Lady Cats are ready to rack up wins

p>Coming into the 2009-2010 season, the players on the women’s hockey team all had the same goal and expectation.

In one simple word: playoffs.

The Lady Cats are looking for their first berth ever in the D-1 playoffs and began their long journey to the playoffs with an easy sweep over the Union College Dutchwomen, starting the season 2-0.

“We definitely are planning on clinching the playoffs this year, so we want to start off on a good note and now we can take this positive momentum forward with us,” senior forward Celeste Doucet said.

At this point of the year, head coach Tim Bothwell is happy about the progression of his experienced and tough team but recognizes the need for improvement in some areas if the Lady Cats plan on making the postseason.

“We still have to clean up our power play, our decision making and how we think ourselves through it all,” Bothwell said.

The lack of production on the power play was an issue last year and was a concern coming into this season.

Despite the need for improvement on the power play, players on the team feel pleased with the progression thus far.

“We definitely feel good about where we are right now. We have a high expectation level that will build with every game,” junior Teddy Fortin said, after the 2-0 win in the first game of the season.

There is certainly a clear message resonating from the locker room of the Lady Cats: it’s playoffs or bust— no excuses.

“We are expecting to be in the playoffs, definitely,” Bothwell said. “We are going to kick, scratch and battle and that’s what we are all thinking right now and we want to be playing in March. That’s every hockey team’s goal and that’s ours for sure.”

The goal is obvious, but the road to that goal will not be easy in the slightest. The Lady Cats have to battle through a Hockey East Schedule that boasts some of the best competition in the country, including top 10 teams Boston College, New Hampshire and Boston University.

Despite the difficult road ahead, the Lady Cats are off to a strong start, hoping that this year they will finally break through that ever-elusive postseason door and into the playoffs for the very first time in the program’s history.