Women’s Hockey Drops Two Against Niagara

Last weekend, the Colgate women’s hockey team traveled to Lewiston, New York to take on the Niagara University Purple Eagles. The Raiders fell 2-1 on Friday and lost 1-0 on Saturday. First-year forward Miriam Drubel scored the lone goal of the weekend on Friday. Senior assistant captain and goaltender Kim­berly Sass stopped 50 of the 53 shots she faced during the two games.

On Friday, the Raiders took longer than usual to find their footing. Early in the first period, at the 3:15 mark, Niagara drew first blood with an even-strength goal by Jessica Hitchcock. The Raiders recovered and created scoring chances after the tally, but most of their attempts went wide or were blocked by the Purple Eagles’s defenders. A little over halfway through the session, at 13:45, Niagara’s Erica Owczarczak scored the eventual game-winning goal while on the power play. The Purple Ea­gles thus took a comfortable 2-0 lead heading into the first intermission.

In the second stanza, the Raiders controlled most of the play. Colgate came out strong, de­termined to wrest the momentum from Niaga­ra. Throughout most of the period, the Raiders dominated the Purple Eagles with a relentless forecheck and held a shot advantage of 13-6. However, it was not until 19:44 when Colgate finally got on the board in a player advantage as Drubel put the puck past Niagara’s Abby Ry­planski with assists from sophomore defender Shannon Doyle and junior assistant captain Brittany Phillips. Heading into the final 20 minutes, the Raiders had a legitimate chance of stealing the game from the hosts.

In the third frame, it was evident that both teams were determined to secure a victory. Both the Raiders and the Purple Eagles, how­ever, found it difficult to cause any damage to each another. Both Sass and Ryplanski contin­ued to hold their ground, stopping everything that came their way. Therefore, the contest ended with Niagara winning the first game of the weekend series.

The following afternoon, the Raiders took the ice hoping to at least split the weekend se­ries with the Purple Eagles. The first period was played very conservatively, as neither team had any quality scoring chances. The Purple Eagles held a slight lead of 6-5 after several shots on net during the first session.

In the second stanza, Niagara took the ini­tiative and controlled the match throughout the 20 minutes. Once again, Sass held up her reputation of being one of the top goalten­ders in the country by stopping all 15 shots that came her way. Colgate took eight shots throughout the period.

Entering the third frame, both teams had an equal opportunity to leave the ice with a tri­umph. Throughout the afternoon, the goalten­ders showcased their skill by preventing either team from scoring. Unfortunately, when the Purple Eagles finally got the chance to score, the Raiders were left in the dust. At the 10:08 mark, Niagara’s Kalli Funk scored what would be the only goal of the game, which gave her team a 1-0 victory and a weekend sweep over Colgate.

This upcoming weekend, the Raiders will return to the friendly confines of Starr Rink to host No. 10 Harvard on Friday and Dart­mouth on Saturday as Colgate returns to ECAC Hockey play. Friday’s contest will begin at 7 p.m. and Saturday’s at 4 p.m.

Contact Jaime Heilbron at [email protected].