The women’s hockey team’s win streak has reached six after a pair of shutout victories against ECAC foes Brown and Yale to thrust the squad into third place in the ECAC with an 8-4-2 league record.
Brown does not boast a formidable women’s hockey team. The Bears had just two wins in eleven ECAC games entering their game against Colgate, but one of those wins came against the Raiders way back on November 15. It may sound cliché, but just as today’s Arizona Cardinals are a very different team than the Cardinals of November and December, today’s Colgate women’s hockey team is much different than it was on November 15. In both cases, the team of late has the same players, but its cohesiveness and confidence is far superior. On the field and on the ice, that translates into wins: the Cards are in the Super Bowl and the Raiders are riding a six-game win streak.
Junior forward Beth Rotenberg commenced the Raider scoring against Brown when she knocked a rebound into the back of the net with 6:21 remaining in the opening period. Senior forward Sam Hunt and sophomore forward Jessi Waters recorded the assists.
The Colgate lead was doubled just two minutes later when Hunt picked off a Bear pass and found junior forward Katie Stewart streaking down the ice. Stewart did the rest as she scored on the shorthanded breakaway to make the score 2-0 after one period of play. Hunt’s second assist of the game was the 61st of her career, breaking the all-time Colgate career assist record that had been held by Tara French.
Colgate’s offensive pressure intensified in the second period. Taking advantage of a power-play, senior defenseman Clancy Todd deflected a shot past Bear goaltender Nicole Stock midway through the period to increase the lead to three. Junior forward Evan Minnick and sophomore forward Jacquie Colborne provided the assists for Todd’s goal.
The Raiders struck again just three minutes later when senior forward Elin Brown found the back of the net. Stewart and first-year defenseman Amanda Kirwan were credited with the assists. Heading into the final period, the Raiders had a comfortable 4-0 advantage. They thoroughly dominated every phase of the game during the period, out-shooting Brown 20-3.
The game’s outcome was beyond doubt as the two teams took the ice for the final period. Evan Minnick added the fifth and final goal for the Raiders as they cruised to a 5-0 win.
Sophomore goaltender Lisa Plenderleith was stellar in goal for the Raiders. She stopped all 18 shots she faced en route to her first shutout of the season. The Raider offense was equally impressive, recording a staggering 50 shots in the victory.
“We came out hard and never let up,” Kiira Dosdall said. “We outshot Brown 50-18 which always helps and were able to play 60 minutes.”
A fifth straight victory was nice, but to complete a successful weekend the Raiders needed a victory at Yale to make it six in a row. The Raiders had Yale’s number earlier this season and had no problems making it a season sweep against the Bulldogs. Brown scored her second goal in as many days just four minutes into the game to give the Raiders a lead they would never relinquish. Brown scored by deflecting Stewart’s shot into the back of the net. Hunt, who found an open Stewart, received the other assist.
The Raiders struck again 13:38 into the second period. Hunt continued her brilliance with an unassisted breakaway goal, her 12th goal of the season. It was Colgate’s second shorthanded goal in as many games.
Hunt added her third point of the game in the final period when she found Stewart with a nice feed. Stewart completed the play for her 11th goal of the season. Brown was credited with the second assist for her third point of the weekend.
First-year Kimberly Sass was unbeatable in goal for Colgate, stopping all 28 shots she faced, including 16 in the final period. For her efforts, Sass received the ECAC Goaltender of the Week award for the first time. She has received Rookie of the Week three times this season. Not to be outdone in the hardware department, Sam Hunt was named ECAC Player of the Week for the third time this season after finishing the weekend with five points.
“We focused on getting a good start to both games,” Plenderleith said. “We had to come out hard because we knew that both Brown and Yale would battle right to the end. We played excellent team defense, our penalty kill was great all weekend and our offense was clicking at all the right times.”
“The keys to the victories this weekend were our discipline within our systems and a lot of great offense,” Hunt added. “Everyone on our team played well this weekend and it was a balanced team effort.”
The Raiders look to extend their streak this weekend with a pair of important home games beginning with Clarkson on Friday evening and No. 4 St. Lawrence on Saturday at 4 p.m.
“We need to be ready and willing to battle and do whatever it takes to win,” Dosdall said. “We really need to execute on special teams, finish opportunities and play tough, smart defense for 60 minutes.”