Quinnipiac Gets Iced

Fresh from receiving its first-ever vote in a national poll, the Colgate women’s hockey team came into last Friday’s game at Quinnipiac eager to keep the puck rolling. After splitting a series with then eighth-ranked Providence at Starr Rink in the opening weekend, Colgate took on the Quinnipiac Bobcats on Friday. The team, however, started off slow, ending the first period in a scoreless tie. “We did not get off to the best start,” head coach Scott Wiley said about the first period. “It is really important to start well when you are on the road. If you can do that, then you take the crowd out of the game and you take some of the wind out of the home team’s sails.” Senior Amanda Barre did just that when she put home her team-best third goal of the season at 1:26 of the second period off a pass from junior Becky Irvine. The goal was also the team’s first shorthanded goal in over two years. After successfully killing a 5-on-3 penalty, the Raiders found themselves on the power-play. The team cashed in on the opportunity as junior Allison Paiano gave Colgate a two-goal advantage with her first goal of the season at 13:10 of the second period. Linemates Barre and Irvine were credited with the assists. Irvine notched the third goal of the game at 5:08 of the third period, with Barre getting the assist. The line of Barre, Irvine and Paiano accounted for all three Raider goals in the game. The trio are also the top three point-getters on the squad this season. “That line has been a force to reckon with since the end of last year,” Wiley noted. “The great thing is that there is really no ‘go-to’ person on that line. They all can score and they all can play the setup role. They are hard to play against and when they are on, there are few lines better.” Another bright spot once again for the Raiders was senior goaltender Rebecca Lahar, who stopped 18 saves recording her 12th career shutout. Lahar has been nearly impenetrable this year, as she has a .909 save percentage and a 2.33 goals-against average. She has only given up one goal combined in the last two Raider victories, a clear sign that if Lahar is playing well, opponents better watch out. “When she is on her game and focused, she is really hard to beat,” Wiley said about his star netminder. “The team knows that she will be there when it needs her and that gives us a lot of confidence.” “It was a really important game for us to prove that our upset over Providence was not a fluke,” Lahar added. “Quinnipiac had also played well against nationally-ranked Mercyhurst the weekend before, so by beating them we showed some consistency.” One area included the Raiders were consistent was the power-play. Colgate was 1-9 on the power-play, but also held the Bobcats scoreless with the extra shater eight times. The shorthanded goal also impressed Wiley, who noted “special teams is an area that will be very important as we move through the season.” This weekend the Raiders are in Detroit battling the Wayne State Warriors in a two-game series. The Warriors are 2-2-2 on the season, with two victories over Boston College and two ties with Clarkson. “They are a big, strong, physical team that works very hard,” Wiley said. “We have yet to pull together two solid performances against them since I have been here. We recognize that to be successful against this team we have to outwork them, win all the battles, play smart and capitalize on our chances.” Lahar agreed, knowing that the team will need a complete effort against Wayne State. “We struggled finding out rhythm in the first period,” she said. “We were able to grit our teeth and get a win in a game that was not exactly gracefully played. I think in the future we have to play at our own level from the start.” Colgate looks to polish its game in the team’s final tune-ups before ECAC play begins on November 5 against Harvard. The Raiders and Warriors face off tonight at 7 p.m. and 2 p.m. tomorrow.