Women’s Hockey Begins Season with Two Losses

Jack Murray

This past weekend, the women’s ice hockey team opened their season with two home contests against the number one ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers, unfortunately ending the weekend with two losses.

In their first matchup on Friday night, the Raiders held the Golden Gophers at a 1-1 tie through two full periods before ultimately giving up two late goals. Just two minutes into the first period, first-year Liz Trautz rebounded sophomore Nicole Gass’s shot from the right faceoff circle, marking both her first career goal and the Raiders’ first goal of the season.

Colgate’s defense did a great job of holding off Minnesota, with sophomore goaltender Ashlynne Rando blocking three shots in a row. Rando came up with another big save with 9:41 remaining in the first period. With Minnesota on a power-play after a hooking call on Colgate, Rando came up with an incredible save from a shot fired from the right side. Then, with less than five minutes left in the first period, Rando made an initial save in the goal but couldn’t block the rebound shot, finally giving up a goal to Minnesota’s Hannah Brandt, tying the

game at 1.

In the second period, the Raiders continued to play a strong defensive game, blocking more and more shots despite another Golden Gopher power-play opportunity. However, Colgate was not alone in their strong defense; Minnesota also played a very tight defense, blocking multiple Colgate shots and keeping the game tied up.

Eight minutes into the second period, senior Stephanie Giannopoulos had a great opportunity to score after trying to connect with Gass, who managed to place the puck past Minnesota’s last defensemen. Unfortunately, Giannopoulos could not make contact with the puck. In the remainder of the second period, the Raiders had three more chances on net, but the Golden Gophers stood their ground and held the game to a tie going into the

final period.

Early in the third period, the puck made it deep into the Raiders’ defensive zone, where Minnesota’s Rachael Bona curled a shot into the back of the net. With less than two minutes remaining, after the Raiders were given a power-play opportunity, the Golden Gophers managed to make their final goal on a

breakaway following a faceoff, securing their 3-1 win.

The following day, both teams got back on the ice for round two. Although Colgate put forth another strong effort, they fell short of the win once again, ending the day with an 8-3 loss.

Saturday’s contest started off relatively slow, with no scoring in the first 10 minutes. In the following four minutes, however, five different players scored goals. The Raiders were the first team on the scoreboard, intercepting the puck at center ice on a power-play and giving junior Melissa Kueber her first goal of the season. Just 42 seconds later, the Golden Gophers successfully executed a power-play and fired a shot past Rando, tying the game 1-1. Then, after 16 seconds, Colgate regained their lead with senior Jocelyn Simpson making her first goal of the season. 36 seconds later, Minnesota answered yet again on a free play, bringing the contest back to a tie.

In the last seven minutes of the period, the Golden Gophers tallied two more goals to secure a lead of 4-2 going into the second period. Early in the period, Minnesota added another two goals. With two minutes left in the

second period, the Raiders had a five-on-three opportunity after Minnesota was called for interference and cross-checking, but all of Colgate’s shots were saved and the period ended with Minnesota up 6-2.

The Raiders got back on the scoreboard about eight minutes into the final period when Kueber made her second goal of the game with the help of Trautz and junior Miriam Drubel Six minutes later, the Golden Gophers scored another goal on a power-play, and with four minutes remaining in the contest, Rachel Ramsey scored Minnesota’s final goal to secure their 8-3 win.

Despite Minnesota’s number one ranking, Colgate put up quite a fight, scoring first in both gamesand playing strong all the way through.

“Playing against the number one team in the country was an awesome opportunity for our team. We had nothing to lose, being the underdogs, and I think we showed what we are capable of when we fire on all cylinders. We came out both nights and scored first. I think holding them to 3-1 Friday shocked a lot of people and even ourselves a little. It’s very encouraging to us as a program to start on such a positive weekend this early in the season,” Rando said.

Next week, the women’s hockey team will take on UConn on Friday at 7 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m.

    Contact Jack Murray at [email protected]