Women’s Hockey Falls Short in ECAC Quarters

The women’s hockey squad took host Dartmouth to the brink in the ECAC quarterfinals, but ultimately came up short. The Raiders took a 1-0 advantage in the best-of-three series with a thrilling 7-6 overtime victory in game one, but couldn’t close out the series in game two, falling 2-1. The Big Green took a 3-0 first period lead in the rubber match and won 7-3 to clinch the exciting, goal-filled series.

In game one, the Raiders scored four of the six first period goals to take a two-goal advantage into the first intermission. Junior forward Beth Rotenberg opened the scoring just 1:28 into the game when she picked off a Dartmouth pass and slipped the puck through goaltender Carli Clemis’ five-hole on the breakaway.

After the Big Green knotted the game at one, senior defenseman Laura Jansen picked an opportune time to score her first goal of the season. She scored at 6:42, exactly one minute after Dartmouth’s goal, when she gathered a rebound from junior forward Katie Stewart’s shot and found the back of the net.

Senior forward Sam Hunt picked up the second assist on Jansen’s goal, then lit the lamp herself just a minute and a half later to give the Raiders a two goal lead. Sophomore forward Jacquie Colborne was credited with the assist on the third Colgate goal in the first 8:16 of the game.

Two minutes later, Dartmouth scored the first power-play goal of the game, cutting the deficit back to one. First-year goaltender Kimberly Sass stopped the initial shot, but was unable to corral the rebound, allowing Amanda Trunzo to score.

The first-period scoring came to a close when senior defenseman Kiira Dosdall notched a power-play goal with assists from Hunt and Stewart.

A pair of power-play goals in the second period by the Big Green knotted the game at four. Undaunted, the Raiders recaptured the lead in the final two minutes of the period. Junior forward Evan Minnick was unable to put the puck past Clemis, but the rebound wound up on senior forward Elin Brown’s stick. Brown fired the puck past the Dartmouth goaltender to give the Raiders a 5-4 advantage heading into the final period. Katie Stewart picked up her third assist of the game on the goal.

Dartmouth tied the game at five just 95 seconds into the third period, setting the stage for the Jessi Waters show. Waters, a sophomore forward, put the Raiders back on top when she scored her third goal of the season with less than eight minutes remaining on the clock.

With the Raiders poised to escape game one with a victory, disaster struck. Only 13 seconds separated Colgate from victory when Dartmouth’s Trunzo scored her second of the game, 19th of the season, with the Big Green net vacant on the other end of the ice.

After such a devastating goal, it would have been easy for the Raiders to crumble. They had not trailed the entire game and should have been celebrating a victory instead of preparing for a fourth period of play. Jessi Waters, however, ended Dartmouth’s attempt to steal the game just 2:44 into overtime. In stride, she received a pass from senior defenseman Clancy Todd and beat Clemis for the skate-off goal.

“Offense was definitely the key to Friday’s game,” Dosdall said. “We were able to give up six goals and still win, which is pretty incredible. We also never let up. They tied the game several times but we always had confidence that we would win.”

With the momentum on their side, the Raiders took the ice Saturday in search of the series-clincher. It was a final victory, however, that would prove to be elusive.

A Big Green goal just 16 seconds after the puck was dropped proved to be a big difference. Sarah Parsons fired a wrist shot that deflected off Sass and into the net for the quick goal.

The Raiders evened the score eight minutes later. Clemis was unable to control Todd’s shot, enabling Hunt to score on a rebound.

After a scoreless second period, Parsons scored her second of the game at 6:27 of the third when the puck deflected off a skate and into the back of the net for the game-winner.

“I was pleased with the team’s performance. We never gave up and played hard,” Hunt said. “Our focus was toclean up our defensive zone after letting them score six goals the night before, which we were able to do.”

“Saturday’s loss really just brought us back to the even playing field with Dartmouth,” Dosdall added, “but I think it did take away some of our momentum.”

The do-or-die game three lacked the drama of the first two. Dartmouth scored three unanswered first-period goals, and after a scoreless second period, they added four more to take a 7-3 victory and 2-1 series win.

Rotenberg, sophomore forward Hannah Milan and senior Elin Brown all scored third-period goals for the Raiders, but they were not able to cut the deficit to less than three.

“The third period was pretty crazy,” Hunt said. “We knew that once we scored one goal that they would start coming. I guess we just started too late into the game for it to matter.”

It was a great season for Colgate, as the team won the most regular season games in team history. All good things, however, must come to an end.

“This game was seriously heartbreaking because our team could have gone all the way,” junior Evan Minnick said. “I think we are all in shock that it is actually over. We were the best team since I had been here. We never thought we wouldn’t make it to at least the final four of ECAC. It is even more motivation for next year to not let this happen again.”