The Online Beacon

The Student News Site of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

The Student News Site of Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

The Online Beacon

The Online Beacon

The Online Beacon

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Women’s Hockey Suffers Defeat in Overtime Thriller

Womens+Hockey+Suffers+Defeat+in+Overtime+Thriller
MCLA Athletics

Thriller is exactly what the Women’s Hockey team had during their second match against Rivier at home on Saturday, January 27th. Rivier went into the match hosting a 19-player roster, while MCLA had only 12 game-ready players. Despite MCLA being outnumbered and outshot, their stellar defensive work coupled with promising offensive opportunities kept the game in a stalemate through regular time. The game advanced into a five-minute overtime period, and with just over a minute left to play Rivier managed to find the net off a rebound for the win. With their defeat the Trailblazers’ record dropped to 4-14, while the Rivier Raiders improved to 7-8-3.

“We are really short-handed. I mean, we are missing three players from our lineup, so to be able to compete with a team that’s been around for while…” said Head Coach Heath Isaacson regarding the team’s performance throughout the game. “I felt we had every chance to win the game, and I really can’t be too upset about the entire effort and the way the team played- we played great.”

 The first period started off intense, when two shots in the first ten seconds from MCLA’s Alexandrea Bednar ’25 and Brigh Cote ‘25 set the fast-paced tone for the game. The remainder of the period played out relatively even, with both teams having solid attacking drives. MCLA seemed to be already lacking in face-off wins, which would be the case for most of the game, however some strengths revealed themselves as well. MCLA’s defense proved to be one of them in the first period, with 10 blocked shots in total. Juliette Barney ’25 was MCLA’s goalie for the game, and she showed out early in the game with 16 saves.

 As the game progressed through the second period, the score line remained the same despite several very strong offensive attempts from both sides. Coach Isaacson remarked on the team’s recent inability to score. “Right now, our big thing is that we need to be able to score goals. It’s not that things aren’t working- we are generating a lot of chances… if you take out three of your top 5 scorers, it makes it a little bit tougher to get the puck in the net.”. The absence of several of MCLA’s players from the line-up due to sickness and injury was becoming more apparent as the game went on. Barney ’25 came up with several more big saves to hold off Rivier’s offensive attempts.

After the seemingly even, albeit more aggressive second period, both teams prepared for the third period, hoping to score before the end of regular time. With the start of the third period, the game became more chippy, with both teams turning up the tempo. Both MCLA and Rivier were getting dangerous attempts on net, despite the latter outshooting MCLA. Bednar consistently was involved in attacking drives, managing to get 9 shots on goal throughout the game. Barney continued to be a standout player, becoming a brick wall in net, and keeping her team in the game. Both teams seemed to control puck possession evenly, and the game became more suspenseful as the period drew closer to ending. The period ended with MCLA in a power play, meaning they’d have an advantage to start the overtime period.

“I think we played really well. We had a lot of adversity coming in with a couple players out, so the lines got mixed up. I think we played well given the circumstances, and we’re still a new program. We did a lot of good things.” Said Barney regarding her game and teammates. As overtime started, she braced herself for a final five minutes in goal. Despite having the upper hand to start overtime, MCLA couldn’t manage to find the net. Both teams played good defense and took whatever offensive chance they could find, though Rivier managed to find the back of the net first. With just 1:14 left until the end of the game, Rivier scored after a blocked shot by Bednar that rebounded out to them. The game ended in a heart-breaking defeat for the Trailblazers.

Rivier outshot MCLA 50-24, but MCLA’s lockdown defending, and Barney’s 49 saves kept them in the game until the very end. When questioned about her outstanding game, Barney answered- “It’s just giving my team a chance to stay in it and doing everything I can to keep it 0-0. Obviously, it was an unlucky bounce, but we’ll be back at it next weekend.”.

MCLA has two more matchups against Rivier scheduled to go down in February. “It’ll definitely be a different mindset. We played them yesterday and the game was super physical like tonight was… I think now that we’ve seen them play, we have a better chance. I think we’ve solved some things, and that we can capitalize next time.” Said Coach Isaacson on playing Rivier again. The Trailblazers continue their season with an ECHA matchup on Friday, February 2 at 6:00 PM at Peter W. Foote Vietnam Veterans Memorial Rink.

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Traizen Griffith, Staff Writer

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