Walsh scores twice on debut, Union wins 3-2 in season opener

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DURHAM, NH. – For the second year in a row, the Union College women’s hockey team opened the season with a win. First year Riley Walsh contributed two goals, including his first collegiate and senior goal king emily added the game winner in the second period as Union held on for a 3-2 victory over the University of New Hampshire on Friday night from the Whittemore Center. This was the first victory for the Union over the Wildcats.

Walsh had an excellent collegiate debut for the Maroons and Whites. The freshman scored her first collegiate goal on the power play and added her second goal of the season with few hands. She is the first Union women’s hockey player to score two goals in a game since Grace Heiting ’22 last season against Princeton on Nov. 6, 2021, and the first to have a power-play goal and shorthanded in the same game since Suzy Pocock ’09 had a power-play goal and two shorties at the Sacred Heart on November 3. 2006.

King added the eventual game winner and an assist for a two-point night. First year amanda when he scored his first collegiate point with an assist on Walsh’s first goal. Six players made their collegiate debuts for the Union on Friday.

The Dutch opened the scoring at 8:56 of the first period on the power play. Quan caught a miss from the final boards and sent a wraparound attempt up front, and Walsh made sure to bury the shot into the open goal. Quan and King were credited with assists.

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New Hampshire responded in the final minute of the first period with a power play goal of their own, tying the score 1-1. Union outscored UNH 10-7 in the period and each team had the player advantage.

The Dutch regained the lead in the second period, when Walsh brought down the UNH net keeper and put the puck into the back of the net on the break. This goal came for lack of personnel at the 6:24 mark of the second period and was not assisted. Just 74 seconds later, Union extended their lead to 3-1 when King found the back of the net on a partial breakaway. King picked up a loose puck in center ice and was able to get inside the Wildcat defender and, with some post help, extended Union’s lead. This goal was unassisted and became the eventual game winner. Union shot UNH 16-14 in the period.

However, the Wildcats would not go away. Just 2:29 into the third period, the Wildcats found the back of the net with the players advantage once again, cutting the Union’s lead in half. UNH kept up the pressure, but couldn’t find the bottom of the net as a sophomore sophia matsoukas he made timely saves in the final frame to preserve Union’s victory.

Shots finished 35-35 for the game and Matsoukas stopped 33 or 35 to earn his first win of the season. Union went 1-7 on the power play and 3-5 on the penalty kick. Quan won 7-12 matches in his season debut.

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Union (1-0-0) will return to the ice tomorrow in Durham for Game 2 of the weekend series with the Wildcats. The disc delivery from the Whittemore Center is scheduled for Saturday, September 24 at 3 p.m.