Raiders Start New Year With A Bang

Chas Kurtz

After a slow start to the season, the Colgate women’s ice hockey team ended 2006 in style with impressive victories in their final three ECACHL games, including a 3-2 win over fifth-ranked St. Lawrence. The Raiders continued their great play following the mid-season winter break, accumulating a 4-1-1 record in the month of January.

“The month off with no games gave us the opportunity to get back into peak condition andmove forwardwith our newly found confidence,” sophomore Kate Wolgemuth said.

Colgate began 2007 with a trip to Detroit where they split a pair of non-league games against a tough Wayne State squad. The following week, Colgate returned to upstate New York for a huge series, this time a home-and-home against rival Cornell. The first game was in Ithaca, where sophomore goaltender Elayna Hamashuk recorded 20 saves, supporting a 6-0 victory over the Big Red. Senior defender Tara French helped the Raiders on the offensive end with two goals and an assist.

The two squads took the ice again the following night, this time at the friendly confines of Starr Rink. Driven by their previous night’s performance, Cornell played much tougher, but once again it was not enough. With the game knotted at one midway through the third period, first-year Evan Minnick’s first career goal proved to be the game-winner, as Colgate skated to a 2-1 victory to complete the sweep of the Big Red.

Fresh off of the biggest weekend of the season thus far, the Raiders traveled to New England for games against Brown and Yale. Both contests proved to be tough, as Colgate escaped with a win and a tie.

First-year Katie Stewart’s two goals led the way for the Raiders against Brown, as the 4-3 victory marked the first time Colgate had ever won at Brown, as well as the first season sweep of the Bears.

The contest at Yale proved to be just as tough. In goal, Hamashuk’s 31 saves, including many spectacular ones, allowed the Raiders to escape from New Haven with a hard-fought 2-2 tie.

“Overall, since the break, we have had good team efforts in most of our games,” senior Carly McNaughton said. “A lot of different people have stepped up when we needed them to and it has translated into some good wins.”

Catch Colgate in action again this weekend with a pair of home games against RPI and Union. Game times are 7:05 p.m. on Friday and 4:00 p.m. on Saturday.