Women’s Club Hockey team qualifies for nationals

Mike Carbonara

This past weekend the Women’s Club Hockey team won their second straight American Collegiate Hockey Association Western Conference Championship and clinched a spot in the playoffs for the National Tournament hosted March 15-19, at the Ohio Health Chiller Ice Rinks in Columbus, Ohio.

The Wildcats now have a record of 19-3-2 and outscored their opponents 29-11 throughout the conference tournament while ending the weekend with a final record of 4-0 and the title.

President of the club Kelsey Weyland said the team’s main focus headed into the conference tournament was sharpening up their basic team fundamentals.

“We were working a lot [during practice] on smooth breakouts out of the zone because we wanted to make sure those were fluid, making good passes to one another,” Weyland said. “One of the team’s strong points is our offense and we worked on cycling down low in the zone and worked on different power play situations and game scenarios in preparation to the tournament.”

At the end of the tournament three ’Cats made the all-tournament team; sophomore forward Allison Carlson and junior defenseman Weyland were selected for the first all-tournament team while junior forward Kendall Turro was named second all-tournament team.

Team captain and forward Carlie Kangas said she is expecting tougher competition in the National Title Tournament but does not know what to expect from the other conference, not playing them as frequently during the season.

“I’m expecting the level of play to be a little better than what we have faced so far,” Kangas stated. “Getting back to the basics and getting back to what we call ‘Cat hockey’ is really going to help us reach our goal through the National Tournament.”

The ’Cats are currently fundraising for their trip to Nationals. They created a Go Fund Me page at gofundme.com/catstakecolumbus. They will also be putting together a can drive. All proceeds will be used in travel and lodging on the trip.