Women’s Hockey Ties Both Union And RPI Games: Raiders Now 4-1-3 on Season

Senior goalie Ashlynne Rando kept the Raiders in the game against Union, making an impressive 16 saves. 

Senior goalie Ashlynne Rando kept the Raiders in the game against Union, making an impressive 16 saves. 

The women’s ice hockey team tied their first ECAC games this week to start off their conference season. The scores were 2-2 against Union College and 3-3 against Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. The Raiders outshot Union’s Dutchwomen on October 30, with a total of 60 shots, while Union came up with 18.

“I think a strength of ours this season is our offensive depth. In comparison to past teams, we have more players that can help chip in offensively on any given night,” head coach Greg Fargo said.  “The improved depth helps us 5-on-5 and on the power play.”

The Raiders managed five power plays in their game against Union, while Union had one.  One of Colgate’s power plays was finished with a goal by sophomore forward Shelby Perry in her first goal of the season.  The goal was assisted by a pair of first-years in forward Jessie Eldridge and defenseman Olivia Zafuto, and ended up being the game equalizer with less than six minutes on the clock to spare.

“The first time she passed [the puck], the goalie made an unbelievable save on my shot. I also wasn’t fully prepared to get the pass. Once that play unfolded again and Jessie passed me the puck, I made sure that it was getting to the back of the net. I knew I had to shoot high  because their goalie  would have been sprawling across the goal crease,” Perry said.  

The Raiders were most successful this weekend when they were able to get the early start and focus on the game, rather than be distracted by the pressure of an ECAC contest.

“Comparing the two games, we had a better start against RPI. We were able to get up two goals early in the game and that was huge. Against RPI we really focused on our game and didn’t worry about who we were playing, until the third period [when] we got away from our game and our good habits. Penalty kill was stellar in both games, and against RPI we killed off a 5-on-3 late in the game,” Perry said.

According to Perry, the team started to struggle the most in both games when they already lost a few goals and began to get nervous instead of regaining their composure.

The Raiders almost came out with the win in both games due to their aggressive offensive tactics, but in order to be completely successful, they need to keep looking forward. According to Fargo, the Raiders will need to play with a more controlled puck and pay more attention to the defensive end in their future games.

“I don’t think we’ve played a lot of hockey in our own defensive end at this point in the season looking at games we’ve had. We want to have the puck as much as possible but with that we have to manage it better, smarter and put pucks in areas we can get it back.  That being said, we aren’t always going to have the puck.  We’re going to need to tighten up play in our own end,” Fargo said.

When comparing this year’s team to last year’s, the Raiders have gained eight new players which has slightly shifted the team dynamics.

“Every season, it’s a brand new team within the program that is always evolving and getting better. The fact that we have eight new members in our locker room makes it different due to the fact that the personnel has changed, especially with such a large number.  Returning players are jumping into new roles within the team whether it be on the ice or in a leadership capacity,” Fargo said.

In the ECAC, the Raiders’ record is at 0-0-2, but their overall record of 4-1-3 and their percentage of .688 keeps the team hopeful for their future conference games.

“We have very high expectations for this season. We’ve all trained so hard during the offseason to prepare the best possible way for the season. In previous years, we might have been content with tying. This year we go into every game expecting to win and it’s very exciting to be with this group

of girls,” Perry said.

The Raiders will be playing their next ECAC game against Quinnipiac on November 6 and Princeton on November 7. 

“Every game is important, there is no doubting that. We want to win every day, regardless of who we’re facing on the other side. The focus each game is going to be on ourselves and making sure we are battling to do what we are capable of. That being said, ECAC games are critical, every point matters and if the first weekend of play is any indication for what is to come this season, we are in for an exciting year in the ECAC,” Fargo said.

Hopefully the Raiders can carry this momentum into the rest of the season. So far, the team is looking very good and will compete well in the ECAC.