SCHENECTADY — The Union College women’s hockey team got off to a promising start to its 2021-22 season, winning its first two games. But after sweeping RIT Oct. 2-3, the Dutchwomen went on a 16-game winless slide (0-15-1).
That skid ended last Saturday, when the Dutchwomen beat Dartmouth 3-1 in ECAC Hockey action at Thompson Arena in Hanover, New Hampshire.
To say that there was a sense of relief in the locker room afterwards would be an understatement.
“It was crazy,” Union first-year goalie Sophie Matsoukas, who made 39 saves, said on Tuesday. “Everyone was jumping up and down. It was like we never won before. It was like everyone [was] so excited. It was great. I loved being there.”
“It was a blast,” added senior forward and team captain Grace Heiting, who scored the game’s opening goal.
It was a very difficult stretch for the Dutchwomen (1-9-0 ECACH, 3 points; 3-15-1 overall). They were outscored 71-13 and shut out seven times, but the victory over the Big Green ended that skid.
“The bus was electric,” Union head coach Josh Sciba said about the ride home. “Obviously, [there was] a high-energy level. Just feeling the win was great for the group, especially on the road.”
The Dutchwomen play their final two games of 2021 this weekend when they host Franklin Pierce at Messa Rink. Friday’s game starts at 6 p.m., and Saturday’s contest begins at 3 p.m.
The team is looking to carry the momentum of last Saturday’s win into this weekend’s games, and have a good feeling heading into a break in its schedule. Union will resume play Jan. 7 at Yale.
“It’s very important,” Heiting said. “I think just going into the break, just having that extra confidence [helps]. I know we’re coming off of a weekend where we were very happy with how we finished. Building off of that would be a huge momentum boost going into that break. I know we’re going to return with some more ECAC play, so moving on from those wins would be very important.”