Women’s Hockey Wins at Columbia Sunday Night, Players React

By Anthony Paradiso, Assistant Sports Editor

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SCHULTZ4.jpg
Mikaela Schultz shoots the puck on net.
Photo courtesy of msuicehockey.com

The Red Hawks were at home to begin their last four games of the 2017-18 season against the visiting Bishop’s University Gaiters on Saturday.

In their first home game since early December 2017, the Red Hawks suffered an 1-12 defeat, which was only the team’s second loss of the season. Junior forward Brittany Meneghin pointed out that the team should be able to move on and make adjustments from the loss.

“I think Saturday’s game was a wake-up call for us,” Meneghin said. “We were missing two girls and we realized how much we needed those four legs on the ice. With that being said, I think that seeing how well Bishop moved the puck encouraged our team to do so, too.”

Currently, the Red Hawks rank sixth, which is the final spot that qualifies for the national tournament in March for Division II women’s hockey. So far, the Red Hawks have had their best regular season since the program began in 2013, with a stout 12-2 overall record and a perfect 10-0 conference record.

Sunday night, the Red Hawks were on the road facing their Delaware Valley Collegiate Hockey Conference (DVCHC) opponents, Columbia University. Early in the first period, junior forward Kristen Iattarelli scored to put her team ahead 1-0. Eight minutes into the first period, junior forward Harper Sanderson scored on a feed from senior defenseman Amanda Peterson to make it 2-0 in the Red Hawks’ favor. Peterson added a goal just 10 seconds later, which was followed by Iattarelli’s second goal. This boosted the Red Hawks to a 4-1 lead after one period of play.

After the win against Columbia, sophomore forward Paula Bush spoke about the chemistry she has with her line mates Meneghin and junior forward Victoria Nicolosi.

“When we’re on the ice, we really understand who we are as players,” Bush said. “I feel like I always know where they are, and I trust that they’ll be able to help me if I need it.”

To begin the second period, Peterson notched her second goal of the game. Just two minutes later, Meneghin fired her first goal into the net on an assist from senior defenseman Mikhaela Schultz. After eight minutes went by in the second, freshman forward Lexi Montez scored a goal to make it 7-1.

In the third period, Bush scored to stretch the Red Hawks’ lead to 9-1. Both Peterson and Meneghin completed hat tricks and had three assists. The Red Hawks’ record improved to 10-0 in conference and 12-2 overall.

Meneghin reflected on what makes Peterson a strong captain and a great teammate.

“She is dedicated and someone who will always understand and see two sides of a situation which makes her a great captain and friend,” Meneghin said.

Meneghin explained how Peterson’s responsibility on the ice is a valuable asset.

“She really steps up to generate plays,” Meneghin said. “Knowing that she is back to cover me when I lose the puck makes me play the type of hockey I love.”

On Jan. 28, new rankings will be announced on achahockey.org. After that day, the Red Hawks and their fans will want to know whether they will qualify or not for the 2018 national tournament. The Red Hawks’ season is not judged entirely on whether they make it to nationals because they have dominated the DVCHC, but for this Red Hawks team — in only their fourth season of existence — it will no doubt be an important milestone if they make it to the national tournament this March.

The Red Hawks play their next game against Rowan University at home Sunday at 5 p.m. and their final game of the season will be an away game against the University of Pennsylvania on Feb. 10 at 8:15 p.m.

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