The Colgate women’s hockey team suffered a second winless weekend, losing to No. 10 Harvard 2-0 on Friday and Dartmouth the following afternoon by the same score.
It was clear from the very start that Harvard’s dominant offense would be a great challenge for Colgate when the Crimson slapped back their first goal only 42 seconds into play.
The Raiders struggled to gain control, but finally found two opportunities to shoot just over 14 minutes later. Both shots were unsuccessful and Harvard took back the puck with a narrow miss that hit the pipe and deflection from first-year Susan Allen.
As the half went on, Colgate regained some of its offensive rhythm but was unable to find the back of the net even after holding a charge on Harvard. With only five minutes remaining in the first frame, the Crimson came out with another burst of energy and gained an extra skater advantage over the Raiders. Colgate held the Harvard offense at bay, but could not turn the tables for its own goal. Junior Brittany Phillips stepped up for Colgate, coming close to a tally when she hit the Harvard pipe in the final minutes of play for the period.
After being outshot 13-2 in the first frame, the Raiders struggled to regain momentum especially after a penalty granted Harvard its second power play advantage. The Colgate defense was successful in protecting senior Kimberly Sass who stepped into the goal at the start of the period.
The Raiders continued to play catch-up with Harvard even after some strong defensive blocks and aggressive attacks at the Crimson net. It was an extra skater advantage that allowed the team to regain shooting momentum and the women in maroon continued to attack the goal in the final nine minutes of play for the frame. Colgate saw several open opportunities but narrowly missed the goal each time. By the end of the frame, the Raiders had gained a 10-4 shot advantage but were still left without a point on the board.
Both teams became more aggressive in the final period. The Raiders continued to put pressure on the Harvard end, but the Crimson prevented any Colgate player from knocking in any of the several passes across the crease.
In a final attempt to tally the tying goal, the Raiders pulled Sass out of the net in favor of a sixth player and put their faith in their defense. However, Harvard took advantage of the empty goal and shot its second in with 51 seconds left and the tilt ended in a 2-0 loss for Colgate.
Just as soon as the Raiders began their second ECAC match-up of the weekend, they once again found themselves trailing behind an Ivy League opponent. Dartmouth tallied its first goal only 1:01 into play on a deflected shot. The Raiders quickly fell into an offensive rhythm, however, and fired a series of shots at the Big Green’s net. One shot seemed to pass the goal line, but was denied after review by officials.
In response, Dartmouth fired away to increase its lead to 2-0. Once again, the Raiders answered back with a barrage of offensive attacks and came close on several opportunities but were once again unable to find the back of the net. Despite a 10-7 shot advantage for Colgate, it ended the period two goals behind.
Dartmouth opened an opportunity for Colgate to shoot once again after a penalty late in the opening period granted the Raiders a power play advantage to begin the second frame. Sophomore Jocelyn Simpson took the first attempt at a goal, utilizing her stick work to push past two Dartmouth defenders, but ultimately shooting just outside the net. Senior co-captain Amanda Kirwan was the second to see an opportunity to shoot when she connected with a pass and bolted for the left post. She also shot just wide of the pipe. Even though they were again unable to capitalize on the advantage, Colgate continued to put pressure on the Dartmouth defense for the final ten minutes of the period. The game became more and more physical as the Big Green scrambled to clear the puck, but even after the fierce fight, the second frame ended just as the first with Colgate trailing 2-0.
The Raiders created more offensive opportunities in the final period and once again came close to a goal of their own, but Dartmouth’s offense also came out strong and neither team was able to put the puck past their opponent’s goalkeeper. As the final seconds passed, Colgate was forced to accept another hard-fought loss to an ECAC challenger.
The Raiders will travel to Hamden, Connecticut on Friday to face Quinnipiac at 7 p.m. for their next tilt and visit Princeton the following afternoon for a 4 p.m. face-off.
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