The University of Maine women’s ice hockey team did not start this season off well, losing their first three games, twice to Quinnipiac and once to Saint Anselm. The Black Bears offense was only able to score five goals in total. In two of the losses, they lost both games by close scores of 3-2, but were completely outplayed in the other.
After this rough start, the Black Bears finally grabbed a win against Long Island University, beating them twice in back-to-back games thanks to strong offensive performances. In UMaine’s first win of the season, second-year goalie Jorden Mattison picked up her first win in her collegiate career. She won her second a day later with the defense helping her by only allowing 15 shots.
Even though it looked like the Black Bears might have turned a corner, the team proceeded to go 1-5 in their next six games. They were shut out in three of those games and only scored six goals. However, after this losing stretch, the Black Bears came back and won five games, including a shootout against UConn. Their defense was fantastic, giving up just seven goals.
Like the rest of the season, after this winning stretch, a losing patch followed. UMaine lost five games in a row. Their biggest issue during this time was giving up goals, where they gave up 20 goals in five games.
Right now, the Black Bears are on a five-game winning streak. The defense sharpened, only giving up two goals in the past five games, while the offense has been able to consistently score three or four goals a game. If the Black Bears want to win more games though, the team needs to stay consistent and not fall back into another losing streak.
Currently leading the team in points is star third-year forward Ida Kuoppala. She leads the team with 17 points, scoring six goals and 11 assists. Fourth-year forward Ali Beltz is second on the team with 14 points, five goals and nine assists. Fourth-year forward Ally Johnson leads the team in goals with seven and has six assists. First-year defender Courtney Colarullo leads the defense in points with 10, scoring three goals and seven assists.
Fifth-year goalie Loryn Porter has gotten the lionshare of starts and currently has a 10-10 record on the season. She has made 620 saves and has a .927 save percentage. Mattison is 2-3 in her starts, with 101 saves and a .894 save percentage.
Excitingly, two of UMaine’s current players will be representing their home countries at the 2022 Beijing Olympics. Third-year defender Amalie Anderson will be representing Denmark. Anderson is on the first-ever Denmark Olympic women’s team to qualify for hockey. While second-year forward Rahel Enzler will be representing Switzerland. Three former Black Bears will be going as well. Michelle Weis will be joining Anderson on the Denmark team. Tereza Vanisova and Vendula Pribylova, are the other two and they will be representing the Czech Republic in the country’s first ever appearance in the Olympics for women’s hockey.
UMaine’s next game will see them play Providence College on Jan. 30. After this, they will face the University of Vermont Catamounts, on Feb. 8 and 9, both at home.