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Athlete of the Week: Conway ’17 secures tie with clutch performance

Bears snap decade-long losing skid against Crimson thanks to late power play goal by junior forward

If any player on the women’s hockey team (3-19-3, 1-14-3 ECAC) deserved to score a clutch third-period goal against Harvard, it was Erin Conway ’17. In the first matchup against the Crimson, ranked 10th nationally at the time, the junior appeared to score, which brought the Bears within one goal as the second period buzzer sounded. After a lengthy video review, the referees ruled that the puck had crossed the line, confirming the call. Inexplicably, the referees then paused for a mysterious second review just before the third period, ultimately  disallowing the goal.

Conway got her revenge in the road rematch with Harvard Friday. With the Bears down 3-2 late in the third, she scored on the power play to tie the game up. Thanks to Conway’s late score and 51 saves from Monica Elvin ’17, the Bears earned a 3-3 tie and their fifth conference point of the season.

Though Bruno is out of contention for the ECAC playoffs with four games remaining, the tie put a stop to a 17-game losing streak against the Crimson dating back to 2006.

Conway is tied for fourth on the team with 10 points (4G, 6A) on the season and is third in shots with 55.

Q: How did you set up the game-tying goal?

A: “We set it up in our normal power play. The puck got to Leah (Olson ’19), she got a shot on net that Sam Donovan ’18 tipped to the side, and I baseball-batted it in out of the air on the backdoor. I didn’t even realize I did it until after I saw it go in.”

Q: What did it mean to you to be part of the team that snapped a 10-year losing streak against Harvard?

A: “It was really good just to show that our team can play that well, and we can compete with these good teams. We’ve been one of the bottom two teams these past few years, so it just felt great to be a part of it and see that we could come back and tie it, especially because we were down for most of the game.”

Q: Did your tying goal make up for the disallowed goal in the first Harvard game?

A: “It definitely did. I was still really rattled about that goal. I said before the game that I was excited to play them again because I was so mad they had called that goal off. It really killed our momentum and ruined that game. I was excited to get a second chance.”

Q: With being eliminated from playoff contention, how is your team staying motivated for the final four games?

A: “Because we have a new coach, it’s really just about continuing to develop, and now our eyes are set on next year. We have four games left, and it would be easy to give up, but our coaches keep practices fun and competitive. Next year we will hopefully get more wins, so that’s what keeps me going. I’m already looking forward to next year and getting off to a better start.”

Q: Do you have a pre-game ritual or superstition?

A: “The twins (Katie and Samantha Swanstrom ’18) and I always go to McDonald’s and get an iced coffee after team meal before every game. That’s crucial — if I don’t get an iced coffee, then it’s all in my head that I’m going to play bad. My dad comes to all the away games, so he always takes us to Dunkin’ Donuts on the road, or sometimes our coach will take us just so we can get it.”

Q: Do you have a favorite road rink to play at?

A: “I like to play at Dartmouth or Quinnipiac. Dartmouth isn’t really my favorite anymore after Saturday.”

Q: What are your goals for the final two weeks of the season?

A: “Definitely this weekend, (our goal) is to win for our seniors because it’s senior weekend, and they deserve it. We’re going to do everything we can to get two more wins. Against Clarkson and St. Lawrence, it’s just about putting up a better fight — just to continue to compete and not give up, even though we aren’t in the playoffs. We want to prove to our coaches that we can finish strong.”

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.


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