Friday, November 16, 2012

Women’s hockey geared for success

By Julianne Bartosz
Editor in chief

Saint Mary’s women’s hockey team’s chemistry and talent are expected to lead the Cardinals to a successful season, according to Women’s Hockey Coach Terry Mannor.

The Cardinals are 3-1-0 (overall) at the beginning of their season.  Two of their wins were consecutive conference games against Hamline University on Nov. 9 and 10.  This was the first time since 2003 that the Cardinals opened conference play with a sweep.

“It’s always great any time you sweep anyone,” said Mannor.  He said the team did not play well on Nov. 9, but the girls came together on Nov. 10 to prove themselves with their 4-3 win. 

Mannor said that the team needs to learn from their mistakes to improve and work hard because the women’s hockey team can be as good as anyone in the west.  He also emphasized that the team needs to keep in mind that anything can happen.

This uncertainty is something that the returning members on the team know too well after playing nine over-time games last season.  The eight freshmen on the team got a glimpse of this in their first game of the season against St. Norbert College, which the Cardinals lost 6-3 after having a two-goal lead.

Mannor said the new players bring individual talent, including freshman goalie Tori Herrmann.  “We have a strong goal tending tandem, which we haven’t had in a while,” he said.  Mannor added that freshmen have raised the bar while returning players have also shown improvement.  He said, “Our new players will impact the season in a positive way because returners are leading them in a very positive way."

Junior captain Haley Coolsaet said the new players are willing to work hard and that they have a will to win.  “The best part is that the team chemistry is amazing,” she said.  “We all get a long well.  We are a family.”

Freshman Katie Ehlenfeldt said she is excited to be on such a close team that is dedicated to working hard.  She said, “I want to help the team out as much as possible, not necessarily with points but as a whole.  I want to help the team grow.”  After scoring her first goal against Hamline, Ehlenfeldt said, “It feels good to prove to the team that I can make an impact on the ice.”

The Cardinals are using their conference wins as a boost into their next games, said Mannor.
Coolsaet said, “We couldn’t have asked for a better start to our season.  We have definitely set a good tempo for it.”

As the Cardinals move forward in their season, both Mannor and Coolsaet expect the team to continue to work hard. 

“Just because we won doesn’t mean we can’t keep improving,” said Coolsaet.  She said her goals for the season are to never take a shift off, play all three periods and be prepared for anything that may come her way.

Ehlenfeldt said she looks forward to showing the SMU community what the team is capable of doing.  “Hockey isn’t an easy sport,” she said.  “Students should come to see how hard we work and to share the pride we have when we win.” 

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