ERIE, Pa.—The Colgate Women’s Hockey team could not recover from a myriad penalties in the third period on the way to an 8-5 loss to Mercyhurst at Mercyhurst Ice Center.
The Raiders fell behind early on in the first period, as Emma Nuutinen was able to slip a shot past Colgate starting goalie Julia Vandyk just under five minutes in.
Playing from behind for the first time in 2019, the visitors from Hamilton had a response. After a long period of sustained offensive zone pressure, the Raiders were rewarded. Shae Labbe and Tanner Gates forced the puck to the goal mouth, then Malia Schneider had an easy tap-in for her 10th goal on the campaign to even the score at 1-1 midway through the frame.
Colgate was not done, as it took its second lead of the weekend just 62 seconds later on a European connection. Switzerland native Livia Altmann was able to work the puck free just outside of the offensive blue line, where Nemo Neubauerova picked it up. The Czech Republic native swooped into the zone and fired a wrist shot past Laker goalie Kennedy Blair to make it 2-1. It was the freshman’s fifth goal of the season.
After the Raiders had a tough day on the power play Saturday, they cashed in on their first chance of the day just four minutes later. Labbe held the offensive zone after a failed clearance attempt from Mercyhurst. Then, she walked the blue line before she fed Olivia Zafuto for a one-timed blast from the right faceoff dot that beat Blair clean to the far side. It was Zafuto’s third of the season.
Mercyhurst did not go into the first intermission quietly, as Nuutinen found the back of the net for the second time on the day just a minute after Zafuto’s tally.
The second period continued on with the offensive trend, as Mercyhurst was able to find the equalizing tally to make it 3-3 just under seven minutes in.
Thanks to Vandyk’s strong play in the goal, Colgate was able to stay deadlocked with the Lakers even with a 14-4 advantage in shots for the home side in the period.
The Raiders were able to reward their netminder though, as Colgate’s leading scorer was able to find the back of the net for the second time of the weekend. While on the power play, Gates worked the puck to Jessie Eldridge at the top of the right faceoff dot. From there, Eldridge looked for a backdoor pass at the far goal post, but the puck hit a Laker defender in front and caromed into the net. It was the senior’s 15th goal on the year to give Colgate the lead heading into the second break.
Mercyhurst found another answer quickly in the third period, as the Lakers scored just over two minutes into the frame on the power play. Just like a good hockey game, Colgate came right back.
On another power play, Gates and Eldridge forced the puck to the goal mouth where Schneider tapped home her second on the afternoon.
Special teams continued to play a role for the rest of the third period, but Mercyhurst was the benefactor. The Lakers scored three straight power play tallies and then Nuutinen scored an empty net goal with Colgate on the power play to seal the game. The marker was Nuutinen’s fourth of the day to end the game at 8-5.
· Mercyhurst 8, #9 Colgate 5
Facts & Figures
· Schneider’s multi-goal game was her third of the season and fourth of her career.
· Gates’ three point game was the first of her career.
· Eldridge had two shots on goal, which gives her an even 100 on the season.
· Eldridge now has points in seven straight games.
· Labbe’s multi-point game was her seventh of the season and the 30th of her career.
The Raiders return to Class of 1965 Arena Friday afternoon to battle ECAC foe Quinnipiac. Puck drop is set for 3:00 p.m. in Hamilton.