Women’s Ice Hockey Starts 2016-2017 Campaign 2-0: Raiders Tame UNH Wildcats in Double-Header Series

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Sophomore forward Jessie Eldridge proved to be a strong offensive force for the Raiders during homecoming weekend, recording her first two points of the season on two critical assists down the stretch.

Dan Martucci

The Colgate Women’s Ice Hockey team recorded a stellar start to their 2016-2017 season this past weekend with two victories over the UNH Wildcats. The Raiders played in the new Class of 1965 Arena and gave their Homecoming crowd what they came to see.

In the first tilt against the Wildcats on Saturday, the game looked like it would end in UNH’s favor until the final minutes of the third period. Although the Raiders seemed to be dominating on both sides of the ice, recording many more shots than the Wildcats, they fell two goals behind just minutes into the third period. Finally, the accurate shots that the Raiders had been firing at Wildcats sophomore goalie Kyra Smith made their way to the back of the net.

Junior captain Annika Zalewski notched the first Raider goal and changed the momentum. In quick succession during the remainder of the third period, the Raiders tallied three more goals coming from first-year Anonda Hoppner, senior captain Cat Quirion and then junior Megan Sullivan on an empty-netter.

The strong display of dominance by the Raiders over UNH was truly a spectacle to watch. Colgate outshot the Wildcats 42-24; the Raiders played solid defense and were composed in their offensive zone, working the defenders and taking advantage of scoring opportunities. Coming off this crucial win, the Raiders geared up for round two with UNH the following day.

During this second game, it was much of the same for the Raiders who secured a 3-1 win over the Wildcats. All three Colgate goals came from different players who recorded their first goals of the season. The first goal came from junior forward Breanne Wilson-Bennett; the second goal came from sophomore forward Jessie Eldridge; the third and final goal for the Raiders came from junior forward Shelby Perry.

Head Coach Greg Fargo shared some of his insight after this second Raider victory.

“Overall, very similar to last night’s game in the fact that we did a lot of good things within the game,” Fargo said. “I liked the way we played defensively tonight and you know, we were resilient again.”

In addition, Fargo emphasized the importance of the “veteran group” that the team boasts this season. With an older team that has played with each other for several years, the chemistry between teammates has fostered a positive

outlook this season. Coach Fargo shared what he thinks the team’s strength is after this second victory.

“We are built by offensive depth, and I think our defense is doing a great job of getting the puck up the ice and joining the play,” Fargo said. “But, we are about offensive depth and we don’t care who scores; it’s about the team getting it done and we have seen that over the past couple of days.”

As long as the Raiders continue to capitalize on their strengths and play strong, solid defensive hockey, they will certainly go far this season. A 2-0 start will serve as a catalyst as they get further into their season. The next match-up for the Raiders is another double-header against 1-1 Merrimack. The games are slated for Friday and Saturday October 7 and 8, respectively. While the majority of Colgate students will be heading home for the long weekend, the women’s ice hockey team will battle Merrimack in their attempt to keep up their winning streak. Both games will be available to live stream on the Colgate athletic website.