While the majority of Wesleyan students spent winter break napping and Netflix watching, the women’s ice hockey team continued to power through its winter season. The Cardinals started off the new year right with five wins, two ties, and one loss.
On Jan. 2, the team destroyed Nichols College on home ice with a 4-0 win. Particularly notable is the fact that the four goals were scored by four different players: Jess Brennan ’17, Abby Rutt ’18, Cici Frattasio ’18, and Hailey Sholty ’17, respectively. Known for her offensive power and capabilities, Brennan’s goal was her fourth of the season. Overall, the Cardinals outshot the Bison, 53-12. On the defensive end, Allegra Grant ’20 made 12 saves in net, a trend that continued throughout many of the next games.
After its impressive win, the team traveled to Colby to face off in a NESCAC weekend series. The squad’s Friday game on Jan. 6 ended in another win, this time by a score of 3-0. Grant held her defensive position tightly on her way to a third consecutive shutout. The next day, Colby was able to slip the puck past Grant early in the first period. The Cardinals, however, rallied back. Ellery Sarosi ’17 scored along with a hat trick from Frattasio, ending the game in a 4-1 win and extending the Cards’ win streak to three games.
The Redbirds’ winning streak came to a halt with a tie versus Castleton University. The game, played on Jan. 11, ended in overtime with a 1-1 final tally. Notably, Sholty scored late in the second period, compiling her fourth goal of the season.
Returning back to NESCAC competition, Wesleyan faced off against Conn College only three days later. Friday night brought a tough 1-0 loss. Assisted by strong defensive play from Kendall Carr ’19, the Cardinals kept the first period scoreless. After a goal from the Camels in the second period, Sholty nearly tied the game but was thwarted by a diving save from Conn College’s goaltender, Katherine Chester.
The Cardinals picked up their game the next day as they met the Camels once again. After a goal for Conn College late in the first period, Rutt scored her fourth goal of the season to tie up the game. Wesleyan took the lead as Sam Curran ’17 rifled a shot past Chester to give the home team a 2-1 lead. The Cardinal defense was stout for the remainder of the game, and as the horn blared to signal the end of the third period, the scoreboard read 2-1 in favor of the home team.
Traveling for the last time over the break, the team made its way up to Hamilton. Grant returned with her formidable skills in net and set the tone for the Friday night game on January 20. Neither team was able to light the lamp, resulting in a 0-0 scoreless affair. Although not technically a win for the Cards, Grant ended with a personal victory by recording a total of 40 saves throughout the contest. The next night, the Cardinals gathered their strength and dominated early in the game against Hamilton with Frattasio’s fifth goal of the season. Although the Continentals eventually tied the game, Jackie Kilar ’19 scored the game-winning goal at 8:33 with a great centering assist from Alicia Nickolenko ’20.
After their 2-1 win, the Cardinals finally returned to campus along with the rest of the University’s students. But rest is for the weak, and on Friday night after the first two days of classes, the team was back on the ice in yet another NESCAC matchup, this time facing off against the Bowdoin Polar Bears. Despite a grand total of 34 saves from Grant, the game finished in a 3-0 loss at Spurrier-Snyder Rink.
Undeterred by the setback, the team fought back hard the following day, Saturday, Jan. 28. Although the game boasted no goals, it was made all the more special by a “Pink the Rink” theme, a fundraiser for the Joan B. Kilar Fund. The fund was recently started by the team in memory of Kilar’s mother, who lost the battle to breast cancer almost three years ago. Money for the fight against breast cancer was raised as the Cardinals played a tough game adorned in pink attire.
Look out for the Cardinals’ return to the ice and NESCAC competition this weekend. They will play against Middlebury in a weekend series starting Friday, Feb. 3 at 7 p.m. in Spurrier-Snyder Rink.