Union falls to RPI, but succeeds in raising cancer awareness

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By Tamara Maravalli

 

This past weekend, the Union women’s ice hockey team hosted the seventh annual Pink at the Rink for Kristen’s Kause at Messa Rink.

The Dutchwomen supported the event with bright pink uniforms and laces while students and fans showed up in pink to cheer them on.

Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough for the Dutchwomen as they lost a two game series with backyard rival, RPI. Scoring wasn’t easy for the Dutchwomen as they fell to the engineers 4-1 Friday evening at the Houston Field House and again Saturday evening with a 3-0 loss.

The Engineers completed the weekend sweep and improved to 10-11-2 overall (6-5-1 ECAC Hockey) as the Dutchwomen dropped to 8-15-1 (3-9-0 ECAC Hockey).

The first period played was scoreless and a close match as RPI held a narrow five to four edge in shots on goal. Penalty minutes began to increase but

It stayed a tie game until the second period when RPI sophomore Lauren Wash buried a low shot from the slot at 11:35. Just six minutes later, Wash netted her second goal from the top of the circle to give the visitors a 2-0 lead. RPI’s momentum grew quickly after their two tallies and carried their drive through the duration of the period.

The third period remained even until there was only a minute and a half left in the game when Union pulled junior goaltender Shenae Lundberg in hopes to gain odds on their 6 v. 4 advantage due to an RPI penalty.

Union was unable capitalize their chances as RPI senior captain Jordan Smelker scored an empty netter to finish the game with a final score of 3-0 with 30 seconds left.

All in all, the Route 7 rivals had a close shot count as RPI topped a slight 22-18 lead. Union tallied a total of 14 penalty minutes and RPI totaled 18 minutes.

Union junior Kelly McGrath stated, “Unfortunately when there are so many penalties and we end up killing in long stretches like that things happen and they were able to convert.” McGrath and the rest of the Dutchwomen have a great perspective on the weekend, especially towards Kristen’s Kause. McGrath shares, “Obviously in a game like that we want to walk away with two points, but we are really proud of the turnout for the game and how many people supported us, but more importantly Kristen’s Kause. At the end of the day, we can smile about the success of Pink at the Rink this year. We raised a lot of money in a short amount of time and that’s in large part to the generosity of everyone on campus.”

Members of the women’s hockey team prepared for the cause all week, selling raffle tickets, pink bracelets, ribbons and t-shirts in hopes of helping the campus community battling cancer and supporting those living the effects of the disease.

All donations went towards Kristen’s Kause, a Union Athletics Department initiative that was put in place two years ago to support 11-year old Kristen Shinebarger, who is overcoming the devastating effects of Ewings Sarcoma. The Pink at the Rink game was also dedicated to a baseball student-athlete, Justin Lloyd ‘16 and men’s lacrosse student-athlete Nate Greenberg ‘14.

Kristen Shinebarger held the honor of dropping the puck to start the dedication to Kristen’s Kause and cancer awareness. Although RPI outplayed Union this time, the game was still a success and an eventful cause for the Union community.

All donations were given to Kristen and her family to help fight her battle with Ewings Sarcoma. The Union team managed to fundraise over $2,000 for the family throughout the week.

The Union Dutchwomen will take on Harvard and Dartmouth away this Friday and Saturday.

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