It was the same old story for the women’s hockey team for the fourth weekend in a row, as the squad split its pair of games. The Raiders looked impressive against Yale in a 4-2 victory Friday night, but couldn’t manage the weekend ECAC sweep as Brown escaped Starr Rink with an exciting 4-3 victory.
Just as consistent as 1-1 weekends for Colgate is the solid play of first-year goaltender Kimberly Sass. Shestarted the fifth game of her collegiate career against Yale and skated off the ice with the victory in as many games.
While Sass anchored the defensive end with 33 saves, junior Katie forward Stewart provided the offensive force with a pair of goals, her fifth and sixth tallies of the season.
Yale took the early advantage with a goal just six minutes into the first period, but the resilient Raiders responded quickly. Junior forward Evan Minnick knotted the score at one on a power-play goal midway through the period. Fellow junior forward Marissa Dombovy and sophomore forward Jessi Waters picked up the assists.
Colgate claimed the lead just 26 seconds into the second period on Stewart’s first goal of the game, but the lead was relinquished just 22 seconds later when Yale scored on the power play. Dombovy added her second point of the game, this time via a goal, at 11:56 of the period to give the Raiders the lead once again. Jessi Waters and junior forward Beth Rotenberg assisted on the goal that would prove to be the game-winner.
Stewart added a little insurance when she scored her second of the game with just 6:20 remaining. That was more than Sass would need, as she held the Bulldogs scoreless for the final 39 minutes en route to the important ECAC victory.
“We won more 50-50 battles than they did,” Dombovy said after her two-point performance. “The team as a whole came together for the win.”
After Friday night’s game, however, there was little time for celebration. The Raiders took the ice at Starr Rink again on Saturday for a matinee affair with Brown.
Neither team wasted any time lighting the lamp. Senior forward Elin Brown put the Raiders on top just three minutes into the game on a goal assisted by Katie Stewart and fellow Calgary native Sam Hunt. The Bears answered quickly with a goal 2:34 later, but the Raiders reclaimed the lead only a minute later. Minnick beat Brown goaltender Nicole Stock to give Colgate the very early 2-1 lead. The Raiders have preached the importance of special teams in the recent weeks and did not disappoint in the first period. Both Brown (Elin, not University) and Minnick capitalized with the man-advantage, as the Raiders went 2-8 on the power play.
Not to be outdone, the Bears beat Sass for the second time in the period. This goal was also on the power play to knot the game at two in a goal-filled opening twenty minutes.
Things settled down a bit in the second period, as both teams only managed a goal apiece. Sophomore forward Jacquie Colborne gave the Raiders the 3-2 advantage, but for the third time in the game the Bears responded to a deficit.
Erin Connors scored Brown’s second power-play goal of the game late in the period to knot the game at three heading into intermission.
Unfortunately, the potent Raiders offense suddenly disappeared in the third period. The final goal of the game was scored by Nicole Brown with nine minutes remaining, as the Bears were able to withstand a late Colgate charge to claim the victory.
“We just did not get the bounces,” a disappointed Dombovy said following the loss. “There is always room for improvement. We are working on everything and getting ready for the next teams.”
Those next teams are No. 9 Harvard and No. 6 Dartmouth, the perennial powers of the ECAC. Both teams suffered losses last weekend and dropped in the national rankings, but both are still feared.
Colgate skates into Cambridge at 7 p.m. on Friday and in Hanover, N.H. at 4 p.m. Saturday.