Women's hockey downed by Panthers
Jackie Tavella '15 winds up to take a shot against opponent Middlebury college in a home match-up.
The Colby women’s ice hockey team ended its season on Saturday, Feb. 25 by falling to Middlebury in the New England Small College Athletic Conference quarter finals.
The Mules qualified for the NESCAC playoffs by dismantling Hamilton 6-1 to clinch the eighth seed last week. However, when faced with the top-seeded Panthers, the Mules were not able to keep up with them. Middlebury finished the regular season at 14-2-0 and rode the home-ice advantage to a 5-1 victory and a spot in the final four.
Despite another strong performance, the Mules once again fell victim to their now-patterned lapse in the second period. As Annie Papadellis ’14 put it, “our team is notorious for having mid-game ‘hiccups’ (if you will) from anywhere between five-10 minutes, typically in the second period, where the other team scores all their goals. For the rest of the game however, we absolutely dominate. If you’ve watched a game this season from start to finish, you would completely see what I’m referring to right now.”
History repeated itself on Saturday as Middlebury scored all five of their goals in the second period, with four of them coming in a span of just four minutes. Colby was unable to recover as they managed only a single goal in the third courtesy of Caroline Chessare ’13.
However, the game also brought up another problem that the Mules will have to deal with during the offseason: penalties. Colby got nine penalties for 18 minutes against the Panthers; the more telling statistic is that four of Middlebury’s goals came on power play.
This is not to say that the Panthers won solely due to the Mules’ penalties, as Middlebury is the top-ranked team in the NESCAC and was heavily favored coming into the game. Considering the fact that Colby forced Middlebury goalkeeper Annabelle Jones to 10 saves in the first period and 14 in the third, the game would certainly have been a different story had the Mules held up in the second period.
That being said, it is no use dwelling on the past. What is done is done, and the team must start looking toward next season. The team was a young one this season (the roster included 14 underclassmen), and next season could be a promising one.
Third top-scorer Annie Papadellis ’14 certainly feels that the team has a bright future ahead, for “Despite our record, we have a very talented group of individuals who truly play as one. I have tremendous faith in this team for next year. I honestly believe that we have a solid group that is ready to send a big message to everybody next year,” she said.
Until then, the team must continue to work its finishing and its penalties. The offense forced 28 shots on the top-seeded team, yet they were unable to score more than once. This is a problem that has plagued the team all year, but one that can be resolved by gaining experience together.
In the mean time, the team will definitely miss graduating seniors Marissa Simmons ’12 and Hannah O’Brien ’12, but has every intention of working hard during the offseason to come out stronger next year.