CMU DII women’s hockey moves to 7-0 with win over Adrian
Down two and with time running out in the third period, Central Michigan Division II women’s club hockey Head Coach Chris Haney called his players to the bench hoping to inspire a comeback.
"I asked the team when they scored their fourth goal with what, three, four minutes left, I said, 'who thought the game was over?'" Haney said. "A couple of people raise their hand, not everybody, but it's like you just play till the end.”
Before the Chippewas knew it, the game was tied and headed to overtime.
31 seconds into the extra period, freshman forward Kaitlyn William sent the puck between two Adrian players and onto the stick of freshman center Kylie Del Re, who was standing alone in front of the net.
After a brief pause, Del Re buried the puck in the net and sent Martin Ice Arena into a frenzy as the Chippewas secured a 5-4 victory.
CMU improves to 7-0 on the year.
“Just wow, I told them they're going to make me stroke out,” Haney said. “We turned it on there at the end, they took a couple of penalties they probably shouldn't have and put us on the power play. And we made them pay.”
Del Re started the scoring for the Chippewas in the first, as she deked the Bulldog defense and found the back of the net.
CMU held the 1-0 lead into the second period, but then Adrian found its footing. The Bulldogs scored two quick goals to take their first advantage of the night.
"That's the fastest team we've played all year," Haney said. "And they were a step faster, especially that second period. They came out of the locker room on fire. And it just took us a while to get our feet going.”
Trailing as the second period neared its end, Chippewa freshman forward Grace Liotino beat the Adrian goalie and tied things at two.
However, the Bulldogs responded in the third adding two more goals.
"I thought we played good at the end of the second," Haney said. "But the same thing happened in the third. We were kind of flat foot, and they took it to us again.”
Instead of letting a six-game winning streak slip through their fingers, the Chippewas gathered around Haney.
After asking who thought the game was over, Haney reminded his players of their journey this season.
“When our comeback was starting, (I said), ‘We've been in this situation against Michigan State going into overtime, we've been in it against Bowling Green, where we had to come from behind at the end of the game, you guys are used to this,’” Haney said. “And Adrian, they've lost some games here where they had the lead.
“So, it was two things, we've been here before let's use our experience, and trust yourself that you're good. And then maybe for them thinking oh, here we go again.”
Riding a 5-on-4 advantage, CMU began digging out of the hole as Williams dumped the puck behind her to freshman forward Gabriella Nixon. Nixon navigated to open ice and sent a shot past the Bulldogs’ goalie and into the net, cutting the lead to one.
With 50 seconds remaining, Del Re netted her second goal of the game to tie things at four.
Del Re finished the night with three goals, her third hat trick of the season. She leads the team with 12 goals.
Sophomore goalie Lauren Abraham recorded her fourth win of the season while facing over 50 shots.
"She gave us hope," Haney said. "She's been doing it for us for two years. So yeah, I'm just proud of her too, to face that onslaught and give us a chance. Because even though there were so many great opportunities, she made the save for us. That's what good goalies do."
The Chippewas look to remain perfect when they head to Adrian on Sunday at 1 p.m.
“We know Adrian probably felt they should have won that so we're gonna get another shot tomorrow,” Haney said. “So, we got to be ready to withstand it."