Women’s Hockey Tames Tigers, Clawed By Bobcats

Bill Stoklosa


The Colgate women’s hockey team entered this past weekend desperately in need of points, and they got mixed results. Colgate beat Princeton by a score of 4-3, but their offense sputtered the next day as the Raiders fell to Quinnipiac, 2-1.

Princeton came into Friday’s game at Starr Rink in third place in the ECAC, while Colgate entered in ninth, but the underdogs came out strong. The Raiders drew several penalties early and after two rather inept power plays, they finally got their act together on the third, thanks to first-year forward Jenna Klynstra. She scored on the power play 8:20 into the game, with assists going to senior forwards Katie Stewart and Evan Minnick. Princeton would tie things up 14:20 into the first, as Stephanie Denino scored off an assist from Danielle DiCesare. Before the period was out, however, the Raiders regained the lead thanks to senior forward Katie Stewart. Senior defender Ali Edell blocked a Princeton shot and then passed the puck up to Stewart. Stewart received it at her own blue line and broke away from the Princeton defense. She skated in on net and made a nifty move to beat Princeton goalie Cassie Seguin and put the Raiders up 2-1.

Colgate extended the lead in the second period, as senior forward Beth Rotenberg provided Colgate with its second power play goal of the night. She scored 7:20 into the second frame after first-year forward Brittany Phillips delivered a nice pass as Rotenberg crossed in front of the crease. Rotenberg then finessed the puck past Seguin for the goal. Senior forward Marissa Dombovy also had an assist on the play. The Tigers would notch a power play goal of their own before the period expired, as Melanie Wallace scored off assists from Denino and DiCesare.

Colgate had a 3-2 advantage at the end of the second period, and late in the third they would tally an important insurance marker. On the power play yet again, Katie Stewart took a hard shot from the point. Seguin made the initial save, but could not corral the puck. After a scrum in front of the net, Minnick hammered the puck home to give Colgate a 4-2 lead with just 5:56 remaining in the contest. Junior forward Jessi Waters also had an assist on the play. Princeton put on the pressure late, as the Tigers pulled their goalie with 2:05 left in the third and put up a relentless attack. Despite some great goaltending by junior Lisa Plenderleith, DiCesare scored with 13 seconds left to pick up her third point of the night and pull Princeton within one. The Tigers did not get any solid opportunities to score in the final seconds, however, and fell by a 4-3 score.

Beating one of the top three teams in the conference was quite an accomplishment for the Raiders, and it was also a key two points as the team is battling for the final playoff spot in the ECAC.

“Princeton is one of the better teams in our league, and any time you get the opportunity to compete against an exceptional team, it’s always fun to rise to the challenge and I think we did just that against the Tigers,” Plenderleith said. “More specifically, we really stuck to our game plan the entire game and frustrated them with the trap, responded well to goals for and against and didn’t panic once we got the lead.”

Colgate had a solid offensive game, especially from Stewart, who created a lot of opportunities on the evening and had a goal and an assist to show for it. Colgate also got a strong goaltending performance from Plenderleith, who recorded

28 saves.

Colgate, who came into the game converting on less than 13% of their power play opportunities, overcame early struggles to go an impressive 3-7 with the advantage.

After a strong performance against Princeton, Colgate’s offense was not firing on all cylinders the next day as they played host to the Quinnipiac Bobcats. The Bobcats got going early as Heather Hughes took a power play shot from a weird angle, but was able to sneak it past sophomore goalie Kimberly Sass for the 1-0 lead. Quinnipiac scored again early in the second, as Evelina Husar tipped in a shot from Brittany Lyons to put the Bobcats up 2-0.

Sass was not playing poorly in the game, for she had 27 saves in just two periods, but the sophomore was pulled after the second period ended. She was having trouble handling some pucks after making saves, but she was also under incredible pressure, as Colgate was outshot 29-15 throughout the opening two frames. Plenderleith went in for Sass and the junior tried to provide some perspective on Head Coach Scott Wiley’s

decision after the game.

“I think anytime there is a goaltending change during the game, it’s oftentimes the result of a coach trying to change the momentum of a game, and I believe that’s what the case was on Saturday,” Plenderleith said. “We weren’t generating a lot of chances, there wasn’t a lot of energy in the first two periods and the coaching staff thought that the goaltending change might light a fire under us and get us going for the third.”

The team did indeed seem to play with a renewed sense of urgency as the third period started. Colgate outshot the Bobcats 14-5 in the frame, but was only able to push one puck across the goal line. That came on the power play when Klynstra tipped in a shot from the point by Stewart to cut the lead to 2-1 with just 40 seconds gone in the third. However, despite intense pressure, the Raiders were unable to knot things up.

With the loss, Colgate stays a point back of the final playoff spot in the ECAC. Dartmouth and Yale are both tied for 8th with 15 points, while Colgate has 14. Colgate has a huge game coming up against Yale this Friday in Connecticut, and then they travel to Rhode Island to play a woeful Brown team, winless in ECAC play. Colgate needs victories in both games to keep the playoffs from becoming a long shot.

Contact Bill Stoklosa at [email protected].