While the Aurora Games were happening in Albany, the Cool Insuring Arena in Glens Falls hosted a multi-day women’s hockey festival. The event included practices for Team Americas and Team World, an energy-filled youth clinic, and an exhibition game won by Team Americas.
You couldn’t help but enjoy the excitement from the young players both during the clinic and overheard when leaving the arena and the player shenanigans.
On Friday, game day arrived and the time had come for professional-level hockey to return to the Times Union Center. Everyone from arena staff to local fans were excited about the game. And why wouldn’t they be it’s not often you see Olympic caliber hockey players from all over the world in your own backyard playing both a hard fought and yet friendly game…unless you were at the Times Union Center in Albany, NY on Friday night.
Team World’s Annina Rajahuhta scored just 2:15 into the first period. After the being held scoreless in the previous night’s 1-0 exhibition game in Glens Falls the celebration was loud and the smiles were wide. The lead would not be a long one.
Just over 8 minutes later Hannah Brandt, the lone goal scorer in Glens Falls, would tie it up. Fast playing and solid goaltending kept the game tied until 5 minutes into the third when a shot from Kali Flanagan found the back of the net giving Team Americas the lead.
They would keep that lead throughout the third period adding one more for good measure at 17:08 with a 3rd tally from Taylor Marchin causing the Americas bench and coach to explode with celebration. The final was 3-1 Americas. While not the result Team World had hoped for it did not seem to dampen the mood of the players or the crowd of 2,851 who came out to watch them.