Women’s Hockey Kicks Off Official Season

Jaime Heilbron



On Friday October 7, the Colgate women’s hockey team officially opened its season on the road by visiting the University of New Hamp­shire Wildcats in a non-conference match-up. Both teams played fairly even in the first period, with each enjoying several scoring chances, but the goaltenders – UNH’s Jenn Gilligan and se­nior Kim Sass for the Raiders – stood tall and stopped every shot they faced. New Hampshire outshot Colgate 8-5 in the period.

After constant pressure to start the second period, Kristina Lavoie gave the Wildcats a lead they would not relinquish. Almost four min­utes later, New Hampshire took advantage of a power play to take a two-goal advantage over the Raiders. Colgate struggled throughout the entire period to put the puck on net. The Wild­cats controlled the period in its entirety, out­shooting Colgate 15-5. UNH added another goal late in the third frame to clinch a 3-0 win over the Raiders.

Sass put forth a solid effort, stopping 26 of 29 shots faced, but it was not enough, given that Colgate’s offense could not find an answer to Gilligan, who recorded a 19-save shutout.

The following evening was not much better for the Raiders when they visited the Northeast­ern Huskies. The hosts opened the scoring early in the contest, at 2:09 of the first period, with a goal by Brittany Esposito. A little over nine min­utes later, Northeastern added to its advantage, making it 2-0 at 11:36. Despite playing hard throughout the opening 20 minutes, Colgate was only able to muster five shots on net.

Just like in the previous period, the Huskies opened the scoring early and in the worst pos­sible way for the Raiders. They recorded a short-handed tally at 5:48, and left Colgate mentally exhausted. The Raiders kept the contest close and within reach until late in the third frame, when Northeastern scored two goals within two minutes: one on the player advantage to obtain a 5-0 victory. Sass was once again strong in net, stopping 38 of the 43 shots that she saw.

Colgate entered its home opening week­end in desperate need of a sweep against an inexperienced Lindenwood University and the Raiders obtained it in dominant fashion. ‘Gate exploded for four goals in the first period of Friday’s game. Sophomore forward Jocelyn Simpson scored Colgate’s first tally of the year at 9:27, assisted by junior defender Jessica Hootz. Another one quickly followed it, this time by sophomore forward Taylor Volpe at 13:45, who received helpers from first-year forwards Casey Dockus and Miriam Drubel, both picking up their first intercollegiate points. The Raiders’s third goal of the frame and game-winning tally was scored by junior assistant captain Brittany Phillips, assisted by sophomore forward Stepha­nie Giannopoulos at 17:22. 35 seconds later first-year forward Melissa Kueber capped off the period with her first intercollegiate goal, assisted by Simpson and Phillips.

The second period was Colgate’s worst of the contest. The Raiders found themselves unable to carry the momentum that they had in the first period and sacrificed some of their lead. Linden­wood scored the lone goal of the period at 18:31. Colgate recovered its energy in the third frame, putting up another impressive offensive display with three goals. Sophomore defender Megan Wickens scored the first goal of her career 17 seconds in, assisted by first-year defender Katie Case. A little under 14 minutes later at 13:55, Phillips scored the Raiders’s lone power play goal of the game, assisted by Drubel and senior co-captain Amanda Kirwan. 69 seconds later, at 15:04 sophomore forward Caroline Potolic­chio scored her first intercollegiate tally, off as­sists from senior co-captain Heidi Peterson and Dockus. The Lions added a shorthanded goal before the end of the contest and Colgate took its first win of the campaign by a 7-2 score. Sass stopped 21 of 23 shots faced.

The second game of the series started just like the first, with a strong first period from the Raid­ers. Kueber opened the scoring at 5:25, assisted by Simpson and Phillips. Kueber scored once again, thus setting in motion a special afternoon, at 8:42 off assists from Phillips and sophomore defender Shannon Doyle. Phillips obtained her third unanswered point at 11:30, assisting on Doyle’s tally in a four-on-four situation. Phillips rounded out an already special afternoon with her fourth point by scoring at 15:44.

Kueber rounded out her first career hat trick with the lone tally of the second period, with helpers going to Phillips and Drubel on the play­er advantage. Kueber scored an impressive fourth goal at 5:12 of the third frame, assisted by Hootz, who received the puck from Phillips for Colgate’s sixth of the day. Phillips capped off an impres­sive run of seven consecutive points by scoring her second goal of the game at 9:57 on the power play, receiving assists from Simpson and Drubel, who went on to score her first intercollegiate goal at 13:20. Lindenwood added two player advan­tage tallies late in the period to make the final score 8-2 in the Raiders’s favor.

Four days later, Colgate traveled to nearby Syracuse, New York to take on the Syracuse Uni­versity Orange. The first period saw each team enjoy its scoring chances yet neither was able to put the biscuit in the basket. The Raiders car­ried the play and showed it by holding a shot advantage of 11-9.

Colgate got off to a quick start in the second period, as Phillips scored her fifth goal of the young season in as many games on the power play, assisted by Doyle and Kueber 36 seconds into it. The Raiders added to their advantage late in the period when Volpe tallied the eventual game winner at 16:06, helped by Kueber and Kirwan. Potolicchio scored her second goal of the year at 6:06 of the third frame, assisted by Drubel and Volpe, thus giving Colgate an insur­mountable 3-0 lead. The Orange ended Sass’s shutout bid with a player advantage goal at 18:21 and the Raiders won the game 3-1.

On Tuesday, Colgate hosted the No. 3 Cor­nell Big Red. The visitors dominated the game from start to finish, rarely giving the Raiders a chance to breathe. Cornell opened the scoring early in the first period with a power play goal at 4:27. That was followed up with another goal by the Big Red a little over two minutes later at 6:37 and another one at 15:59 to make the score after one period 3-0 in Cornell’s favor. Colgate got on the board at 11:39 of the second on the player advantage after Volpe scored, assisted by Wickens and Dockus. The Big Red answered back with two tallies at 14:01 and 15:43 to take a 5-2 lead. The Raiders added another one with 33 seconds left in the stanza through Kueber, as­sisted by Hootz and Simpson, making the score 5-3 after two. Cornell added a final power play goal early in the third frame, making the score 6-2, which would also be the final. The Big Red outshot ‘Gate 64-12. Sass had a phenomenal evening in net stopping 58 shots, fifth most all-time in women’s hockey history.

This upcoming weekend Colgate will return to ECAC Hockey play, hosting Brown tomor­row and Yale on Saturday afternoon. Tomorrow’s contest will begin at 7 p.m., while Saturday’s is slated for a 4 p.m. start.

Contact Jaime Heilbron at

[email protected].