Women’s hockey sweeps Nichols in weekend double-header

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Leo Woods

Members of the women’s hockey team celebrate after a goal.

Suffolk University’s women’s hockey team beat Nichols College 10-1 at their Suicide Awareness Game on Nov. 11 at the Porrazzo Rink in East Boston, kicking off a two-game sweep of the Bison.

Coach Taylor Wasylk said the team was “proud” to take the ice in recognition of suicide awareness last week.

“[Suicide] is a topic that has been affecting collegiate athletes more and more over the past few years and we wanted to do our part by giving it attention,” Wasylk said. “Our players firmly believe that the stigma surrounding mental health needs to be broken, and that causes like suicide awareness need to be talked about more if we are going to truly break that stigma.”

In honor of the cause, the team wore purple under their uniforms and held a brief ceremony before the game.

The Rams entered the game with a 3-1 record, fresh off a two-game sweep of Salve Regina the weekend before. Nichols had a winless record of 0-3. 

The first period remained scoreless, but Suffolk still dominated the ice offensively with 16 shots on net opposed to Nichols’ five. 

The second period started similarly to the first, but the energy changed with about six and a half minutes left. Senior forward Jesse Kennedy scored with an assist from Madison Duff. Kennedy quickly followed up with another goal less than two minutes later. This opened up the gates for Suffolk, with Shana Cote and Miranda Gaudet scoring two more goals before the end of the period.

The Rams went into the third period leading 4-0.

Suffolk didn’t let up in the third with five more unanswered goals scored by Sofia Scilipoti, Sam Mulind, Jenna Caballero, Elise Wainwright and another by Gaudet. 

For Caballero, a freshman forward, and Wainwright, a junior defenseman, their goals were the first of their Suffolk careers. Wainwright talked about how she was proud of her accomplishment.

Junior goaltender Lily O’Neil had 43 saves over the weekend. (Leo Woods)

“It was such a team effort. The second the puck went in the net, everybody was just so happy for me and it felt really good,” Wainwright said. “Even after in the locker room, everybody was still congratulating me and people still talking about it makes me feel really good. I needed it. It was about time.”

The Bison returned with their first goal of the game with about 12 minutes left, scored by Grace Wiggett and assisted by Taylor Breen.

Scilipoti followed up with one last goal, expanding the Ram’s lead to 10-1. 

Wasylk said she was happy with the team’s performance, saying that they’re coming into form, looking ahead towards future games.

“We’re finding our stride right now, which is good,” Wasylk said. “It always takes us a few weeks to get there, which is a little nerve racking as a coach, but we’re finally finding our stride, getting our offense going.”

Suffolk again faced off with Bison Nichols on Nov. 12, this time at Nichols.

Like the day before, the Rams dominated early in attack time, but struggled to find the back of the net until late in the second period, when freshman forward Livia Brehm scored in the period’s final minute.

Suffolk added three more goals in the third period, eventually winning the game 4-1.

Duff, a senior defenseman and captain, said that despite the team’s strengths, she’d like to see the team get ahead earlier in games.

“For improvement purposes, I’d say [we need to] play a full game,” Duff said. “We tend to have trouble getting ready and getting hyped up for the first period. If we can have better first periods, it would be a little bit easier, a little less stressful.”

With the wins last weekend, the Rams find themselves off to a strong 5-1 start as they get ready for a doubleheader against the Endicott Gulls, who are the Coastal Commonwealth Conference favorites and are ranked No. 13 in the nation. 

Sophomore forward Sam Molind scored early in the third period of Friday’s game to put Suffolk up 6-0. The Rams went on to beat Nichols 10-1. (Leo Woods)

“[Endicott is] our best competition, so I think we just have to focus on our game and how we know we can play with each other and just do what we’ve been doing,” Wainwright said. “We can get the job done when we work together, and we can definitely pull it off and get another sweep this weekend.”

Suffolk hosts the Gulls at the Porrazzo in East Boston on Friday at 6 p.m. and travels to Endicott for a 3 p.m. matchup on Saturday.