In its final two games of the 2014-15 season, the University of Rhode Island women’s ice hockey team swept the University of New Hampshire Wildcats at the Bradford R. Boss Ice Arena by final scores of 4-3 and 8-1 on Saturday and Sunday respectively.
Though Friday ended in favor of Rhode Island, the game became an uphill battle after the Wildcats scored three times in the first period compared to the Rams’ two. New Hampshire freshman Hannah Gilman netted her first-career goal less than five minutes in.
URI bounced back with two of the next three scores in the early half of the period off the sticks of sophomore Janessa Courtney and freshman Monica Darby. They were assisted by seniors Alisha DiFilippo and Sydney Collins and fellow classman Cassie Catlow and junior Brenna Callahan before allowing UNH’s final goal of the contest midway through.
DiFilippo recorded her second point of the day with a goal just over 10 minutes into the second to tie the score at three apiece, thanks to another assist by Collins and freshman Kelly Gurahian. In the third period, Collins got her third point with the game-winning goal at 8:35, and Callahan got her second assist with the tiebreaker.
Saturday was a much smoother ride for the Rams. Kristy Kennedy, DiFilippo and captains Collins and Catlow were all were honored on senior day for their last games as players, though Collins will be returning next season for another year of eligibility.
The Rams struck early and often against the Wildcats this time around with a goal at 19:27 for Collins’ first of three in the season’s final showing. She also scored two of URI’s five second period goals. The Rams took 120 shots on goal against the Wildcats this weekend.
Three other Rams would also finish with multiple points including Kennedy’s two goals and two assists, Catlow’s two assists and Darby’s two goals and one assist. DiFilippo, Callahan, Gurahian and freshman Michelle Monet, Jillian Holden and Alexandra Stefekos all had one point each.
“I definitely think we played better today the way we were shooting at the goalie, and I think we were a lot smarter and it showed in the score” Rams head coach Ashley Pagliarini said. “Going on from this game I think we ended strong, so we want to definitely build on this weekend into next season.”
Though March did not begin with a berth in the American Collegiate Hockey Association National Tournament for Rhode Island, Collins said she was happy to end the year with a bang after gathering four goals and two assists on the weekend resulting in six points.
Collins also said that she is looking forward to mentally preparing and working hard for next season. The team faced its fair share of strange occurrences over the past few months, including the midseason departure of senior goalie Kayla DiLorenzo and loss of Catlow and junior Kristen Levesque during the World University Games in Spain in the beginning of February. She said it was difficult to make up for the loss of three of the team’s best players, but she was proud of the way the Rams filled the voids they had to fill.
“We faced a lot of adversity this season and I think now that we have a season underneath us, we can kind of get our heads on level and come out of the gate on fire,” she said. “Facing all of the adversity, we’ve really come together as a team and have done our best with what we were handed,”
The women’s hockey team finished the season with a record of 21-7-1 and 43 points, good for fourth out of 22 schools in the final ACHA standings.