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The Mass Media

Women’s hockey season comes to an end against Southern Maine

Image+of+the+most+recent+women%26%238217%3Bs+hockey+game.+Image+courtesy+of+Michael+Vesci+of+Beacon+Athletics

Image of the most recent women’s hockey game. Image courtesy of Michael Vesci of Beacon Athletics

It was a rollercoaster of a season for women’s hockey over the last few months, but it has unfortunately come to an end after a heartbreaking 3–1 loss to Southern Maine in the New England Hockey Conference tournament on Feb. 18. Heading into the game, the Beacons were hoping to turn their bad luck around against the Huskies, as their previous eight meetings against Southern resulted in seven losses, including a concurring three-game losing streak (1). However, the Beacons were unable to break their spell, and despite statistically playing better, their offense was muzzled. 

The Beacons finished their regular season with a 10–14–2 record and an even 8–8–2 conference record (2). Despite some woes in all three phases of the game, the Beacons were in possession of the sixth seed in the conference. One may see that position and believe they are at a disadvantage given their ranking, but in actuality, the Beacons were much better playing on the road.  

Compared to their hideous 3–8–2 record at Barry Ice Rink, the Beacons fared much better when they were the visiting team and ended up with a creditable 7–6 record during their road trips (2). The game against Southern Maine set up a Disney-esque ending given their success as visitors and lack thereof when competing against the Huskies. Although, this time around, the Beacons weren’t able to conjure up the happy ending via victory. 

The Beacons were 0–2 against Southern Maine in the regular season; they were bested by the Huskies 4–0 at home on Nov. 12 and, more recently, lost a nailbiter to them 2–1 on Jan. 20 (2). Their tournament game, despite seeing the same end result, was praiseworthy. The team, as said before, outperformed the Huskies throughout the entirety of the contest, with the only downside being the scoreboard. The Beacons outshot the Huskies 28–25, while thrashing them in face-off wins, 34–23. The Beacons also shut down the Huskies’ powerplay, forcing them to go 0–3 when playing with a 5-on-4 advantage (3). 

The biggest problem on the night for the Beacons was their inability to score. Like the Huskies, the Beacons also went 0–3 on the powerplay, despite getting seven shots on goal with the extra player. Their first powerplay gave them their best opportunity to score; they peppered goaltender Haley McKim with four shots on goal and it occurred just ten minutes into the game (4). However, after a period of play, the game remained scoreless. 

The second period saw the Beacons and Huskies go back and forth in scoring. Southern Maine jumped out to a 1–0 lead with 13:35 remaining, though Beacon forward Katie Wilbert evened the score at 1–1 with 5:18 to go in the period. Wilbert’s goal was assisted by Adriana Crepaldi and Ana Gustafson, and impressively, it extended her goal scoring streak to four games (3).  

The tie game would be short-lived though, as the Huskies scored less than three minutes later to put them up 2–1, which later turned out to be the game winning goal. The Huskies tacked on a third goal with 8:22 to go in the final period, extending their lead to 3–1. The game would remain that way until the clock struck triple zeros, and the Beacons were eliminated from the tournament. 

The 2022–23 campaign for women’s hockey was filled with many ups and downs. Whether it was their inconsistencies on offense, defense or goaltending, the Beacons couldn’t seem to get everything clicking at once and string together an array of wins during the regular season. There is still a lot of optimism for the future, though. The Beacons lost only three seniors this season: Addie Budington, Emily Franciszkowicz and Cailey Kozich (3).  

Moreover, their goaltending moving forward looks promising; freshman Leah Bosch earned All-NEHC rookie honors (5), and if all goes as planned, she will only improve on her success. The Beacons seem like they’re just a step away from rejuvenating their program. Their match against Southern Maine provided insight into their success in different facets of the game, while also shedding light on their need to ignite their offense, and a long offseason can help do that and then some. Congratulations to women’s hockey on completing their 2022–23 campaign, and best of luck to them in coming back stronger next season! 

  1. https://www.beaconsathletics.com/news/2023/2/18/womens-ice-hockey-6-womens-hockey-falls-to-3-usm-in-nehc-tournament.aspx 

  1. https://www.beaconsathletics.com/sports/womens-ice-hockey/schedule?path=whockey 

  1. https://www.beaconsathletics.com/news/2023/2/18/womens-ice-hockey-6-womens-hockey-falls-to-3-usm-in-nehc-tournament.aspx 

  1. https://www.beaconsathletics.com/sports/womens-ice-hockey/stats/2022-23/university-of-southern-maine/boxscore/10532 

  1. https://www.beaconsathletics.com/news/2023/2/16/womens-ice-hockey-bosch-earns-nehc-all-rookie-team-honors.aspx 

About the Contributor
Nick Collins, Sports Editor