Women’s Hockey team falls to Hamline and Gustavus Adolphus

The two losses end the Blugolds three game winning streak

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Photo by Elizabeth Gosling

The Women’s Hockey team won three of their three previous games, but fell to Hamline University (Minn.) on Friday and Gustavus Adolphus (Minn.) on Saturday.

After a three-game winning streak against Finlandia (Mich.) and St. Thomas (Minn.), the Blugold women’s hockey team fell to Hamline (Minn.) Friday and Gustavus Adolphus (Minn.) Saturday.

The team started their season last week and have had five games in a span of seven days. On Friday, the team fell short in overtime to Hamline with a score of 4-3.

The Blugolds scored three goals throughout the game. Hamline took advantage of the Blugold defense with one goal in the first and two in the second period to make the score even by the end of the third period. Just over a minute was left in overtime when the Pipers claimed the win over the Blugolds.

Saturday’s game was a bit different for UW-Eau Claire.

Sami Meister scored the first goal for Eau Claire, and after many other close attempts at the goal, the Blugolds could not get past the Golden Gusties.

It was the season opener for Gustavus Adolphus, and after playing four games for the Blugolds in a short amount of time, Team Captain Claudia Gagnon said the team might have been tired from all of the competition.

He said the ladies should work more as a team, because they are doing too much alone. As a senior, she said she hopes the team can win more games.

“We have a really good team this year,” Gagnon said. “I’m hoping we can do something crazy this year, win a lot of games, have fun. I think we have the potential to.”

During Gagnon’s first two years on the team, the team won nine games in total. Last year, the team won nine games during the season. She said she hopes the team will be able to win more this year.

The team’s roster is larger than past years. With 27 women on the team, the majority of them being freshman and sophomores. There are only six upperclassmen on the team. The team is young, and the adjustment from high school hockey to college hockey is a big adjustment, head coach Erik Strand said.

“For the freshmen especially, it’s a different level,” Strand said. “It takes some time and each freshman will progress at a different rate. Some people will pick it up on the first week, others it might not be until the last week of the season.”

He said games like last Saturday’s, against Gustavus Adolphus and St. Thomas, is where the team grows and makes progress.

The Blugold women started practice on Oct. 17 and had just nine days of practice before their first game. Strand said the group is special because they are positive, hardworking and enthusiastic.

“It is the right culture we are looking for,” Strand said.

Although the coach is not happy with the team’s losses this weekend, he said they will rebound from their losses and will continue to keep fighting and not give up. He said everyone enjoys the high points of the season, but it is when they face the more difficult moments, that the team’s character is revealed.

This season will be Strand’s second season with the ladies. Strand was an assistant coach for the men’s team eight seasons prior to coaching women. He said he has been happy with the progress the team has made so far, and he is looking forward to see what this team can do.

“I’m excited, because I think we’ve got a great group that’s out here,” Strand said. “We’re trying to battle every night to make our university proud of us.”

The next home Blugold women’s hockey games will be held at 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday Nov. 18-19 at Hobbs Ice Arena.