Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

UMass women’s club hockey ends season with 2-0 win over Rhode Island

Minutewomen dominate the ice against Rams
Photo courtesy of Daily Collegian photo archives.

In its last game of the season, the Massachusetts women’s club hockey clinched a dominant 2-0 victory over the University of Rhode Island.

The Minutewomen (13-4-1) faced off against the Rams (10-16) at the Mullins Center Community Rink for their second series of the month. Friday night, UMass prevailed over Rhode Island at the Brad Boss Ice Arena 4-1, starting the series off strong. Saturday morning, the Minutewomen prevailed once again to finish their season off with a promising win.

This marks the third consecutive win for UMass after struggling to find its footing the past few months.

“When you win, everyone’s happy,” head coach Bill Wright said. “For us to compete in this league and have success, each one [of the girls] have to dedicate themselves to being better.”

Five minutes into the first period of play, UMass’ top scorer of the season, Brianna O’Neill, opened the scoring for the day. The Minutewomen’s Danielle Craig took fire against the Rams, but the shot was quickly denied by URI’s goaltender. O’Neill, coming in from the back, took possession of the deflected puck and chipped it into the top left corner of the net.

Emotions ran high as the Minutewomen visibly battled for possession of the puck and logged 53 shots on goal against the Rams. While only 2 made their way into the back of the net, the offensive push from UMass was evident throughout the duration of the matchup.

“I thought we played really well. [It was] a fun team win. We enjoyed playing together and laughing on the bench,” Olivia Jordan said. “It wasn’t [as] serious as it usually is, in a good way.”

The second goal for the Minutewomen came in the first 26 seconds of play in the second frame. Kayla Russ seized the opportunity of a centrally positioned puck directly in front of the net shooting a rocket into the left side of the goal.

In conjunction with ending their season on a high note, the Minutewomen also honored their seniors before action kicked off. Craig and Grace Flanagan were the two that were recognized. This added an emotional aspect to the game and motivated UMass to do anything to secure a definitive win.

“The girls played hard [and] they wanted it,” Wright said. “They wanted to do it for their seniors. You know, they’re a tight group and at the end of the day they wouldn’t allow their teammates to fail.”

Although the season is now over, the Minutewomen already have their sights on the next one.

“Hopefully we can continue to grow,” Flanagan said. “Hopefully we can make Nationals [next year]. The league’s getting more competitive and so just keeping up with the league’s competitiveness [would be ideal].”

With the hopes of making nationals next season, Wright hopes to expand the program and get more players to join the ranks.

“I’d like to get a second team. There’s plenty of girls on campus, [more than enough] for a second team,” Wright said. “It just takes somebody to spearhead it … but we definitely need a second.”

Kate Endres can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter at @Kate_e_endres.

Emma Bensley can be reach at [email protected]

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