Women’s Ice Hockey Sees Success in Rebuilding Year

Saeed Mouzaffar is the women’s ice hockey team manager.

Coming into the 2012-2013 season, the colgate women’s ice hockey team wasn’t sure what to expect. With new head coach Greg Fargo and assistants Josh Sciba and Karell Emard, the team had to quickly adjust to new systems, routines

and expectations.

Early in the season this learning curve was evident but after each weekend series the team showed more and more resolve, quickly becoming a cohesive unit on

the ice.

Although Colgate registered wins against non-conference opponents Connecticut and Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in the opening half of the season, their first ECAC win did not come until the last game of fall semester in a matchup against then number two team in the country, Clarkson.

After dropping a closely fought game the night before at St. Lawrence, the Raiders came into Clarkson wanting to end the first half of the season on a high-note. That’s just what they did, pulling out a gritty, 2-1 victory and earning their first two league wins of the year.

The win garnered a lot of attention in the hockey community and became one of the high points of the year.

Colgate entered the second half of the season looking like a completely different team, winning in overtime against an evenly matched Vermont team and, thanks to a hat trick from senior Brittany Phillips, came from two goals behind late in the game to defeat RIT on their

home ice.

After defeating Clarkson a month earlier, Colgate knew they could compete in their league and make the playoffs, something which the team had not

accomplished since the 2009-2010 season.

The team was much more successful in their ECAC games after the break and were in prime playoff position after blowout victories against Princeton and Brown while on tough road trips.

Coming into the last week of the season, Colgate needed two victories against Union and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) and a Princeton loss to secure the eighth spot in the ECAC standings and advance to the playoffs. In what would amount to two of the most thrilling and stressful games of the season, Colgate secured its first ECAC weekend sweep of the year. Luckily for the team, within minutes after their second victory of the weekend against RPI, it was announced that Yale had defeated Princeton, thus securing an ECAC playoff berth against conference

champions Cornell.

During the first game, Colgate was neck-in-neck with no. 2 ranked Cornell during all of regulation, and although it was clear Colgate dominated Cornell during the first 60 minutes, Cornell struck early in overtime to win and hold a 1-0 lead in the series.

The next day, Colgate came into

Cornell’s Lynah Rink with a resolve that could not be matched, holding a lead against Cornell until the final minute of the third period. Unfortunately, Cornell scored two goals in the last minute of play to take the series and end Colgate’s

season early.

In those two short days, Colgate showed to the entire hockey world that they could play with whomever, and in that final weekend series secured a great new future for the program.

Going from an early season losing streak to playing at the level of, if not better than, one of the best teams in the entire nation, Colgate has set itself up to be an early playoff contender for next season.

Offensively, the team was led throughout the season by senior Brittany Phillips who, with 18 goals and eight assists on the year, ended fourth all-time in career points with 108.

Also leading the team were captain Jenna Klynstra and defenseman Jessica Hootz. These three seniors were integral to the smooth transition with a new coaching staff this year.

Although the team will be losing one of the strongest classes to ever pass through Starr Rink, next season looks as promising as ever with Colgate hoping to return to the ECAC playoffs and finish what they began this year. The team has much to be proud of this season and the future looks bright for this

growing program.

Contact Saeed Mouzaffar at

[email protected].