The month of January was not much of a success for the Colgate women’s hockey team. The team posted a 2-5-2 record, posting victories over Quinnipiac and St. Lawrence. However, in those nine games, the Raiders scored only 15 goals and gave up 25 in the same span. For their first weekend series in February, the Raiders traveled to Erie, PA, to take on the sixth-ranked Lakers of Mercyhurst.
The Lakers, coming off a 5-2 victory over Boston College the week before, came out strong to start the first period on Friday, out-shooting the Raiders, 11-2. The first session was penalty-ridden, with a combined seven penalties called.
The game was scoreless until 10:50 into the second period, when senior Allison Paiano put away a pass from classmate Becky Irvine. The goal was important for both Paiano and Irvine, as both Raiders tallied their 100th career point on the goal. The two players are the first two in Colgate history to reach the 100-point milestone completely at the Division-I level.
“Allison and Becky have been tremendous the past four years for us,” head coach Scott Wiley said. “Scoring 100 points in a career is a tremendous honor and these two deserve a lot of credit for their work. The way [the milestone] happened was in a way poetic justice.”
Following two Laker goals to open the third period, Colgate tied the game after a goal by sophomore Kara Leene at the 12:30 mark of the period. Junior Ashley Bradford found classmate Tara French at the blue line, and French’s shot was deflected in by Leene for the goal. The score remained tied for the remainder of regulation and the two teams headed into overtime.
Junior goaltender Brooke Wheeler, who finished with 35 saves, stopped both shots she faced in overtime to preserve the 2-2 tie for the Raiders. The Raiders were out-shot 37-15, but Wiley did not believe the game was quite so lopsided.
“We were able to limit the second and third opportunities by limiting rebounds,” Wiley said. “Many of the shots were from the outside. Often, you can’t judge everything by the shot statistics.”
At Saturday’s game, the Lakers again started strong, out-shooting the Raiders, 14-6, in the opening session. Despite being out-shot, the Raiders were able to take the lead off a Paiano goal at the 6:46 mark. The shorthanded tally was her such marker of the season. In the second period, First-year goaltender Elayna Hamashuk made the lead stand up through the first two periods, making 30 saves in the opening 40 minutes for the Raiders.
In the third period, Hamashuk stopped all but one shot, which occurred at the 12:59 mark of the final session. The game once again went to overtime and again neither managed a tally, ending the game in a 1-1 tie. Hamashuk finished with 43 saves on the night.
“She has worked hard since arriving here last fall,” Wiley said of the Nepean, Ontario, native. “On the technical side of the game, she has improved through work with our goalie coach. The hard work has definitely paid off for her.”
This weekend, the Raiders host St. Lawrence and Clarkson at Starr Rink. Wiley expects St. Lawrence to come out strong against the Raiders, looking to avenge a 3-0 loss on January 21.
“St. Lawrence will be gunning for us,” Wiley said. “We need to score first. Early and often.”