Women's hockey headed to playoffs
Just last week, Coach Venditti and captain Ally Kane were concerned with the fact that the Colby women’s ice hockey team had not been able to finish in front of the net. The Mules’ offense came alive just in time as they defeated Hamilton College in the second leg of a doubleheader to gain a spot in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) playoffs. Less than a week after earning a crucial 4-3 at Wesleyan, the Mules went into the weekend one game behind the Wesleyan Cardinals in the standings.
The weekend did not get off to a good start as the Mules conceded a 4-0 loss at the hands of Hamilton on Friday. Colby was able to hold off the Continentals in the first period, but the Hamilton offense buried the Mules in the second with four goals in a span of seven minutes. The problem remained very much the same as the Mules were unable to capitalize on opportunities. Colby was able to answer Hamilton’s 34 shots with 33 of its own, but could not put any in the back of the net.
However, the defeat did not spell out the end of the season as Trinity was able to win 3-1 at Wesleyan. This left Colby with the possibility to slip past the Cardinals going into the last day of NESCAC play. If the two teams were to end up tied (as they did), Colby would get the playoff bid due to a tie-breaker rule regarding the teams’ performances versus the top four NESCAC teams. Colby obtained this tie-breaker earlier in the season by defeating rival Bowdoin 2-1 in overtime.
On Saturday, Colby got exactly what it needed, right when it needed it. Going into the game, Colby had only mustered five goals in the previous seven games. However, Colby reversed this pattern in the first period alone. Carolyn Fuwa ’15 assisted Lauren Guarante ’15 just 9:25 into the game. Guarante ’15 added her second goal of the game just 6:30 later on an assist from captain Marissa Simmons ’12. Samantha Slotnick ’14 made it 3-0 after one period. Slotnick, the team’s points leader, later assisted on junior Caroline Chessare’s goal at 17:30 of the second period. The duo then inversed roles 12 minutes into the third period as Slotnick added her second of the game on Chessare’s assist. Just over a minute later, Karlyn Donovan ’15 finished off the game with a goal off of an assist from Simmons, who was playing in her final game at Alfond Rink.
Brianne Wheeler ’14 continued to be a force in goal over the weekend as well. After making 30 saves on Friday, she tallied 36 more in the second game to help Colby get the decisive win. Fortunately, Trinity won its last game 3-0 and put in the Mules into the playoffs. They will face top-seeded Middlebury College on Saturday, Feb. 25.