The #9 Colgate Raiders (19-8-5) defeated the Yale Bulldogs (7-8-12) and the Brown University Bears (4-26-2) this past weekend. These games seemed like they were never in doubt as Colgate always found a way to get right back into the games.
In Fridays game against the Bulldogs, Yale quieted the Hamilton crowd first with a goal eight and a half minutes into the first period. The silence would not last, as just a minute later, Shae Labbe sent a shot to the high corner to tie the game. Four minutes later, Jessie Eldridge scored her 25th goal of the season for a 2-1 lead. That goal is now the all-time record in goals for in a season in Colgate Division I history.
In the second period, the Bulldogs answered with a quick goal to tie the game again but Colgate never relented on the pressure. After 12 whole minutes on the offensive, Shelby Wood scored a long range shot to give the Raiders the lead once again at 3-2. That lead would be doubled three minutes later as Olivia Zafuto sent a power play shot from center ice to the back of the net to make it 4-2.
Both teams exchanged goals in the final period. Bailey Larson scored a power play goal midway through the third to put Colgate up 5-2. Yale would respond to cut the lead 5-3 but Larson would put the Raiders back up again to the final score of 6-3. As the horn sounded off again for the Colgate Raiders, the St. Lawrence Saints had just lost to the Harvard Crimson. With that loss, the Raiders are now guaranteed home ice for the quarterfinal round.
There would be no time to celebrate, as the top of the ECAC leaderboard have been facing some bad luck with losses and ties. Not only do the Raiders have a chance to move up in the leaderboards and perhaps the national rankings but they have to send their seniors off with a win on Senior Day against the Brown University Bears.
On a day like that, the game was never in doubt for the Colgate Raiders. The Raiders put up 40 shots against the Bears cashing in on four of them. Julia Vandyk earned her 12th shutout of the season, keeping 10 shots out of the net.
Goals by Shae Labbe and Bailey Larson put the Raiders up 2-0 in the first period. The offensive pressure by the Raiders never ceased as Coralie Larose would score in the second for a 3-0 lead. Eleri Mackay would cap off the scoring for the day to give the Class of 2019 a 4-0 win on Senior Day.
As the Raiders head into their final regular season of hockey, they have four points left to earn this weekend against the Union Dutchwomen and the RPI Engineers on the road. As they have secured home ice, the pressure is off of them and now on the teams ahead of them to win games. Every team will be jockeying for wins in the final games of the season, it is just a matter of keeping the momentum into the playoffs.
Knowing this Raider team, the playoffs have already started. Go Gate!