By Rachel Clarey
Winter break was no break for the Union College Women’s Ice Hockey team. The Dutchwomen played eight games, seven of which were played at home in Messa Rink. The team continued their efforts this past weekend with their eighth annual Pink at the Rink game, at home against Dartmouth.
Pink at the Rink is an annual event through which the team raises money for those fighting cancer. The team wears a completely pink ensemble including pink jerseys, socks, wristbands and laces, and they ask that all in attendance support the cause by wearing pink, as well.
This year’s Pink at the Rink was dedicated to Kristen’s Kause, which aids Kristen Shinebarger, a Union Hockey fan recovering from Ewing’s sarcoma along with two others affected by cancer, Kaitlyn Suarez, a runner at Union, and Nate Greenberg, assistant coach of the Union Men’s Lacrosse team.
While the Dutchwomen put up a valiant effort, Dartmouth prevailed 3-1 in the Pink at the Rink game. Union’s goal was scored by Erica Kelly ’18, assisted by Kathryn Tomaselli ’16 and Emily Erickson ’17. Union had 15 shots on goal to Dartmouth’s 26. The game amassed a crowd of over 300, about three times the average attendance for a women’s game.
The Dutchwomen have been faring well, playing a very competitive schedule over this season. They began their season with a 2-2 tie against the Ottawa Junior Senators and an unfortunate double loss in a weekend series at RIT, losing both games by narrow margins of 2-1 and 2-0, respectively.
The Dutchwomen then hosted UConn for a series at Messa Rink, splitting the games with one loss and one win. Their 4-2 loss was sparked by UConn’s three second-period goals, an obstacle that proved too difficult for the Dutchwomen to overcome.
In Union’s 1-0 win over UConn, goalie Shenae Lundberg ’15 earned a shutout, the fourth of her career, breaking the record for most career shutouts in the women’s hockey program. The following weekend, Union hosted Penn State, losing one 4-1 and tying one 2-2 in overtime.
Over the next two weekends the Dutchwomen suffered four losses on the road, dropping two games to Vermont, both 4-0 losses, followed by two ECACH losses, to Dartmouth, 3-0, and Harvard, 5-2.
The team then returned to Union to host Providence College at Messa Rink, tying the Friars 2-2. Down 2-0 in the final minutes of play, Nicole Russell ’18 scored her first collegiate goal, bringing the Dutchwomen within one, and Tomaselli sealed the deal, poking in the tying goal with less than two minutes remaining in the game.
Shenae Lundberg recorded 25 saves in the game, bringing her career saves count to 2,262, tying the record for most saves in a career for the program. The Dutchwomen then traveled to Princeton and Quinnipiac for two ECACH games, losing 3-2 to the Princeton Tigers in overtime and losing 5-0 to No. 5-ranked Quinnipiac.
In the Quinnipiac game, Lundberg recorded a career-high 58 saves. After a short break for Thanksgiving, the Dutchwomen headed to Boston, beating Northeastern 1-0. They then hosted seven home games in a row, earning a record of 2-3-1.
The women lost to ECACH opponents Yale, 4-2, Princeton, 3-0, and Quinnipiac, 4-0, tied University of Maine, 1-1, and defeated Brown, 3-2, and Maine, 2-0. On Friday night, the Dutchwomen were defeated 7-1 by Harvard in an ECACH match-up at Messa Rink. The lone Union goal was scored by Hannah Erickson ’18, off an assist from her sister, Emily Erickson and teammate, Erica Kelly.
Lundberg has been performing exceptionally well for the Dutchwomen in net, earning the honor of being ECAC Goalie of the Month for January.
Top offensive threats include Jessica Kaminsky ’16 with two goals and eight assists, Tomaselli with five goals and five assists, and Alex Tancrell-Fontaine ’15 with two goals and six assists.
The Dutchwomen continue their season next weekend, traveling north to play Clarkson and St. Lawrence.