posted on: Thursday January 30, 2020
By Eileen Flynn ’20
Born and raised in Freising, Germany, Sandra Abstreiter ’21RS is starting to get comfortable in her new home between the pipes for the Providence College Women’s Hockey Team. As a redshirt sophomore, Abstreiter was recently recognized as the Hockey East Defensive Player of the Week for the first time in her career. You might be curious as to what it takes to reach this milestone, and in this case, it was not an easy feat. Abstreiter spent a weekend getting peppered in net against a top Hockey East team, the University of New Hampshire. She made a total of 64 saves and allowed just two goals during 120 minutes of play, helping her team sweep the series.
Abstreiter reflected on her accomplishment, “Obviously, it is a great honor to get this recognition and all the congratulations from friends.” She was quick to refocus on what is really important: the next game. “The more important part to me is to win games. I would say it is an indirect goal of mine to get selected for this because it means I was doing my best to help my team win which is always the main goal as a goalie.”
The two teams joined each other on the ice in Durham, NH on Friday, Jan. 17. PC was hungry to avenge the 2-6 loss UNH handed them earlier in the season in their first Hockey East match up.
Ciara Barone, ’22, tallied her second goal of the season for the Friars and netted the first goal of the night. Assists came from Annelise Rice ’21 and Kathleen McHugh ’20. UNH snuck in a goal just before the end of the first period, sending both teams into their locker rooms with one goal under their belt. A power play opportunity in the second period helped the Friars gain the momentum they were looking for all game. Lauren DeBlois ’23 hit line mate Sara Hjalmarsson ’22 in stride as she skated up the ice, finishing with a wrist shot that leapt up over the UNH’s goaltender. Hayley Lunny’s ’21 empty net goal sealed the victory for the Friars, as Abstrieter stood strong in the Friars’ defensive zone snd skated away with a career-high 32 saves.
“The whole team was very excited to show how much we have improved together and to show UNH what we are capable of doing. It was a great chance to get revenge for the last game but also to jump them in the Hockey East standings because they were one point ahead of us before the weekend.” With this win, PC moves up to fifth place in the Hockey East standings.
It is tough to face the same team back-to-back, especially after such a close game. The Lady Friars, however, were ready to prove their toughness and stepped back onto the ice on Jan. 18 with the same attitude as the day before.
The first period remained scoreless, despite the Wildcats’ two-minute power play advantage. Providence trailed in shots 14-7 but Abstreiter kept the score even. Hjalmarsson scored her 13th goal of the season in the second period which put the Friars ahead. The tying goal came in the first couple of minutes in the third period, after the Wildcats continued to outshoot Providence. Caroline Peterson ’22 decided this game was not going to end in a draw, and with just two minutes remaining she helped the puck find the back of the net with a redirection. Abstreiter stopped another 32 shots and improved her record to 5-4-0 after an outstanding weekend performance.
“I think our team keeps improving and keeps getting better every day and every game. It is always challenging to get back into it after break but I think we set ourselves accomplishable goals for every game.”
Abstreiter is excited about playoffs, but her only focus right now is the next team up on the schedule. “I think, as I said, we cannot take anyone for granted and if we keep playing our game and stick together we don’t have to be scared of anyone.”