FAIRBANKS — The Alaska Nanooks women’s club hockey team has been playing since the 2009-10 season. On Friday and Saturday afternoons, the Nanooks played their first-ever games in Fairbanks against the University of Delaware Blue Hens.
The Nanooks blanked the Blue Hens 7-0 Friday afternoon at the Patty Center and followed it up with 10-0 win Saturday at the Carlson Center.
“It was more than I was expecting it to be,” senior goatender Katrina Lydon said after Saturday’s shutout. “I knew we would have supporters in the community. I didn’t know so many people would come out. It means so us. It means everything to us.”
Said head coach Scott Vockeroth, “Being here for the full five years and watching the program grow, it was really special.
“I knew it would be special for the girls playing at home but I didn’t realize how special it was going to be for me,” said Vockeroth, a wing for the Nanooks men’s varsity program from 2001-05.
Lydon, a four-year member of the team, picked up both shutouts in the Nanooks Fairbanks debut.
“Ever since she started with the team, she’s been the backbone,” Vockeroth said. “Players love having her back there. She’s the bailout. You’re not afraid to make a mistake because you have Katrina back there.”
Cayla Wiita scored a hat trick Saturday, with two of her goals coming six seconds apart during the second period. Those two goals were part of a span of three Nanooks goals in 27 seconds.
Junior Bailey Brewer had a hand in half of the Nanooks goals, picking up five assists while junior Rackell Kowalchuk scored a goal and had two assists.
“They worked really hard for their goals. It was great,” Lydon said.
The Nanooks led 1-0 after the first period Saturday but exploded for nine goals in the second and third periods.
“Today we started really slow and had to pick it up,” Vockeroth said. “Once we started playing our game, we have some skill players.”
Marina Soria had two assists and scored the 10th goal late in the third period. Shawn Jusczak also had two assists in the Nanooks’ first time on Olympic-size ice.
“This was our first time on the big ice, we didn’t even practice on it,” Vockeroth said. “When you only have four D — and we only had three D for a little bit with injury for a little bit —, everyone’s getting a lot of ice. Thankfully we didn’t die out there.”
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