Women’s Ice Hockey Returns to Play

Zoey Kurtz, Contributing Writer

With the winter semester underway, it is not just the academic halls that are full of life again. At the Class of 1965 Arena, the Colgate Women’s Hockey team is once again taking the ice. Currently sitting at 24-4-2 (14-3-1 in conference) and ranked fourth in the nation, the team is firing on all cylinders.

When asked about how it felt to be returning to play, junior forward Kristýna Kaltounková said, “It felt really good to be back with the team even after only two weeks off […] it definitely felt good to be back at it and get ready for the games in the second half of the season.”

Senior defenseman Allyson Simpson agreed.

“There’s always a lot of excitement around the rink when we come back [from] break,” Simpson said. “Everyone is refreshed and ready to tackle the second half of the season which is a really good environment to be around.”

Despite returning to campus earlier than most students on Dec. 29, the short break doesn’t seem to have caused any issues on the ice, and the team looks ready to go. The Raiders are 4-0-1 in their last five games, including a 2-0 win over the #9 Clarkson Golden Knights on Feb. 4. 

“The first thing I should say is we didn’t have a really long break. It was mostly a break in games, we had maybe a month and a half of not playing other teams but we practiced all through finals. We came back in December and it was good to just focus on hockey without the academic rigor of Colgate,” senior defenseman Maggie MacEachern said. “It’s such a great feeling to have the students back and to have the fans back in the ’65 arena, and just to be back to our normal schedule.”

The Raiders outscore their opponents, 4 to 1.7, on average. This is certainly helped by the fact that they take an average of 13 more shots per game, while the team’s goaltenders average a .931 save percentage.

“The attitude has been very positive,” Kaltounková said. “Everyone is locked in, motivated and excited for the last games we have coming up before playoffs […] Everyone is always excited to get to work every day.” 

The Women’s Hockey team also routinely finds themselves on better disciplinary footing than their opponents, having not taken a misconduct penalty all season. The team averages over a whole minute less of penalty time per game than their opponents. Even when one of the Raiders does end up in the penalty box, the team boasts an elite penalty kill percentage of .876. And, as solid as the team’s penalty kill is, their power play is even more lethal, currently sitting at fifth in Division I. 

In addition to statistical dominance, the Raiders also pack plenty of elite talent. Senior forward Danielle Serdachny leads NCAA Division One in points per game, while sophomore goaltender Hannah Murphy ranks ninth in saver percentage and fifth in goals against per game. Kaltounková, meanwhile, is tied for third in power-play goals. 

The team seems especially locked in on their home ice, where they have only lost one game. Kaltounková said that the team “appreciate[s] the support [they] get from people on campus […] The games are extra […] fun when people show up and cheer us on.” She went on to thank all the fans on campus and in Hamilton on behalf of the team. 

This afternoon at 3 p.m., the team will play the Yale Bulldogs in the Class of 1965 Arena, a matchup Simpson is especially excited about.

“[The Bulldogs] are a strong opponent so our games with them are always very competitive. I’m excited to see our team put our best foot forward this weekend,” she said. “It’s a grind now that we’re getting closer to the end of the regular season, but the team always shows up to the rink ready to work on the little things […] The team has a lot of fun together and you can feel that joy even in the mindset of the grind.”

MacEachern further commented on tonight’s game against Yale.

“We’re the only team that’s beaten them this season so it will be a fun rematch and really important to how we finish in the standings. I think overall we’re in a pretty good spot as the end of the season is upon us. The games get more intense, and I think the team is ready to do what it takes to try to win a national championship. We’re hoping for some good support for these last few games,” MacEachern said.