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

Women’s Hockey Reflects on a Historic Frozen Four Season

Colgate Athletics / Olivia Hokanson

After a successful quarterfinal weekend at home, the Colgate University women’s hockey team headed to the Frozen Four in search of a national title for the second time in program history. The team is a consecutive, four-time ECAC conference champion.

As they prepared for the high-stakes tournament, the team focused on preserving team morale. Senior and four-time ECAC Forward of the Week this season Kristýna “Kalty” Kaltounková spoke with pride for her team and excitement about a within-reach national title. 

“Showing up to the rink every day ready to work and get better is something that is constantly present within our team,” Kaltounková said. “I’m proud of winning games that weren’t always easy against opponents that are really good and strong and I’m proud that after four years we were finally able to break the regional championship game and get to where we want to be.” 

Kaltounková also spoke about the sense of pride she has in seeing the team get closer and closer to their ultimate goal of winning a national championship. 

“I’m proud that we are getting close to the moment that we said to be our goal at the start of the year, which we have been working towards since day one,” Kaltounková said. “But I’m also proud of everyone in the room for recognizing that the job is not done yet and that we’re not here just to be here. We’re here to send a message and to play hard, compete and win a national championship.”

First-year forward Madeline Palumbo, whose name is on the HCA Rookie of the Year watchlist for the 2023-2024 season, shared Kaltounková’s sentiments. 

“We want to stick to our game and give it all we got. I think in high-stakes situations, we just have to stick to ourselves and stick to how we know how to play. We are super excited for this weekend, and all we have done this year has helped us prepare for it,” Palumbo said. 

The University of New Hampshire’s Whittemore Center Arena hosted the four finalists on March 22. 3,553 fans poured into the arena to watch the matches, the second-highest attendance rate in Women’s Frozen Four semifinal history.  

The No. 3 Raiders faced off against No. 2 Wisconsin, but the hard-fought battle did not go their way. The Badgers got on the board early, halfway through the first and again with 8:31 left in the third. With 2:10 left on the clock, Kaltounková took advantage of a scramble around the Badgers’ net to put her team on the board. Despite several impressive saves by senior goaltender Kayle Osbourne and some early penalty kills, Wisconsin took advantage of a 5-on-3 power play to keep control of the match. The Badgers responded to Kaltounková’s goal with an empty-netter in the final seconds, ending Colgate’s playoff berth with a 1-3 loss.  

Wisconsin would later fall 0-1 to number-one seed Ohio State in the championship game on March 24. 

Touting a 32-7-1 record, the Raiders dominated their competition at every turn of the regular season. Regardless of the weekend’s results, their historic season leaves the players with much to be proud of. The Raiders will end their season with quite a few eyebrow-raising team statistics: They averaged 38.8 shots per game, 186 total goals, 329 total assists and 822 total saves.

Individually, this season has seen the reaffirmation of veteran talent and the emergence of some rising stars. Headlining the defensive units were Hockey Commissioners Association Goalie of the Year Semifinalists first-year Hannah Murphy and Osbourne, who both rank in the top 15 nationally in save percentage. The defensive threats didn’t stop at the net.

Also on defense, fifth-year Sydney Bard, an invitee to the U.S. National Women’s Team Evaluation Camp, and sophomore Sydney Morrow, a second-team All-ECAC selection, made for an intimidating pair.

Offensive stars included third-team All-ECAC sophomore forward Elyssa Biederman, who had 15 multi-point games this season, Kaltounková, who is third in the country with 11 power-play goals in 34 appearances, and fifth-year Danielle Serdachny, whose season total of 61 points place her in a tie for third overall in the nation. 

Fifth-year veterans Allyson Simpson and Kaitlyn O’Donohoe, along with Bard and Serdachny, rounded out a strong core group that led the team to their fourth consecutive ECAC title. 

Not everyone left the weekend empty-handed. Junior Averill McCorkle received the NCAA Elite 90 award for the 2024 championship. According to the NCAA, “the award recognizes the true essence of the student-athlete by honoring the individual who has reached the pinnacle of competition at the national championship level in his or her sport, while also achieving the highest academic standard among his or her peers.”

McCorkle spoke on receiving the NCAA Elite 90 Award.

“It was a surprise and honor to receive the Elite 90 Award from the NCAA this past week. Our team is elite in many different ways, so I am really grateful that Colgate was able to be recognized for what it provides its student-athletes on the ice and in the classroom,” McCorkle said. “Balancing competitive athletics and academics can be challenging, but I have found that having good time management and organizational skills are crucial for maintaining this balance and allowing me to be successful in both areas.”

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