2-1 record for the first time in program history.
As Haley Welch ‘15 comments, “Starting the seasons off so strong gives us all motivation to fight a little harder and push a little further this week in practice leading up to our game against Northeastern.”
However, this is not only a team effort as the campus can play a role as well in the success of the Dutchwomen just by showing its support Friday and Saturday.
So make your way to Messa Rink this weekend as the Dutchwomen take on Northeastern and Boston University in what is sure to be a tough pair of games.