Men’s and Women’s Ice Hockey Kickoff Seasons With Big Wins

Spencer Serling

While the NHL may not be in action, the Raiders men’s and women’s ice hock-ey teams were both on the rink this past week. The men’s team picked up a victory at Starr Rink over Niagara and then trav-elled to Miami University in Ohio where they lost two games, while the women’s team recovered from their early losses in a trip to Minnesota and home games against Northeastern and New Hampshire to defeat the University of Connecticut twice.

The men’s team, after coming off a very successful campaign last year, opened at home against Niagara and picked up a 10-2 victory. The Raiders’ scoring start-ed off quickly, as first-year Darcy Mur-phy was able to score the first goal of the season off of assists from sophomores Joe Wilson and John Lidgett just over a minute into the game.

After giving up a goal to Niagara mid-way through the first period, senior Kurtis Bartliff scored the first of his two goals on the night with under a minute left in the period. From that point on, the Raiders didn’t look back and dominated.

Seniors Billy Rivellini and Robbie Bourdon led with two goals each. First-year Kyle Baun and Tylor Spink also added goals along with junior Mike McCann. Ju-nior Goalie Eric Mihalik saved 18 shots on the night.

Feeling good after such a dominant with over the Purple Eagles, the Raiders travelled to Miami (OH) to take on the number eight ranked Redhawks. Despite the difficult competition they faced, the Raiders hung in there and took a hard 3-0 defeat. In the Redhawks home opener, New Jersey Devils draft pick Blake Cole-man scored two goals and goalie Ryan McKay made 24 saves. Colgate’s Miha-lik made 12 saves, while first-year goalie Spencer Finney made nine saves in the third period.

In their second game at Miami (OH), the Raiders again put up a valiant effort this time falling to the Redhawks 5-1. Baun scored early to give the Raiders a 1-0 lead, but from there on, the Red-hawks dominated scoring five unanswered goals. Mihalik was in goal for the entire game and saved 27 shots against a fierce Redhawks attack.

The women’s team struggled through an early season schedule, which included a trip to play two games against the top ranked Minnesota Golden Gophers and a home game against tenth ranked North-eastern. The Raiders finally found fair competition and took on the UConn Huskies at Starr Rink.

“Playing against some of the best play-ers in the nation, we saw that if we con-tinue to work hard and stick together as a team, we can be competitive and suc-cessful against anyone,” junior Jocelyn Simpson said.

Hard work paid off for the Raiders, as in the first game of the weekend against the Huskies, the Raiders overcame a score-less first period and dominated the rest of the game to take a 5-3 victory. The scor-ing in the second period started with se-nior Jenna Klynstra putting the puck in the net a minute into the first period and sophomore Taylor Craig scoring her first of the year later in the period. In the third, sophomore Melissa Kueber and junior Rachel Walsh scored goals on the power play, while sophomore Miriam Drubel scored an empty netter to seal the game. Sophomore Susan Allen was in goal for the Raiders making 25 saves.

The next day, the Raiders took on the Huskies again and took them down 4-1. Simpson led the Raiders with two goals while junior Taylor Volpe and first-year Katelyn Parker notched their first goals of the season. First-year goalie Ashlynne Rando saved 35 shots and got the win.

Looking ahead, the women’s team will take a two-week break before entering league play and hosting the Yale Bulldogs and the Brown Bears while the men’s team will be in action this weekend hosting the Bowling Green Falcons at Starr Rink.

Contact Spencer Serling at [email protected].