All eyes were on Philadelphia Sunday as DVCHC play got underway with a rivalry that 98 fans registered to attend: UPENN vs SAINT JOSEPH'S.
While the two teams compete in different DVCHC divisions, both call the Class of 1923 Arena home and are fewer than 4 miles apart.
This first game of 2015-16 couldn't move the standings, but it could secure some bragging rights.
Goalie issues would doom Saint Joe's first period as the team fell behind 5-1. UPENN's Rachel Brock was responsible for a remarkable 3 goals on one shift as the Hawks quickly scrambled to dress a goaltender. Michelle Liu also scored while Kieran Koch-Laskowski earned 2 assists.
UPENN takes to their feet in the DVCHC Opener on 10/4
The storied ice of the Class of 1923 Arena
UPENN gathers in the first DVCHC game of the season
Next period the Hawks took flight. Sydney Flemister added a hat-trick and Jessica Pareja notched 2 assists - 5 points to add to the 42 they partnered for last season. SJU won the period 3-2.
In the 3rd, both teams settled in, playing good defensive hockey, allowing only one goal by UPENN's Claire Daly - her 2nd of the day after recording 1 all last season.
Though the Hawks outshot the Quakers 35 to 19, Alyssa Johncola came up big with 31 saves to help UPENN win 8-4.
"It was great to be back on the ice today and we're proud of how the team played," said UPENN captain Jessie Hasson, who recorded her 38th career point in the contest.
"In addition to our veterans we have some solid new players that have been great additions to the squad" added captain Amanda Lee. "Saint Joe's had some strong skaters... we're happy we came out with the W."
Win or lose, both teams were able to flex their new rosters in a friendly skirmish at home. Next weekend, both squads will face the own divisions.
UPENN takes on Maryland at 6:10pm on October 17th. A few hours later, SJU will tango with another neighbor, Rowan in their first regular season game. With all they have in common, perhaps they'll cheer one another one this time around. :)