Women’s Hockey Scores in 25th Hour

After a rocky start to the season, women’s hockey returned to Starr Rink last week for a two-game homestand against Brown and Yale with a chance to right the ship. After defeating the Bears, 4-1 and sneaking by the Bulldogs, 3-2, Head Coach Scott Wiley and the Raiders seized their opportunity and did just that.

Colgate opened their ECACHL ledger with a home game against Brown. Junior forward and co-captain Elin Brown opened the scoring with a five-on-three power play goal midway through the first period. Sixteen seconds later, senior forward Kara Lenne netted one home on a five-on-four power play to put Colgate up by two scores. The Raiders entered the first intermission to a two-goal lead and a 12-3 shot advantage. In fact, Colgate was so dominant in the first period that first-year goalie Lisa Plenderleith did not have to make any saves.

In the second period, Brown’s Frances Male scored 6:52 into the game to cut the deficit in half. The rest of the period was nondescript, and Colgate held onto a one-goal deficit heading into the second intermission.

The third period followed a similar pattern to the first frame, as Colgate scored two quick goals in succession to seal the game. First-year forward Hannah Milan scored on a five-on-four power play at 5:10, while junior defender Laura Jensen scored an even strength goal at 6:54. Neither team scored for the rest of the game allowing Colgate to win its ECACHL opener in convincing fashion. Plenderleith amassed 19 saves while Brown was the first star of the day, tallying a goal and an assist to lead the team in points.

The Raiders came into Saturday’s game against Yale feeling confident after the previous night’s win. However, the battle against Yale would not prove to be an easy one. Junior forward Kiira Dosdall opened the game with a five-on-four power play goal at 8:24. The defense took care of the rest in the first period, preventing Yale from getting a single shot on goal. At 13:22, Bray Ketchum netted an even strength goal to tie the game. The Raiders and Bulldogs entered the second intermission tied at one. A mere 1:03 into the third period, Bulldog Berit Johnson scored an unassisted short-handed goal, shocking the fans and giving Yale a one-goal lead. Colgate went on the power play twice during the remained of the period, but the Raiders could not convert. The situation looked bleak in the waning moments, but Wiley called a timeout and pulled Plenderleith from the net. With just seconds on the clock, Brown took a shot that hit Yale goalie Jackee Snikeris in the chest protector. The puck bounced in front of the crease, where Dosdall hustled and scored a heart-stopping goal with just three ticks on the clock. The unbelievable tally sent the Bulldogs and Raiders into overtime.

With only thirty-nine seconds remaining in the overtime period, Colgate was down a skater after an elbowing infraction, and it seemed as if this would be the second home tie of the season. Then, senior Kate Wolgemuth dumped the puck to the blue line, where junior forward Sam Hunt was waiting. She took the puck down the ice, shot and scored, pushing Colgate past Yale in a 3-2 victory.

Although this had been the first goal of the weekend for Hunt, she was no stranger to the box score last weekend. Posting four points, Hunt had three assists in addition to her overtime goal. For her efforts, Hunt was named ECAC Player of the Week. After the game, Coach Wiley and his players knew that they had seen an exceptional effort from their junior forward.

“The highlight of the weekend was definitely Sam’s overtime goal,” Milan said. “She got a good bounce off of the Yale player’s stick and put the puck top shelf for a highlight reel goal.”

Although Coach Wiley had words of praise for his ECAC Player of the Week, he was quick to point out that the Raiders are a team.

“Sam is incredibly talented and hard working,” Wiley said. “But the key is that she is surrounded with good players. Sam is a great player, but we have a lot of great players here.”

It was important for the Raiders to have a successful weekend after a rocky start, and Coach Wiley was impressed with the progress this weekend. None of the Raiders have been making excuses, but even after playing three of the top ten teams ranked in both the USA Today and USCHO.com polls, their schedule has not let up. Coach Wiley said that he expected a better outcome in the first six games, but he was impressed with the confidence and morale of his team coming into this weekend.

“The kids never seemed to be down or out. Mentally we are in a good place and ready for the next challenge.”

The next challenges this season include road games this week against Quinnipiac and Princeton. Colgate will play the Bobcats on Friday before driving south to Jersey to face the Tigers on Saturday. Both teams are well-coached ECAC rivals and Colgate will need to play in the same fashion they did last week in order to beat these teams on the road.

“We have to perform at the highest level all the time,” Wiley said. The coach also believes that the Raiders will need “consistent performances in practices and games.” The competition within the ECAC this year is fierce, and every game the Raiders play is crucial in eventually achieving their goals for the season.

For the women’s hockey team, those goals are clear and certainly attainable. None of the Raiders are confused about what they want this season.

“Our goals are to have home ice for the playoffs and make it to the Final Four,” Wiley said. “So every ECAC game is incredibly important; any win we can get is a good one.”