BY JASON GLICKMAN
The women’s ice hockey team had a solid season, ending with a 10-8 record, and thereby placing themselves as a top seed team in the New England Women’s Hockey Alliance, (NEWHA) where their first playoff game will be played at home.
The women’s ice hockey team has played their season quietly. Because their home games have been played in two separate rinks – neither of which are on campus – the team averages around 100 spectators per game, which hinders the awareness of the hockey team among students on campus. However, this has not stopped them as they prepare for playoffs.
The first round of the NEWHA playoffs will be held at the higher seed’s home rink, so the #4 Sharks will be hosting the #5 St. Michael’s College Purple Knights. The Purple Knights come in with four wins, 15 losses and one overtime loss in conference play this season. In previous battles this season the Sharks won three of four games against the Purple Knights, outscoring them 15-9.
Leading the way for the Sharks this season has been the top line consisting of Carrigan Umpherville, Alva Johnsson and team captain Matilda af Bjur, who collectively have generated 62 of the Sharks’ 206 points. Umpherville leads the team in goals scored, with 15 goals. Af Bjur is tied for the team lead in assists with 12 assists together with teammate Megan Bouver. Af Bjur also leads the Sharks statistics in shots on goal (84) and power play points (4).
Behind the bench for the Sharks is Head Coach Rob Morgan. Prior to coming to LIU, Morgan coached five seasons at St. Norbert’s in NCAA Division III. During his five seasons, he earned a 78-49-12 record andwas named NCAA Division III West Region Coach of the Year in the 2012-2013 season. After that, he spent two years as associate head coach of the women’s ice hockey team at Yale University, before spending 2018 in China helping to create a program to develop women’s hockey.
The Sharks first ever playoff game is being played on Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 1 p.m inside Iceworks in Syosset.