The women’s ice hockey team has had a busy schedule over the past two weeks. The Polar Bears have already competed in six games and have a current record of 2-4.

The women started off their season with a resounding 6-3 victory over Colby in Brunswick. The next day, at Colby, the Polar Bears were defeated in overtime 4-3.

The team took losses to Holy Cross, Norwich and Saint Anselm before defeating UMASS-Boston 3-2 on Tuesday.

“We have a short bench, a small team, and we were coming off four losses so it was a huge win for us. Hopefully we can take that momentum over the break. It was a big turnaround that lifted everyone’s spirits and brought the energy back up,” said Julie Dachille ’18 of their recent win.

Marne Gallant ’17, Julie Dachille ’18, Maegan Sheehan ’19 and Maryanne Iodice ’18 have all missed time due to injury. Kimmy Ganong ’17 recently came to the team after finishing up the field hockey season.

“We have a small team to begin with, so every person matters,” said Dachille.

“We did have a losing streak, but some of the games were really good games. The score doesn’t always do it justice,” said Miranda Bell ’18.

“So far, if you look at how we’ve played, we’re a really strong third period team. Even if we’re losing a game by a lot, we’re never giving up.”

Given the circumstances, the team is still optimistic about the remainder of the season. 
“If anything, what we’ve taken so far is just making us better in the long run. We’re going to be a better team for this, so we’re definitely really excited,” said Dachille.

The team has changed their alignment on the ice, which has required some adjusting for the women. They now are putting three defenders back.

“We’re still getting used to the system. I’ve never played it before,” said Bell.

“It’s still very new. We’re working out the kinks in it right now, and I think we saw that this weekend when we had a few breakdowns in the system,” said Dachille.

The change in strategy is a result of the makeup of the team this year.

“We have a lot of returners on D and we moved two forwards back. Coach said we could only use this system this year because of personnel,” said Dachille.

The challenge with this new system is that the women have to adjust to where they are supposed to be.

“If one person’s out of place it’s really easy for the other team to take advantage,” said Bell.

While the team does not have quantity, they have strong players competing.

“Lan Crofton ’17 has been really great for us, and we have a really good freshman in Sophia Lattanzio, so we have really solid goaltending all around,” said Dachille of the team’s goalies.

The team will have a shorter Winter Break in order to jump into their busy January schedule. The Polar Bears are excited to have this time dedicated to practicing.

“Everyone really likes being there. Everyone is having fun always. That’s the most important thing,” said Dachille.

The action will continue on January 3 at the University of New England followed by a number of NESCAC match-ups throughout the month against Williams, Amherst, Middlebury and Wesleyan.

“We’ll be back at full strength when we come back in January. We’re definitely optimistic. We have a lot to look forward to,” said Dachille.

In February, the Polar Bears will take on Hamilton, Connecticut College and Trinity.
Along the way, the team will also compete against Southern Maine and Endicott.

“We have incredible character. Everyone wants to be here, everyone wants to win and is so committed to making us better,” said Dachille, “We see ourselves close to the top, if not the number one spot. The good thing about this team is, while we had this bad stretch, I think we’re only getting better.”