The DVCHC kicked off its 13th season of women's hockey with all the drama one would expect:
The Washington Capitals paid a visit before NAVY vs LIBERTY opening day, SAINT JOSEPH'S and ROWAN took a back-and-forth battle all the way to overtime & the NJ PHOENIX met UVA for two games that each came down to the final minute.
Here's what went down...
Shortly after a visit from the Washington Capitals, the women of Navy hockey opened 2014-15 with a show of force -- two 9-0 wins over Liberty University.
All-Star Abigail New scored 7 goals, Claire Clark tallied 6 points, and rookie Hannah Pereira notched her 1st DVCHC goal, then added 2 more. Defensemen Danielle McKnight and Emily Buzzard were +13 and +12 with 5 points between them.
The tilt in the ice made things difficult for the visiting Flames, who mustered 12 shots to Navy's 122. Amid the flurry of pucks, Emily Thomas and Faith Gerber stood strong. Thomas made 36 saves in her game while Gerber denied 68 to keep a solid .883. She also led the team with -2, playing out the next day.
The two games were the 1st DVCHC match-ups played with 20 min periods. Navy's pair of wins puts them in an early division lead, while Liberty hunts for the 'W' that will break their 0 for 21 streak. (This team can do it.)
Flemister would begin the rematch in much the same way she left it, scoring an unassisted tally 3:36 into the 1st. From there a back-and-forth battle of shots, saves & close calls would ensue.
Finally, halfway through the 3rd, Jessalyn Wright would break the silence with the tie goal that would send her bench jumping & both teams to overtime. The sudden death frame began. 15 seconds it was over. After a Rowan faceoff win, Wright's assist would set up Lauren Cicatiello's game winning goal. Rowan, 2-1.
North Jersey & Charlottesville are 6 hours apart. Not close. The very 1st games between NJ PHOENIX and UVA, were.
Saturday, after a deadlocked 1st, Carly Buckholz & Jennifer Morgan got the homecoming crowd on their feet in the 2nd, putting UVA up 2-0. Morgan's cross-check in the 3rd opened the door to a Lisa Ellis power-play goal that changed everything. Shannon Smith would tie the game & then Kylie Stauble's 1st DVCHC goal (with 3:41 remaining), would seal the incredible comeback. Lauren Solski made all the difference with a .935 and 29 saves in the 3-2 win.
UVA jumped to another 2-0 lead in Sunday's rematch (Shannon O'Donnell & Buckholz). Stauble and Hayley Aubin traded goals in the second (Aubin's 1st!) before the Phoenix rose, yet again to tie the game in the 3rd! Christina Evans' 1st and 2nd DVCHC goals were thrilling, but wouldn't be enough. In the final minutes, Jennifer Morgan (who notched her 50th DVCHC point in the contest) won a race to the net that sent her toppling into the crease, injuring Solski. The game winning goal was allowed and UVA won their own comeback, 4-3.
This hard-fought, D1 vs D2 crossover series won't affect the division standings. Nonetheless, a fantastic match-up & great sign for both teams.
"We were really excited about the outcome," says UVA's Erin Lyons. "We are hoping that this past weekend will emulate the success of the rest of our season. We finally have a full bench and are ready to compete!"