ERIE, Pa.—Jessie Eldridge kept her hot hand going for the Colgate Women's Hockey team Saturday afternoon at Mercyhurst Ice Center, but it wasn't enough in a 1-1 tie with the Lakers.
The opening frame did not start the way the Raiders would have liked. Colgate surrendered a trio of power plays within the opening six minutes, but starting netminder Julia Vandyk and the defense was up to the task. She made four saves on the three extra skater chances to keep the game scoreless. She ended the frame with eight stops, but Laker goalie Kennedy Blair was up to the task on 11 Raider shots on goal to send the game into the first intermission goalless.
The Raider picked up the pace in the second period and dominated territorially in the opening ten minutes. Penalty woes did continue though, as Colgate went back on the penalty kill with just under seven minutes gone in the frame, but the Raiders found a way to convert.
Olivia Zafuto started the play when she cleared the zone out to the red line. Jessie Eldridge swarmed a Laker defender and caused a turnover, which turned into a breakaway. The sure handed senior deked to her forehand and tucked it home for her 14th on the campaign.
The marker also served as a record-tying goal, as she is now in a tie with Sam Hunt '09 for the most shorthanded goals in a career with nine. She is also now in a tie for the NCAA lead in shorthanded goals on the season with three.
Unfortunately, the Raider lead was short lived when Mercyhurst evened the score at one just two and a half minutes later to send the game tied into the second intermission.
Colgate carried play once again in the closing frame, but could not find the back of the net. Both netminders combined to make 18 saves, with Vandyk taking credit with six, which sent the game into overtime.
The Raiders had a power play in the extra session, but could not convert to end the game in a 1-1 tie.
- #9 Colgate 1, Mercyhurst 1
Facts & Figures
- Eldridge continued to lead the team in both goals and points with her 14th goal of the year and 24th point.
- Eldridge also continued to lead the team in plus/minus with her mark of +15.
- The Raider penalty kill finished a perfect 7-for-7, which bumped up their season mark to 88.2%. That is one of the top-15 PK units in the country.
- Eldridge now sits alone in third in all-time Raider goal scoring with 58 career tallies.
From the Source
Head Coach Greg Fargo
- "It was a game in which there were a lot of momentum shifts," said Fargo. "We had three straight kills to start the game and it certainly felt like they had the momentum early on. As the game went on, we took some of that momentum back and had some great moments."
- "I'm pleased with the way we played in the first game coming out of the break. There's certainly room to grow, but there were a great deal of positives and we are looking forward to tomorrow."
On the team's game when it was even strength:
- "I liked it a lot," said Fargo. "We were good in the areas that we've been working on and that's key for our team's success. There is a lot of buy-in on the way we want to play. We had some good sustained offensive zone time and because of that, we were able to possess the puck and make plays. Our 5-on-5 play was really solid. Their goalie was good tonight and Julia is there for us every time we need her."
On Eldridge's shorthanded goal mark and her ability to play in all situations:
- "There's a lot of trust with Jessie and the other seniors," said Fargo. "Jess has been through so much here over her career and those experiences serve her well as a leader. Trust is a really good word with her, as well as her teammates. As a coach, you want to be able to look down the bench and put people out there that you trust in any situation and Jess is certainly one of those players."
The Raiders and Lakers match up again Sunday afternoon in Erie. Puck drop is set for 1:00 p.m.