Remember that classic “Simpsons” episode where Lisa joins pee-wee hockey in order to pass gym class? Marge expresses that stereotypical fear – “I think women should be able to play any sport men play, but hockey is so violent and dangerous” – but Lisa proves herself to be just as aggressive and bloodthirsty as any of the boys on her team. And yes, I did use this article as an excuse to re-watch the episode. The players on the UR Women’s Hockey Club may not be knocking out people’s teeth like Lisa – that would just be mean – but watching them play shows that hockey is neither too violent nor too dangerous. It is all about enjoying the sport they love.Rigorously practicing twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 to 8:30 a.m. – getting up at that hour takes dedication in itself – the team usually schedules two games on the weekends in preparation for the Northeast Women’s Collegiate Hockey Association playoffs in late February. “This season we are looking much stronger,” senior captain Niki Reitz said. “We have a very promising team of solid returning players and enthusiastic newcomers.”To start off their season, the Yellowjackets hosted the NEWCHA Tournament this past weekend at Genesee Valley Park Arena, facing off against teams from Clarkson University, Niagara University, SUNY Brockport and Syracuse University. Taking on their long-time rival Brockport on Friday night, UR Hockey scored their four goals in the first period and held onto the lead the rest of the game, defeating Brockport 4-2.On Saturday, the five teams switched off in a series of 20-minute games, with UR playing Syracuse, Clarkson and Niagara. The great effort put up by junior co-captain and goalie Allison Levin kept Syracuse scoreless, and UR gave Syracuse its only loss of the tournament, 1-0.The Yellowjackets played tough, but unfortunately lost the other pair of matches after some very close games. On Sunday morning, UR fell to Clarkson.”Overall, we had a very successful weekend on the ice and beating Brockport and Syracuse was a great way to start off the season,” Levin said. “We worked hard in our last three games, but the losses show that there is still room for improvement.”With their players at different levels of experience, the team has taken on the dual responsibility of encouraging new members to join up while also being more competitive within the NEWCHA league. “We’re always looking for that balance between playing just for fun and playing to win,” Reitz explained. To help with the process, the team hired several new coaches, one of whom got beamed on the head with a puck during Sunday’s game.They face off against Niagara at 9:45 p.m. this Friday at the GVP Arena and encourage students to come by.”We truly appreciate all the fan support we had this weekend,” Levin said. “And we hope to have even bigger crowds throughout the season!”Information about club hockey can be found on their Web site at http://sa.rochester.edu/hockey-womens/.Troyer can be reached at mtroyer@campustimes.org.



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