On Oct. 25 and 26, the Lakers’ women’s ice hockey team competed in the first ever Women’s Icebreaker Tournament.
“We had a nice opportunity to play in the first ever women’s ice breaker,” Women’s ice hockey Head Coach Mike Sisti said. “We also had a chance to play in the same arena where we will have have this year’s playoff championship, so our players should be comfortable with the set up and the ice surface.”
The Lakers’ appearance is noteworthy not only for the significance of the tournament, but also because it is the first time that there has been an Icebreaker Tournament for Women’s Ice Hockey.
“We were picked at our coaches conventions by the members of our league to represent our conference,” said Sisti.Last October, the Lakers’ Men’s ice hockey team hosted the Icebreaker Tournament at the Erie Insurance Arena.“Because of our winning tradition, we were an attractive to participate,” said Athletic Director Brad Davis. “It is very important to participate in tournaments like the Ice Breaker. You get to play nationally recognized institutions, like Minnesota Duluth, Connecticut and Colgate and it certainly helps with recruiting.”
The men’s tournament featured Providence University, Notre Dame University, and Miami University of Ohio.
In the first game for the women at the tournament, the Lakers took on the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs on Friday night.The Bulldogs were coming off of a pair of losses to Bemidji State, whereas the Lakers were coming off of a pair of wins against Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT).
In the end, the Bulldogs walked away with a win over the Lakers 4-1. Sophomore Sarah Nelles had the sole goal for the Lakers against the Bulldogs, coming off of a power-play.
“We played with good passion and grit this past weekend,” Sisti said. “We had a great start to our first game and fought extremely hard to win our second game. There were some key times in our first game where our power play could have gave us a big goal to get back in the game but we misfired on a few good chances.”
On the next day, the Lakers took to the ice against the University of Connecticut Huskies. The Lakers walked away with a win in this one, with senior Emma Nuutinen scoring off of a power-play. The Huskies would answer within the second as well, but the Lakers pulled away in the third with an additional two tallies to take the game 3-1. Those particular scores came from junior Summer-Rae Dobson and from sophomore Liliane Perreault.
Next on the schedule for the Lakers (5-2-1, 2-0-0) is a home series against Lindenwood University Nov. 1 and 2.Last season, the Lakers defeated Lindenwood (2-4-2, 0-0-0) in a hosting affair that saw back-to-back victories of 4-2 and 2-0 over their opponents.
“They are very disciplined and hard working, so we will have to match or exceed their determination to win,” Sisti said. “Capitalizing on our chances will also be a key to being successful.”