Regular season Catamount hockey is back.
Tomorrow night, the Cats travel down to Schenectady to take on the Union College Dutchwomen. The two met last year, when the Cats won 4-2, and the Cats have won every single meeting between the two sides in history (19 games).
To say the Dutchwomen were awful last year was an understatement. They didn’t win once all year, going 0-28-6 (their last victory was in December 2014, when they defeated Maine 2-0), and changed coaches during the offseason, hiring Josh Sciba (who had previously been an assistant at a very good Colgate program) to replace Claudia Asano Barcomb. They only scored 25 goals all season. Their lone highlight, goalie Melissa Black, transferred to UVM this summer, and leading scorer Kathryn Tomaselli (11 points) graduated. To top things off, their 2016/17 season has gotten off to a poor start too, as they took a pair of home Ls to UConn at the weekend (5-1 and 2-1).
That being said…in college hockey, there is no such thing as an easy game, even against a team that hasn’t won in almost two calendar years and that has nonexistent depth. They’re a very young team, with 11 first-years and a new coach, and will be hungry to prove themselves on home ice after getting their first taste of competitive play last weekend.
For the Cats, an “easier” opponent could help to provide a boost in confidence for a team that struggled to score goals last year. It’s the perfect pivot between preseason and the regular season: a meaningful game against lesser opposition (I don’t mean to disrespect Union, but you’ve gotta call a spade a spade sometimes).
Let’s hope I haven’t jinxed them.