By Cullen McIntyre, Staff Writer
As the weather gets colder, winter sports have emerged at USM. Two of them being the Men and Women’s Ice Hockey teams. Each team is looking to improve on past seasons, as both lost in the New England Hockey Conference Quarterfinals last year with losing records.
The Men’s Ice Hockey team finished last year with a 3-19-4 record, losing to the Hobart College Statesmen 8-0 in the NEHC quarterfinals last year.
The Huskies started off this year with an exhibition game against the University of New England, losing 11-2 in the away game.
The first game of the regular season sees the Huskies head to UMass Boston on Friday, Nov. 2 with the puck dropping at 7 p.m. The hockey team will look to get a good start to the season, going up against the Beacons, who went 17-10 last year.
Head Coach Ed Harding, entering his fifth season, recently named the three captains for the men’s team. For a third consecutive season, senior Tyler Mathieu will wearing the “C” on his jersey, while teammates Parker Sanderson and Mark Tomaschek will wear the “A” on their jerseys for assistant captains. Mathieu is the fourth player in the history of the program to brace the captain’s “C” for three consecutive seasons.
The team will hope to improve on last season’s losing record, and make a playoff push this season.
Following the opening game against UMass Boston, the Huskies will head to Babson College on Saturday, Nov. 3 for a 4 p.m. puck drop, then play their home opener against Johnson & Wales University for a 7 p.m. game on Friday, Nov. 9.
The Women’s Ice Hockey team finished last year with a 8-17-1 overall record, losing 5-2 to the Castleton University Spartans in the NEHC quarterfinals last season.
The women’s team has played two games already, the first being a 4-3 loss against the University of New England, and the second being a 1-1 tie against the Endicott Gulls. Huskies senior goalie and captain Britney Evangelista made 43 saves against the Gulls, holding off Endicott to a 1-1 tie after overtime.
The team’s next game sees them host Johnson & Wales University (JWU) on Friday, Nov. 2 for their first conference matchup at 4 p.m. The JWU Wildcats come into Southern Maine with a 0-2 record, having lost 2-0 and 6-0 in their first two games, but this will also be their first conference matchup. The women Huskies will look to hand them a third consecutive loss and grab themselves their first win of the season.
The team named four captains this season, seniors Britney Evangelista, Jensen Hamblett, Julie Ormsby and sophomore Shannon Colbert. Evangelista had a .926 save percentage during the 2017/18 season, while Hamblett had three goals and two assists in 24 games. Ormsby was the leading goalscorer for the team last season, with seven goals and six assists. Colbert’s rookie campaign saw her net six goals along with four assists in all 26 games.
The women finished seventh in the 2018-19 NEHC preseason coaches’ poll, but will hope to prove them wrong with a strong season this year.
The women’s team season continues Saturday, Nov. 3 at 1 p.m. against the UMass Boston Beacons in an away game, following that with another game away against the Norwich Cadets on Friday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m.
Both teams are looking to improve from their records and playoff finishes last year, and give the Husky supporters a great season to cheer for. Each teams season lasts through February so make sure to support your Huskies Ice Hockey teams at the USM Ice Arena on the Gorham campus for home games!