It was an exciting weekend of women’s hockey at Ice Works in Aston, Pa.! A total of 12 teams competed in the annual East Coast Showdown, and by Sunday evening, the University of Delaware was crowned the Division 2 champion and the University of Virginia took home the Division 3 title.
Eight teams competed on the ACHA Division 2 side, including seven DVCHC teams that were joined by non-conference team Delaware, while four teams participated from the DVCHC's Division 3. In addition to the tournament schedule, the DVCHC hosted a recruiting event to give local high school and travel hockey players the opportunity to meet with college teams.
To determine the Showdown winners, two points were awarded for a win, one point for a tie, one point for each period won and one point for a shutout, with the chance for a team to earn up to six points per game.
The action started on Friday, with Penn picking up a 5-1 win over Rowan. Nationally ranked Delaware then defeated Villanova, 6-2, before Columbia battled Loyola for a 13-9 win. Columbia's Katherine Sullivan picked up five goals and five assists for the Lions, while Loyola's Jessica Chicko had five goals and a pair of helpers for the Greyhounds. Another nationally ranked team, Montclair State, took down Towson at a score of 12-2. In D3 action, Virginia took an 8-4 win over Slippery Rock, and Rutgers forfeited their first game against Saint Joseph's.
Saturday began with a narrow 2-1 Villanova win over Rowan, with Laura Lima netting the game-winner late in the third period. Columbia then toppled Towson, 12-2, and Montclair State blanked Loyola at 11-0, featuring five goals and two assists from Brittany Meneghin. Delaware also picked up a shutout W with an 8-0 win over Penn. In D3 play, Virginia beat St. Joseph’s 7-3, and Slippery Rock won, 11-3, over Rutgers.
Sunday opened with a pair of D3 games, with St. Joseph’s and Slippery Rock playing one of the closest games of the weekend, with the Hawks coming out on top, 9-7. Meanwhile, Virginia picked up its third and sweeping win of the weekend with a 9-1 game over Rutgers. In D2, Rowan closed the weekend with an 8-2 win over Loyola, while Delaware handed Montclair State its first loss of the season with a 6-0 win. Penn finished the Showdown with a 9-2 win over Towson, while Columbia took a 4-2 win over Villanova.
Final East Coast Showdown Standings:
Delaware (3-0): 16 points
Columbia (3-0): 12 points
Montclair State (2-1): 11 points
Rowan (2-1): 10 points
Penn (2-1): 10 points
Villanova (1-2): 3 points
Loyola (0-3): 1 point
Towson (0-3): 0 points
Virginia (3-0): 14 points
St. Joseph’s (2-1): 10 points
Slippery Rock (1-2): 7 points
Rutgers (0-3): 0 points
Thoughts from Taylor Hadley, Women's DVCHC Commissioner
Teams travelled up to 7 hours to participate in this weekend's event, and every squad certainly brought their hearts and souls with them! The competition was fierce - UDel showed our DVCHC teams strong opposition, and it was especially exciting to see them face off against Villanova, who they last played at the 2017 ACHA National Championships in Columbus, OH. And UVA took the tournament by storm with a sweep of D3.
Other teams faced off this weekend for the first time this season, including Saint Joe's and Slippery Rock, which proved to be one of the most exciting and evenly matched games of the weekend.
We saw battles of the benches - many teams traveled to play with only 7 skaters, and yet fought hard and won just as many tough battles as teams with deep benches! Our goalies played phenomenally, facing more than 1,000 shots across all 18 games. And two earned shutouts!
Aside from seeing old and new faces around the rink, and getting to watch each of the teams play games this weekend - a treat for someone in my role who is often only updated on team successes via email or stats on our website - one of my favorite parts of this weekend was witnessing great displays of sportsmanship from these teams, who are a reminder of what this league and women's hockey is all about. One example in particular that I wanted to share was when Slippery Rock's goalie, Gabrielle Reed, took a few minutes after their game against Rutgers to show a few moves to new goalie Tatyana Rios that she could work on at practice while the zamboni started to resurface the ice around them.
I like to think that we are truly all friends here, and I tip my hat to any and all players or coaches who have taken time to celebrate another player's undeniably awesome goal even if it was scored on them; or an opposing goalie's great save even if it meant they got stuffed; or tapped a stick on the ice when a player got up and headed back to the bench after getting injured; or any other instance you can think of that shows anyone looking in that this game, this league, and these teams are one family growing and enjoying women's hockey together.
Looking forward, the 2018 East Coast Showdown will feature more teams, more swag, and a showcase game for high school and travel players to come play, meet our teams and coaches, and learn more about playing women's ice hockey in college. We hope you will save the date for the same weekend in November next year!
Thanks to everyone for a great weekend of women's hockey! I look forward to being part of the rest of the season, and seeing everyone back together at the 2018 Playoff tournament, to be held Feb. 16-18 at the Delaware Fairgrounds.