Women’s hockey team battles each other in annual clash during finals week
COLUMBUS, Ohio It’s a stressful week preparing for and taking finals and the Ohio State women’s hockey team has an annual tradition to take a break from the books. While the team is off this weekend from regular competition, the Buckeyes laced up their skates for the Challenge Cup an inter-team battle for glory … and chocolate.

During the challenge cup, the Buckeyes split into two teams with uniting “attire” and play for a Stanley Cup-style trophy filled with chocolate candies. This year, it was Team No Class against Team Trashy Bags in a fight to the end with a dramatic finish.

The Challenge Cup involves five rounds of play worth various point values. If the teams are tied at the end, it goes into a shootout to decide the winner. The Buckeye goaltenders Liana Bonanno, Deidre Facklis and Barbara Bilko dressed as skaters while freshman forward Laura McIntosh and senior defenseman Megan Hostasek put on the goalie pads to patrol the net. Senior forward Morgan Marziali coached Team No Class while freshman defenseman Kelly Wild led Team Trashy Bags.

Round one was “soccer-hockey,” in which the team play 3-on-3 soccer with their hands in one offensive zone with players rotating into the game. After 10 minutes of play, Team No Class won by score of 4-2.

Next was a game of “chance” with one skater from each team facing off against each other in an offensive zone and goalies in net. After a skater takes a shot, whether on goal or not, a new skater from the team rotates in and the first team to 10 goals wins. Team No Class won the second event as well with a 10-4 margin.

The third round used the full ice with the teams split up with one in each offensive zone. “Seven puck game” is as simple as its name the teams get seven pucks and the first one to put all seven in net wins. Team No Class continued its hot streak with another win, but Team Trashy Bags put up a good fight losing by just a goal.

Round four was an expanded version of round two, a 3-on-3 game of “chance” with Team No Class bringing home yet another win. The Challenge Cup looked to be securely in the hands of Team No Class with a 16-0 point lead. To make the last round a little more interesting, Team No Class decided to up its point value to 16, sending the game into a shootout with a Team Trashy Bags win.

The Challenge Cup closed out with a game of “baseball.” The game uses the whole ice with three cones set up in the neutral zone as bases and a net as “home plate” against the end boards. One team is spaced out around the ice as the fielding team with the opposing team lined up along the boards as batters and its goalie in net.

The hitting team shoots the puck and has to make it around the bases and across the goal line before the fielding team retrieves the puck and scores a goal. Team Trashy Bags dominated the event, winning 16-4 and forcing a three-round shootout to decide the Challenge Cup.

There Team Trashy Bags completed its rally for the Cup. In the first round of the shootout, sophomore defenseman Sandy Nelson scored while Hostasek saved the shot by freshman forward Melissa Feste of Team No Class. Junior forward Michele Tonnessen then scored to put Team Trashy Bags up by two. Hostasek came up with a big save on a shot by junior defenseman Rachel Davis to clinch the come-from-behind win and take the 2008 Challenge Cup. There was a brief skirmish following the contest, but Team Trashy Bags managed to hold on to all of its chocolate.

After the game, Tonnessen reflected on her shootout goal: “We came back from a deep deficit and it was my time to step up. When I was going down the ice, I was thinking, This is it. This could end it.’ So I went with my safest tool and most reliable skill. I was getting ready to shoot the puck and knew she would expect high glove, so I looked to the low blocker. I timed it right and sniped it. I then celebrated down on one knee with an arm pump. The teams’ arms welcomed me back into the bench and we sank our teeth into the win … literally.”