HAMILTON—The finish outweighed the start Friday night for the Colgate Women's Hockey team at Class of 1965 Arena.
Visiting Penn State came out strong and outshot the Raiders 13-5 after one period and took the lead midway through the second period, but it was all Colgate after that. Freshmen Nemo Neubauerova scored her first career goal, then Jessie Eldridge and Bailey Larson also lit the lamp to complete a comeback 3-1 win.
Neubauerova's lethal shot was on display with her marker, as she took a feed from Malia Schneider and blew a wrister past Nittany Lion goalie Jenna Brenneman just under a minute after Penn State took the lead. The Czech Republic native's tally marked the turning of the tide as the Raiders took over the rest of the way.
With the teams deadlocked at one after two periods, Eldridge came through in a spot that Raider fans have grown accustomed to in the third period. She started a rush up ice on the power play and fed freshman Eleri MacKay just after entering the zone. MacKay quickly gave it back to Eldridge, who walked in and roofed a shot past Brenneman. The assist marked the first career point for MacKay.
After a scoreless few minutes following Eldridge's goal, the Raiders were put in a tough spot when they had to kill off 1:59 of a PSU power play with time winding down in the game. As she was most of the night, Julia Vandyk was on display, as she stood tall in the Colgate net and kept the Nittany Lions off the board before Bailey Larson iced the game with an empty-net goal.
- #5 Colgate 3, Penn State 1
Facts & Figures
- With the victory, the Raiders have now won four consecutive season-opening games.
- The win was Vandyk's 57th in her career, which is far and away the most in Raider history. She is now 22 victories clear of No. 2 in the record books. (Rebecca Laha '05)
- With a relatively young lineup, six of the Raiders' eight newcomers played in the game.
'Gate Grab Bag
Final attendance at Class of 1965 Arena was 492. Annika Zalewski '18 and Ellie DeCaprio '18 unveiled a pair of banners before the game to honor the 2017-18 team. One commemorated the team's ECAC regular season title, while the other is for the Raiders' run to the NCAA title game.
From the Sources
Head Coach Greg Fargo
"Once again, I liked what we did away from the puck. We've been spending a lot of time in practice up to this point just emphasizing what we're doing away from the puck, and I liked our play.
"We have a lot of new faces in the lineup and we're running into each other a little bit at times. We're starting to figure that out every day that goes by and the other thing was we started to play with a little more urgency as the game went on, and that was a big factor in the outcome."
"With Nemo, she has all the tools. She can shoot, she can skate, she can make plays and you got a chance to see it today. Not just the goal, but after she scored, you got a chance to see her and some of the plays she can make. She took control of the game at times tonight.
"It's been a lot of fun to just see how our program has developed with a tremendous amount of support from the people who came out and the community and it's special in this building because you can really feel the energy and we feed off that."
Senior forward Jessie Eldridge
"We have eight newcomers, so we're trying to get comfortable with everyone in the lineup. First period, you saw that, we were a bit rusty. After that, we picked up confidence and momentum and we were able to come out with the win.
"Communication is really key with so many new players in the lineup, so staying engaged in that and knowing it will come helped.
"We've been talking a lot about our power play this week and the newcomers have been really open to learning that. That was a play we've been working on with the entry, so it was nice to see that finish."
The Raiders and Nittany Lions close out their two-game series Saturday afternoon at Class of 1965 Arena. Puck drop is set for 3 p.m.