After tying with Saint Anselm (8-1-2) on Saturday and defeating University of Southern Maine (3-6) on Tuesday to stay unbeaten with a record of 3-0-2, the women’s ice hockey team is preparing to play the University of New England and Norwich—which is ranked 6th by the D3hockey.com poll—this weekend.

Head Coach Marissa O’Neil believes the challenge Norwich presents will push the team to come out and play well despite pressure from upcoming final exams.

“I think Norwich is a team that brings out your best hockey,” O’Neil said. “Since the start of their program, they’ve been a top team in the country and so I think that sort of trumps everything else. I think our kids will get up to play them.”

Captain Kimmy Ganong ’17 believes that the team’s previous performances are evidence that Bowdoin has a chance of doing well against Norwich.

“I think [that] our past few games this year, like beating Holy Cross and tying with Saint A’s, [have shown that] we’re a good team and we know we can hold our own against these really good out of conference teams,” Ganong said. “So I think just we need to keep that in mind and go into the game knowing that it’s going to be a battle and it’s going to be hard.”

Captain Madeline Hall ’17 agreed with Ganong that the team does have the potential to do well in Saturday’s game if the team focuses on playing its own game.

“I think that if we just focus on not focusing on who we’re playing, but rather focus on us as a team, I think we’ll definitely give them a run for their money,” Hall said. “We definitely can win. I don’t think it’s necessarily a matter of whether we can win or not, but whether or not we can kind of put the pieces together and show up and actually play the game we know we can play.”

In order to win, Hall believes that the team needs to play a full game and keep up its intensity, no matter the score. In both of its ties, the team was up 2-0 before losing its lead.

“That’s definitely an important piece—not changing our mentality or how we’re playing at all based on the score,” she said. “Always play like it’s 0-0 and definitely playing the whole 60 minutes. [We have to be] focusing on each period at a time, but not wasting the first 20 minutes to get our legs going. Making sure that when minute one starts in the first period, we’re actually going all out right there.”

Though O’Neil is not disappointed by the team’s performance thus far, she said it will continue to work on playing in different situations throughout the season.

“We’re not looking to peak in the early season so we’re building our story right now and it’s good to learn this lesson early,” O’Neil said. “If we can learn it when we’re tying, we’re happy with that. We learn from your losses and you want to learn from your losses, but we’re okay with not having any right now.”

Looking forward, the team will play at Fenway Park on January 12 against Connecticut College as a part of Frozen Fenway, a series of outdoor hockey games and skating events at the park.

“The spectacle of it people have thought about—it’s a once in a lifetime experience,” O’Neil said. “I know a lot of people at school are excited about it and I think it’s a really cool event that I hope will bring out a lot of Bowdoin alums and a lot of family and friends in the New England area. It’s pretty special.”

With the amazing opportunity comes added pressure, and Hall believes the team needs to stay focused on the fact that it is a NESCAC game and not get too carried away by the experience.

“Given that it is a conference game against Conn, that definitely has an impact on our seating and standing within the NESCAC, it’s an important game” she said. “It’s going to be really important to focus ourselves and not get too hyped so that it distracts us from actually playing well.”