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The Mass Media

Women’s hockey tallies their first win of the season

Katie+Wilbert+makes+a+play+in+the+game+against+Suffolk+University+on+Oct.+28%2C+2022.
Sarah Harlinski
Katie Wilbert makes a play in the game against Suffolk University on Oct. 28, 2022. Photo by Sarah Harlinski / UMass Boston Athletics

UMass Boston’s women’s hockey team took home a win in their first game of the season, beating Suffolk University by a score of 2–1. (1) The Beacons traveled to Suffolk and brought home a hard-fought victory on the road in their matinee game against the Rams on Oct. 28. From the opening faceoff to the final seconds of the game, women’s hockey was neck and neck against the Rams. Despite the stat sheet showing the Beacons statistically losing in different facets of the game, including winning only 34 percent of faceoffs, they came out on top in the most important statistic: Goals.
The first period saw the Beacons get on the board early; junior Katie Wilbert scored the first goal of the season for the team on a pass from sophomore Ana Gustafson 6:46 into the match. The Rams, however, scored the game-tying goal just 62 seconds later, at 7:48, and the game was tied at one with 12–12 to go in the first period. The second period saw no changes in point totals, but what was notable is that the Beacons were short-handed for six minutes of the period, as a result of minor penalties committed by the team.
Overall, the Beacons committed five penalties to the Rams’ two. This accounts for the Beacons being short-handed for what would’ve been 10 minutes of the game if not for both matching and overlapping penalties in the third period that created four on four gameplay. The shorthanded time on the ice for the Beacons garnered both positive and negative takeaways from the team’s penalty killing unit. The biggest positive takeaway for the Beacons is that their penalty-killing unit is spectacular, so much so, they outshot the Rams on the penalty kill and didn’t allow a single shot on goal. Insanity. (2)
Still, with the positives always comes the negatives, and in this case, the biggest negative for the Beacons is that they need more discipline on the ice. Having five minor penalties called against you can and will prove costly in other games. Giving up a goal or two while shorthanded can very well dig the team into a hole and shift momentum in close games, ultimately paying a price on the Beacons’ win totals and overall record, if the game happens to end in a tie or a loss as a result of these goals.
In the case of this game, the Rams had 12 more shots on goal compared to the Beacons, outshooting them 31–19 over the 60 minutes of gameplay. Granted, the Beacons luckily have a brick wall in net with junior Victoria Kennedy—who stopped 13 shots in the second period and 30 shots overall—but even so, the Beacons cannot only rely on their defense and put Kennedy in a position to stand on her head to win games. (3)
Even though Suffolk is one of the better teams they will face—as shown by their 19–6 record last season (4)—and the Beacons were able to win their first game of the season, the bottom line is that the team must attack the net if they want to win and compete with other teams for the New England Hockey Conference Championship. Good things can happen when you shoot your shot because sometimes, the puck can seep through and no matter how ugly it may be, a goal is a goal, and goals win games.
The Beacons have already shown they can do a lot of damage with their potent offense, even on a limited number of shots; senior Hannah MacDougall showed just that after she scored the game winning goal with 11:05 to go in the game. MacDougall was assisted by Wilbert and senior Cailey Zozich, and just like that, the Beacons have four-point scorers, and a multi-point scorer in Wilbert, after only one game into the year. (5)
With their win over the Rams, women’s hockey looks like it could have a terrific season in their quest to win the NEHC tournament. There may still be problems with the offensive game plan, but both the defense and Kennedy have shown they can do more than hold their own against tougher teams in the conference. The returning forwards also know how to pick up where the defence left off with their scoring output that helped contribute to the win. With the Beacons’ first conference games against New England College and Norwich University on the road, and their opening weekend at home coming up against Salem State University and Southern Maine University, it’s time to get excited about women’s hockey and their undeniably superb gameplay.

  1. 2022-23 Women’s Ice Hockey Schedule – UMass Boston (beaconsathletics.com)
  2. Women’s Ice Hockey vs Suffolk University on 10/29/2022 – Box Score – UMass Boston (beaconsathletics.com)
  3. Women’s Ice Hockey Wins Opener on Road Versus Suffolk University – UMass Boston (beaconsathletics.com)
  4. 2021-22 Women’s Hockey Schedule – Suffolk (gosuffolkrams.com)
  5. 2022-23 Women’s Ice Hockey Cumulative Statistics – UMass Boston (beaconsathletics.com)
About the Contributor
Nick Collins, Sports Editor