On Saturday, Jan. 30, the Keene State College women’s club hockey team dominated Colby Sawyer College by a score of 10-1 in their inaugural game at Keene Ice.
Before the historic game, Lauren Roche, who would go on to score four goals, stressed how much a win would mean to her and the team in their first ever game at the highly anticipated arena. “I think it’s really important,” Roche said. “We’ve been getting some W’s this season which is exciting and I think if we are able to win this first game here at Keene Ice and maybe even the next few after it will be a really positive thing.”
Much like the men’s club team, the Owls have had a tumultuous wait for the opening of Keene Ice. Going into the game, Roche described the team’s excitement.
“I think we’re all very excited,” Roche said. “We’ve all just been talking about it for so long, now it’s finally like ‘Oh, we have a game at Keene Ice’. We’ve been practicing there but I think playing it will be really exciting.”
Roche also said the team had been spreading the word among friends and family, and trying to raise awareness about the game to build up a home crowd along with an exciting energy that was quite powerful come game time.
After the puck officially dropped, owls Forward Ashley Waterman would make history, scoring the first ever KSC women’s goal at Keene Ice at the 13:29 mark in the first period. Appropriately enough, Waterman, one of the team’s founding players, was able to share the historic goal with fellow founder Sabrina Lapointe (Equinox Opinion Editor) as Lapointe set up the goal with the assist.
After the first goal, the Owls would never look back, controlling the game from start to finish with goals from forward Sabrina Lapointe (1), defender Kendal Brown (4), and forward Lauren Roche (4). The owls would leave Colby Sawyer scoreless until the third period thanks to a stellar performance by first-year goaltender Shelby McHugh.
“Shelby kept us in the game,” Head Coach Drew Arsenault said after the game. “We made some defensive mistakes and it’s good to know we have a goalie back there that can clean up those mistakes for us. Anytime you have goaltending it’s going to make you a better team and it showed today. “ As the game went on and the tension rose, the play on the ice became more and more physical, especially towards the game’s conclusion as three roughing penalties, a checking penalty and a bench minor were given out all in the third period. When asked about the physicality of the game, forward Maggie McNamara, who had an assist in the game, said the late game skirmishes “pumped us all up.”
Another source of energy to the owls was the home crowd. McNamara said, “There were a lot more fans that came out and we tried as much as we could to thrive off of their energy.”
The team was nervous going into the game, as they lost both of the two games they played against Colby Sawyer.
“But this is a totally new team,” McNamara said. After the game Coach Arsenault said he sees a Division 3 varsity team emerging for both the men’s and women’s teams. “I definitely see us going varsity. I don’t know the time-table. Obviously the rink’s going to help immensely with that. That’s something where we have to sit down with the school and the leagues, and figure out what we’re doing.” Arsenault added that he’s, “just worried about the rest of this season right now. Once we get done I can start looking at what we’re going to do in the future.”
Nick can be contacted at email@example.com