Women’s hockey: A new era begins


Hannah Arroyo / Sports Editor

On Saturday Oct. 27, Suffolk students, faculty and alumni braved the pouring rain and punishing wind chill to pack the stands of the Porrazzo Skating Rink in East Boston. They were all there with one purpose: to watch The Lady Rams make history.

As the team skated up to the blue line, announcers called out the names that had been freshly printed onto the newly sown jerseys that donned the schools colors. Hoots, hollers and clapping echoed from all around the rink, celebrating the beginning of what Suffolk hopes to be a fruitful women’s hockey program. The moment wasn’t lost on any of the players or coaches as they geared up to face Nichols College.

“There was a lot of nerves this weekend, a lot of excitement but a lot of nerves,” said head coach Taylor Wasylk in an interview with The Suffolk Journal. “The girls have never really played in front of this many people before.”

Suffolk President Marisa Kelly made her way out to center ice to meet freshman defender Madison Duff for an honorary face-off. After the drop, Kelly posed for a picture with Duff, who received the honor of being the first woman to touch stick to puck on Suffolk’s new home ice.

After the inauguration celebration came to a close, the Lady Rams skated out into their lines. The competitive fire in their eyes burned bright with passion of avenging their 5-2 loss from the previous night to Nichols.

Alas, in their first home game, The Lady Rams narrowly lost a closely contested game 2-1. In total the team recorded 33 shots on goal and won 35 of their face offs.

In the first period, Suffolk came out aggressive, fighting for every possession on the boards. The team was unable to capitalize on the seven shot attempts off two power plays. Suffolk outshot Nichols 20-7 in the first period, but was unable to take advantage, ending the period tied at zero.

The first period ended with a light scrum near Nichols’ net, resulting in a roughing penalty on Nichols, foreshadowing the play to come in second period.

By the time the whistle blew to signify the end of the second period, nine whistles had been blown. In comparison, nine whistles were blown in the other two periods combined. The quarter was scrappy from start to finish, the first penalty coming 46 seconds into the period and the last occurred right before the period came to an end.

The Lady Rams were able to jump out to a 1-0 lead early in the second period. Captain Tess Adams was able to push the puck up the ice to freshman forward Payton Dockus, who sprinted to gather it on the breakaway, and broke out a nifty wrist shot to put it past the Nichols goalie and into the back of the net.

Unfortunately, Suffolk’s penalties began to add up, as Adams was sent to the box for tripping just over a minute after Suffolk was called for too many players on the ice. This setup Nichols with 46 seconds of five on three play. Suffolk held on for dear life, but Nichols was able to find the back of the net with five seconds remaining on the lopsided power play.

After the game, Coach Wasylk remarked on the hostile style of play during the second period.

“It’s not my favorite,” said Wasylk. “I was a player and was always in the middle of it, so I understand it, it’s just tough being on the penalty kill that much, it’s not easy to win when you’re down a man all the time.”

The third period began with Suffolk on a five on three-penalty kill, and it quickly proved to be too much for Suffolk, as Nichols was able to score within the opening 30 seconds. The score now 2-1 in favor of Nichols, Suffolk was determined to even up the score in front of the home crowd, and skated their hearts out. They came up short though as Nichols was able to dominate the puck in the period.

Although the Lady Rams weren’t able to come up with the win in East Boston, the team remains optimistic about their season.

“There’s been a lot of growth in the younger players already,” said senior captain Tess Adams in an interview with The Suffolk Journal.

Captains Sydney Jordan and Adams recognized goalie Kirsten Caporusso, who kept the team afloat during the penalty kills in Saturday’s loss with 21 saves. Caporusso remained optimistic about her outstanding performance despite the loss.

“Everybody has their own job,” said Caporusso in an interview with The Journal. “You wouldn’t need a goalie if you didn’t need saves.”

The Lady Rams will look to pick themselves up this week after an 0-2 record to start the season. The team travels to Anna Maria College on Friday, and will be back in front of their white, gold and blue faithful fans Saturday to take on Johnson and Wales.