By Jamie Palatini
Three second period goals made the difference Saturday afternoon as the Colgate Raiders defeated the Quinnipiac Bobcats’ women’s ice hockey team 4-1 in Hamden on Senior Day. With the win, Colgate improves to 16-9-3 overall, and 10-4-3 in ECAC Hockey. The loss drops Quinnipiac to 3-22-5 (2-11-5 ECAC).
Saturday’s loss comes on the heels of Friday night’s 4-4 tie against Cornell, arguably one of the team’s best games of the season. When asked about the two games this weekend, Quinnipiac head coach Rick Seeley was less than impressed with their performance in the latter contest.
“I don’t think there’s any comparison,” Seeley said. “I thought we came out in the first period and played hard…but I thought we went to sleep in the second, and we just didn’t have that focus or intensity.”
Colgate broke the tie at the 2:32 mark of the second period. The Bobcats tried to clear the puck out of their zone, but Colgate’s Jacquie Colborne tipped the clearing attempt to teammate Marissa Dombovy. The junior forward collected the puck in the slot, and put a wrist shot through Quinnipiac goaltender Tia Wishart’s legs for her seventh goal of the season to give the Raiders a 1-0 lead.
Nearly halfway through the period, Colgate doubled their lead. Senior defenseman Clancy Todd‘s shot from the point was deftly deflected by junior Beth Rotenberg past Wishart to make it a 2-0 advantage in favor of the Raiders halfway through the game.
With just seven seconds left in the second stanza, they added on to their lead. Junior forward Katie Stewart stole the puck from a Bobcat player along the near boards, and moved in all alone in Wishart. Her shot flew over the left shoulder of Wishart for her 13th goal of the season, and Colgate had a 3-0 lead heading into the second intermission.
Some nifty passing from the Raiders led to their fourth goal. While on a 5-on-3 power play, two quick passes led to a one-timer from Marissa Dombovy who scored her second goal of the game to make it 4-0 Colgate.
Midway through the third, senior forward Elyse Cole erased any possibilities of a shutout. Cole, who is the program’s all-time leader in goals, took a wrist shot from the point that beat Colgate goaltender Kimberly Sass for the Bobcats’ lone goal. Over her four-year career at Quinnipiac, Cole has amassed 43 goals and 28 assists with four games still remaining on the Bobcats’ schedule.
The Bobcats are losing five seniors at the end of this season: senior captain Trudy Reyns, Antoinette Maldonado, Danielle Alexieff, Erika Bolognino and the aforementioned Cole. Although this is only his first year at Quinnipiac, Seeley understands the impact these players had on the team.
“When they’re at their best, they’re great,” Seeley said. “Obviously, we’re going to miss Trudy’s leadership and Elyse’s scoring. [Maldonado] and [Alexieff] have really come together in the second half, so they’re all going to be missed. We’re bringing in some good players, but it’s always hard to replace the seniors.”
But Seeley knows that he has players ready to take over the reins and provide senior leadership next year, most notably current juniors Kallie Flor and Janine Duffy, who combined for three goals in Friday’s game.
“Well there’s no question, as Flor and Duffy go, so goes the team,” Seeley said. “Our goal is to get them a little more consistent, because when they’re playing their best they’re outstanding players…I think those are the two key players for next year.”
The Bobcats have four games remaining on the schedule, all of them on the road. The first two are up in the North Country against current ECAC leader St. Lawrence and Seeley’s former Clarkson team. Despite the poor record and playoff chances essentially out of reach, the Bobcats’ coach is optimistic heading into the final two weeks of the season.
“The great thing about this team is that they’re resilient,” Seeley said. “The record’s not that great, but we know we’re taking strides in the right direction, so the attitude is still great.”
Click here to view the box score from this game.