The Oyster River-Portsmouth girls hockey team held their alumni game on Wednesday, December 29, with many new and old players coming out to show their support for the program.
The Oyster River-Portsmouth girls hockey alumni game is an event in which the graduated hockey players play a fun and light-hearted game against the current players. With the two teams consisting of alumni versus current players, the current ORP team took the lead in the third period and claimed a 4-3 win. “It felt so good to be back on the ice again,” says alumni Ally Marshall (‘19), “I missed my teammates and playing. We had so much fun and laughed a lot.”
The game started with the two teams, the current players vs the alumni. Marshall noted that the teams were pretty even, with some of the current players playing alongside the alumni. The first goal was scored by Laura Dreher (‘21) on the alumni team. At the end of the first period the score was 2-2, with the current team tying it in the last minute with a goal from Kelly Zhang (‘23).
The end score was 4-3, with the current Oyster River-Portsmouth team taking the lead early in the third period. “I was happily surprised we won because all of the alumni that came back were super good so I was prepared to lose by a ton. Luckily we didn’t and we came through with the win,” says Annika Kell (‘22), left defenseman and assistant captain.
Before the game, Jenna Young (‘22), left defenseman and captain said, “I think there will be some fun moments. I don’t think all of them have been playing since they graduated, so I think it will be pretty funny to see what’s going on and how they have progressed, or how we have and see how we match up against them.”
Jamie Long, the coach of the Oyster River-Portsmouth team expresses his excitement at having the girls he has coached back together on the ice. “The game of hockey is addictive. We have players that didn’t start playing until they got to high school and to see them come back shows that they must have had a good experience and that they love the game of ice hockey,” he said.
Since the game had not been held in a while, the current girls were excited to get back on the ice with the alumni players and friends that they hadn’t seen in a while. Before the game, Young said that, “I haven’t seen a lot of these girls in a few years so it will be really nice to… be able to play with them again and see where everybody is at,”
Kell expands saying, “this night meant a lot to me because I hadn’t seen any of the alumni in so long and I love them all so much, so I was super excited to be able to see them again and catch up. It honestly meant a lot to me that they would be willing to come back and play with us again.”
Whether or not this game will happen next year is not certain. “[The alumni game] has been going off and on for about 10 years, it’s something that hasn’t been set in stone. It’s kind of a random thing and this year someone decided to organize it, so we are having it,” says Long.