PLYMOUTH, N.H. - The Plymouth State University women's ice hockey team will drop the puck on a new season this Saturday with the first of three straight home games at Waterville Valley Ice Arena.
After one year as a club team, the women's ice hockey program at PSU is an affiliate in the athletic department in 2004-05, with eyes on becoming a varsity program in the future.
The Panthers will host the Boston University Club team in the season opener this Saturday at 6:00 p.m. at Waterville Valley. PSU has additional home games against UMass Amherst on Nov. 20 and Norwich University on Nov. 30 as part of the team's 12-game schedule. Other opponents on the slate include Bates, MIT, Russell Sage, Mount Holyoke and Columbia.
Plymouth State started the women's ice hockey program as a club team in 2003-04. The Panthers are coached by Mark Wojcinski, PSU's assistant director for recreation programs, who helped start the program last year.
2004-05 PSU Women's Ice Hockey Outlook
Wojcinski will have five players back from last season's team, and a strong group of newcomers. There is a lot of interest in women's ice hockey at Plymouth State, and Wojcinski is looking forward to an exciting campaign.
"We're pretty optimistic about the season," said Wojcinski. "We have a lot of talent on this team. We're trying to build the program. We don't have any seniors, so everyone should be back. We have some players this year with previous hockey experience, and there's a lot of interest from recruits. We want to build the program and have fun doing it."
Leading the group of returnees is junior defenseman Kelly Williams (Canaan, N.H.), according to Wojcinski. She is a standout player who can control a game. Classmate Sara Giroux (Augusta, Maine) also returns to the defensive unit and provides experience along the blue line. Wojcinski says a couple of freshmen could also see some playing time.
Juniors Laura Scala (East Falmouth, Mass.) and Angela Potvin (Augusta, Maine) are the top returning offensive players for the Panthers. They were the standouts on offense last season, and will be the team leaders this winter. Wojcinski will also look to a couple of the newcomers to put the puck into the net, such as sophomores Samantha Turner (Pawling, N.Y.) and Krista Pettrey (Northfield, Vt.) and junior Holly Williams (Wolfeboro, N.H.).
Sophomore Danielle Lewis (Scarborough, Maine) returns to defend the Panther goal. She has experience playing in high school tournaments in Maine and was PSU's goalie last year.
"We have a young team, with no seniors and nine freshmen," said Wojcinski. "We have a solid group of returnees to lead the way, and the players coming in have more and more previous experience. This will be a big year for the growth of women's hockey at Plymouth State."
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