Women’s Hockey Splits Last Two Regular Season Games

The women’s hockey team has concluded a record-setting regular season. After recording their 18th victory of the season with a 2-1 victory over Union, the Raiders failed to extend their record against RPI. That loss, however, was meaningless, as Colgate had already secured the fifth seed in the ECAC.

The Raiders traveled to Schenectady to take on a dismal Union squad. The Dutchwomen entered the game with a 0-19-1 ECAC record, a full 24 points behind Colgate in the league standings. Despite their record, the Dutchwomen put up a fight and made the game much more interesting than expected.

In fact, Union actually had a lead late in the second period. The Dutchwomen scored the game’s first goal on an impressive power play 12:49 into the second to take the advantage.

Colgate knotted the game at one five minutes later when junior forward Marissa Dombovy had a power-play goal. Classmates Evan Minnick and Beth Rotenberg added the assists.

The junior threesome took advantage of another power-play opportunity midway through the final period for what would prove to be the game-winning goal. This time it was Rotenberg providing the goal with Dombovy and Minnick supplying the assists.

First-year goaltender Kimberly Sass was stellar as usual. She stopped 21 of the 22 shots she faced, while the Raiders scored on two of their 45 shots.

“Union was giving us a really hard time, but we found a way to win,” Minnick said after her two assist performance. “We had a lot of shots and we were relentless and fortunately, it paid off.”

“Union came out flying and we really had to adjust mentally to their intensity,” senior defenseman Kiira Dosdall added. “It took about a period, but we were able to buckle down and focus enough to beat them, which is all that really matters.”

Heading into the final weekend, the Raiders knew that everything had to unfold perfectly across the league for them to vault to fourth in the league standings. As the Raiders skated to victory against Union on Friday night, however, Princeton took care of business against Brown and Dartmouth tied Clarkson, dashing Colgate’s opportunity to host a postseason series in the process.

Playing for nothing, the RPI game was essentially an extended practice against good competition for Colgate.

“We tried a lot of new systems and special team units and played in a completely different way, so I think we used that game as more of a fun, experimental game,” Dosdall said.

RPI, in need of a victory to clinch the sixth seed, jumped out to an early lead just 1:06 into the game and never looked back. Another Engineer goal early in the second period made it 2-0.

Beth Rotenberg provided Colgate’s lone highlight when she scored her second goal of the weekend to cut the Raider deficit to one. Senior defenseman Clancy Todd and junior defenseman Ali Edell assisted the only Colgate goal.

RPI added two more goals to clinch the 4-1 victory and the ECAC sixth seed.

With the regular season in the books, the Raiders must turn their attention to a highly-skilled Dartmouth team. The squad travels to New Hampshire this weekend for a best-of-three quarterfinals series.

The Big Green handed the Raiders a 7-2 loss in Hanover earlier in the season, but Colgate earned a 2-1 win against them on February 13th when they were ranked eighth in the nation.

“We need to pay attention to all the little things this weekend and just play our hearts out,” Dosdall said. “Dartmouth is a very skilled, fast team, but we know we can beat them. I am anticipating three very exciting games this weekend.”

Colgate certainly has momentum heading into the playoffs after a record-setting regular season. Excluding the meaningless RPI game, the Raiders have lost just two of their previous 14 ECAC games.

“We had a great regular season so we just want to take that momentum and bring it into the postseason,” Minnick said. “Out of any year I have been here, this is definitely our year. We can win the ECAC and go to the NCAA’s; that’s our goal.”

Colgate has lost to Dartmouth two years in a row in the ECAC playoffs. Will this be the year the Raiders get their revenge? We’ll find out starting at 3:30 p.m. on Friday with game one. Game two is 2 p.m. on Saturday, and, if necessary, game three is 2 p.m. on Sunday. All of the games are in Hanover, New Hampshire.