The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

Colgate Women’s Hockey Secures ECAC Regular Season Title

Colgate Athletics / Olivia Hokanson

The Colgate University women’s hockey team secured the 2023-2024 regular season ECAC championship for the first time in three years. The Raiders finished the regular season with an overall record of 27-6-1 and an 18-4-0 conference record. After the 6-0 win over Brown University on Feb. 17, the Raiders clinched the No. 1 seed in playoffs and a bye into the ECAC quarterfinal-round. 

Colgate’s performance this season has been nothing short of greatness. Here are a few notable highlights from the season and exclusive insight from the players into how they plan to advance to the ECAC Championship on March 9.

Colgate proved to be an offensive powerhouse in the regular season, scoring 102 goals in conference games — strides ahead of the runner-up in the ECAC, Cornell University with 81 goals. Their impressive stats are noted outside the ECAC, also occupying second place in the NCAA for goals this season. The Raiders also ranked second in the ECAC in goals against, only letting up 44 goals this regular season. With the deadly combination of top-notch defense and superior goal-scoring, the Colgate women’s hockey team enters the post-season as a top contender for the national title. Heading into the playoffs, they are ranked fifth in the nation by ESPN and fourth by USCHO.

The women’s hockey team also stands first in the nation for powerplay goals. They scored 35.6% of their powerplay chances, a blistering pace speaking to their consistency and powerplay strength. Colgate holds the second-place standing for powerplay percentage — closely trailing the University of Minnesota Gophers in first. 

The season entailed many notable wins that aided the team in securing first place on the leaderboard. On Jan. 12, Colgate beat Cornell for the first time on the road since 2009, breaking the decade-long streak. The 6-3 victory carried into a series sweep at home with a 3-0 win over Cornell. 

Their home win against No. 2 ranked Ohio State University proved to be one of the most electric moments of the season. First-year forward Emma Pais scored the game-winning goal in her first career game with only 39 seconds left. Pais’ first goal of her Colgate career sealed the 3-2 win over Ohio State. Pais’ accomplishments earned her the HCA Rookie of the Year Watchlist, HCA Rookie of the Month (Jan. 2024), ECAC Rookie of the Month (Jan. 2024) and three-time ECAC Rookie of the Week.

Pais showed enthusiasm toward continuing her stellar rookie season performance into the playoffs.

“The team is really excited going into the playoffs. We have been looking forward to playoffs all year,” Pais said.

The rookie class has no talent shortage, including first-year forward Madeline Palumbo. Palumbo — hailing from Ontario, CA — recorded six goals and 13 assists and also holds a spot on the HCA Rookie of the Year Watchlist. The star player spoke about the essential characteristics that bring this team their success. 

“We have so much talent this year and great leadership,” Palumbo said. “As a first-year player, having the experience we have with our seniors has been great to learn from.”

The players spoke on the team’s strong leadership and talent this season. Palumbo continued by sharing how they developed their remarkable talents.

“Being consistent and showing up every day ready to work has helped us. Everyone is constantly wanting to get better and we all push each other,” Palumbo said. 

A small liberal arts college in Hamilton, N.Y., houses one of the best women’s hockey teams in the nation. Is the tight-knit rural environment the secret ingredient? Remarks from the players seem to support that conclusion.

 “We have such a close team,” Palumbo said. “We have a great atmosphere both on and off the ice.”

The Colgate women’s hockey team has the opportunity to make history by winning the regular season, winning the ECAC championship for the fourth year in a row and taking home a National Championship.

Sophomore forward Tessa Holk expressed her confidence in the team.  

“I believe we all know what we are capable of, and it’s a pretty amazing feeling,” Holk said. 

The Raiders will compete in a best-of-three quarterfinal series against Brown. The series begins at home at 3 p.m. on Friday, March 1, with the second game following the next day at 2 p.m. Fans can support the team by watching the games on ESPN+ or attending in person at the Class of 1965 Arena.

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