Women’s Hockey Splits Games in Thrilling Weekend

 

 

Chas Kurtz

Halloween weekend provided plenty of thrills on the ice for the women’s hockey team. Coming off of a series split against Wayne State, the Raiders looked to finish their non-conference schedule strong before commencing the grueling ECAC season. Standing in their way were the women from Mercyhurst, a perennial women’s hockey power.

Halloween night got off to a spooky start for Colgate as the Lakers dominated the first period, outshooting the Raiders, 10-2 and claiming an early 1-0 advantage with a goal with 3:43 remaining before the first intermission.

Colgate responded furiously in the second period. Senior Captain and forward Elin Brown scored less than five minutes into the period to knot the game at one. Senior Captain and defender Kiira Dosdall and sophomore forward Hannah Milan recorded the assists on the goal.

With less than three minutes remaining before the second intermission, the Raiders suddenly experienced an offensive explosion. Senior Captain and forward Sam Hunt fired a one-timer into the back of the net for her team-leading seventh goal of the season to give Colgate a lead they would never relinquish.

Just over two minutes later, Milan recorded her third point of the period with a one-timer that ringed off the post and into the net to increase the lead to 3-1 heading into the final period. Junior Ali Edell was credited with the assist.

The key to the second period, and the game, for Colgate was its terrific special teams play.

“We had to kill five penalties in the first period and only gave up one goal,” Kiira Dosdall said. “With that, we were able to rebound from the deficit and really put them on their heels in the second and third periods.”

Brown and Hunt’s goals were both scored with the man advantage as Colgate converted on two of three power plays in the period.

The Raiders quickly added to their lead in the third period when Brown found the back of the net for the second time to increase their advantage to 4-1. Dosdall recorded her third assist of the game; junior forward Katie Stewart also assisted on the tally.

With a 4-1 lead and less than 15 minutes remaining, Colgate appeared to be gliding towards a huge victory. Things got a little dicey late, however, as Mercyhurst scored twice in the final five minutes to cut the deficit to one, but that would be as close as they would get. The 4-3 victory was Colgate’s first against the Lakers since 2005.

First-year goaltender Kimberly Sass was incredible between the pipes for the Raiders, making a career-high 34 saves, including 20 in the third period alone.

On Saturday, Colgate continued its trend of staking its opponent to an early lead when Mercyhurst opened the scoring with 4:26 remaining in the first period. The Raiders also continued their trend of responding to an early deficit when Kiira Dosdall scored just two minutes later to knot the game at one heading into the first intermission. Sam Hunt and Katie Stewart recorded the assists.

The Raiders took the lead early in the second period when Katie Stewart poked a rebound past Laker goaltender Hillary Pattenden for a power-play goal. Dosdall, accumulating points at a staggering rate during this series, added an assist, as did Hannah Milan.

Mercyhurst’s Kelley Steadman scored 33 seconds later to tie the game at two, and she scored her second of the game with 28 seconds remaining in the period to give the Lakers the 3-2 lead.

Junior forward Marissa Dombovy brought the score back to even early in the third period with a power-play goal with assists from sophomore forward Jessi Waters and junior forward Evan Minnick.

Dombovy’s goal would prove to be the final tally in regulation. The overtime period was dominated by Mercyhurst, as they out shot the Raiders, 6-1. Despite that, the game looked destined to end in a tie as the final seconds dwindled away. With just six seconds remaining, however, the Lakers’ Geena Prough beat sophomore goaltender Lisa Plenderleith to give Mercyhurst the 4-3 victory.

Plenderleith was phenomenal in the loss. She faced 50 shots and stopped 46 of them. Ultimately, however, she needed to stop at least 47.

With the loss, the Raiders conclude their non-conference schedule with a respectable 5-4 record. Now their attention must turn to the ECAC. Quinnipiac and Princeton pay visits to Hamilton this weekend.

“Overall we did a lot of good things in non-conference play,” Marissa Dombovy said. “However, we have learned from our mistakes and we will use them to prepare for our league games. The whole team wants to win the ECAC Tournament this year.”

What will it take to make that dream a reality?

“We just need to come out flying and ready to work hard to beat both teams this weekend from the drop of the puck till the end,” Dosdall added.

The first ECAC test comes tonight at 7 p.m. when Colgate hosts Quinnipiac at Starr Rink. The Princeton game is Saturday at 4 p.m.