Women’s Ice Hockey Splits with ECAC Rival

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Cornell handed Colgate its third loss of the season at its home rink in Ithaca on Friday, December 1, but Colgate returned the favor with a victory over Cornell back home in Hamilton on Saturday night. 

Gabe Alter, Maroon-News Staff

The Colgate women’s hockey team split a home-and-home series with rival Cornell this weekend, bringing the team’s overall record on the season to an impressive 15-3. Their third loss of the season came on Friday, December 1, in Ithaca, NY as the Raiders visited Cornell for the first game of the series. The matchup was a clash between two of the top teams in the nation, as the  No. 3 nationally-ranked Raiders continued the early stage of the ECAC schedule with the No. 7 ranked Cornell Big Red. The Central New York rivals battled fiercely, with Cornell eventually gaining the upper hand with a 2-1 victory in the first game. 

Junior Olivia Zafuto tied the game midway through the first period, netting her second goal of the season off an assist from Kaila Pinkney. That would be the extent of the scoring for the Raiders, as Cornell’s Marlene Boissonnault was stellar in goal, particularly during the game’s hectic final three minutes during which Colgate’s Shelby Perry nearly scored an equalizing goal that would have pushed the game to overtime. 

The Raiders held an impressive 24-9 shot advantage through the game’s first two periods but were unable to find the back of the net. Julia Vandyke was impressive in goal for the Raiders, tallying 14 saves on 16 Cornell shots. Following the game, head coach Greg Fargo voiced his team’s eagerness for the following day’s matchup, which posed the perfet opportuniry to avenge Friday evening’s difficult loss.

Following their earlier loss, the Raiders rallied to snag a grueling 5-4 victory over the Big Red, tallying Colgate’s 15th win of the season overall. Senior Jesse Eldridge put in the game winning goal with less than five minutes to play in regulation, with the last of three unanswered goals for Colgate and capping off the squad’s furious comeback in Saturday afternoon’s bounce back in Hamilton. 

First-year Bailey Bennett netted two goals, including the crucial equalizing score. Shae Labbey and Bailey Larson also scored for the Raiders. Larson assisted on Eldridge’s game winner, a short-handed score that propelled the squad to victory. Once again the Raiders outshot Cornell, this time 30-26; Van Dyke was impressive in her ninth win of the season, totaling 22 saves on the day. Coach Fargo praised his group’s team effort after the game.

“The depth throughout our lineup has been one of our strengths. Not just offensively, we’re getting contributions on both sides of the puck. We feel really good about our lineup and I feel like we match up well against most of the teams we play against,” Coach Fargo said.

Following this victory, the team’s overall record moved to 14-4-0. The team looks to carry its momentum moving into the next contest against No. 10 nationally-ranked Robert Morris Colonials next Saturday at home, as they look to continue their winning ways as ECAC competition gets rolling. The Colonials are coming of a split weekend as well leading into this weekends contest. The Colonials boast the third leading goal scorer in the country who will surely be a threat. However, the Raiders boast the fourth best defense as well as two of the top 10 goaltenders in the nation according to a USCHO poll. 

Contact Gabe Alter at [email protected]