Final Face-Off for Women’s Hockey Season

The Sacred Heart women’s ice hockey team concluded their season on Feb 24, with a total of 15 wins and 21 losses.

The team made it to the quarterfinals of the New England Women’s Hockey Alliance (NEWHA) athletic conference and lost two games against Franklin Pierce University (FPU). The results of the games led to their elimination and ended their season.

“We really struggled to put the puck in the net and that was our problem throughout the whole season. It was a factor in that series, we just did not score enough goals in both games,” said Head Coach Thomas O’Malley.

Junior Sydney Antonakis had similar thinking when it came down to what went wrong in the quarterfinals.

“We struggled to find the back of the net and bury our offensive opportunities,” said Antonakis.

Aside from their quarterfinal defeat, the women’s ice hockey team had numerous highlights and achievements throughout their season. O’Malley described this year as a “rollercoaster,” with both highs and lows.

“We upset the number one team which was Long Island University (LIU) and that was definitely a highlight game for us,” said O’Malley.

He also pointed out some players who had highlight games during the season.

“Jillian Petruno, who is our goalie, did a great job keeping the puck out of the net during the quarterfinal series against Franklin Pierce,” said O’Malley.

Petruno, a sophomore, was named a member of the NEWHA second team and was put on the NCAA goalie watch list. She commented on the team’s win against LIU.

“We played hard, fought for each other, and won which proved we have what it takes and that it’s just a matter of being consistent and executing,” said Petruno.

Petruno recalls another defining moment for the team during the regular season, a winning series against FPU throughout the weekend of Nov. 3.

“That weekend was a huge confidence booster for us and showed us what we were capable of,” said Petruno.

With the season’s conclusion, the team will now turn their focus towards their off-season spring training. This includes intense conditioning, strength training, and on-ice skills.

“During this time, we focus on putting in the hard work now so that we can carry it into the summer and next season,” said Antonakis.

Throughout off-season training, the team’s commitment and dedication to improvement will set the stage for their goals for the upcoming season.

Antonakis said that the main focus going into the fall is to build off the core values that the team focused on this past season such as discipline, teamwork, accountability and work ethic. The off-season will be important for the Pioneers to prepare for next season.

“We want to build off our success from last season and keep moving forward to be the best team we can be,” Petruno said.

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