And they're off!
A University of Connecticut visit to DVCHC territory brought two exciting games this weekend & kicked-off a new season of ACHA women's hockey across the country.
West Chester University hosted the ACHA opener outside Philadelphia on Friday night.
In their 1st college game since being crowned DVCHC Spikes Cup Champions, the Golden Rams wasted no time getting back to business. Amanda Vito (below) scored first on a power play followed by rookie Emily Rice and veteran Becky Dobson for a 3-0 lead. Rice and Dobson would account for 3 more in the second.
UCONN's feisty defensemen, Caroline Pridmore capitalized on two power plays and completed her hat trick in the 3rd but Husky hope would ultimately be buried under a 5 goal, 7 point effort by West Chester ace Becky Dobson. Dobson's final short-handed goal would end the game, 9-6.
WCU's Kristen Neugebauer recorded her 1st goal of the season and Ram rookies Lindsay Howard and Danielle Speroff tallied their first points with the team.
Aly Golia made a solid 25 saves in net for West Chester, helping her team win big despite being outshot and hampered by 15 minutes of PIM.
Undeterred, the talented ladies of UCONN arrived at the University of Delaware the next afternoon. Husky Stephanie Blasnik (below) got her team off to a 2-0 lead but Samantha Testa (below) cut the score in half with the 1st UD goal of the season.
In the second, Delaware would go goal-for-goal with UCONN standout, Caroline Pridmore who had a hat-trick in the period, keeping her team up 5-3 despite a PP goal by Danielle Malysa and tally by Megan Lundahl.
In the 3rd period the Blue Hens began their surge. Center Kimberly Blasnik put one in the twine and two minutes later Malysa would even the game at 5 while on another power play.
The game was tied with 9 minutes to play until UCONN's Pridemore scored her 7th goal of the weekend. Then with 4:04 left on the clock, UD's Kelley Philbin put a pass from Katherine Horn past netminder Rebecca Rubinstein to tie the game again.
UCONN would earn an unsportsmanlike penalty on the goal but the Blue Hens wouldn't need the extra attacker. With 2 minutes left, Danielle Malysa led a charge into the zone that would end up on Sarah Berkley's stick. She wouldn't disapoint.
Now for the first time in the game the Hens would lead, killing a penalty through the final, nerve-wracking 1:31 and winning the game 7-6. Goalie Sarah Ehrlich faced 27 shots in the contest, stopping 21 and earning her first "W" with the team.
The wins make both Delaware and West Chester 1-0-0 in ACHA play. After working together this weekend, both are scheduled to meet in West Chester on October 14th. Don't miss the match-up!