Middlebury proves too much for Women’s Hockey in weekend doubleheader

This past weekend, the Colby women’s hockey team took on Middlebury (7-4-1) in a two-game series. The women headed over to Vermont on Saturday and lost to Middlebury 6-0. The next day the two teams faced off again with Colby losing 8-1. These two games brought the Mules to an overall record of 0-19-3 and a conference record of 0-15-1. The team remains in ninth place in conference play after this weekend.

The first game did not start off in Colby’s favor as Middlebury managed to score within the first four minutes of the first period. However, Colby was able to fend off Middlebury for the rest of the period despite taking three penalties during that time. Being on the penalty-kill for much of the first did not allow Colby to generate a lot of offense and the team was unable to get a shot on net while the Panthers put up 21 shots. The Mules did not see much change in the second period. Middlebury kept putting pressure on goaltender Halley Fine ’20 and put in a total of three goals during the second period. The third goal of the period came while Colby was on the penalty-kill as the team took two costly penalties late in the period.

The third period began with the Mules still on the penalty-kill, but because of a strong defense Middlebury was unable to convert a second power-play into a  goal. Middlebury scored two more times during the period, once halfway through the period and a final time in the last few minutes of the game making the score 6-0 Panthers.

Despite the score, Fine played well. She faced a total of 51 shots throughout the game and made 45 saves—a solid .882 save percentage.

On Sunday, the Mules looked for redemption against the Panthers. Early in the start of the game Middlebury scored. Less than a minute after this goal Colby took a tripping penalty that put the Mules on the kill. Middlebury was able to capitalize on this opportunity and increased their lead to make the game 2-0. Within two minutes of the second goal, Middlebury put a third goal in. Despite being down 3-0 early in the first period the Mules stayed strong throughout the rest of the period and did not let up any more goals.

The start of the second period began similarly to the first, with Middlebury scoring in the first three minutes of the game. After this fourth goal Colby decided to switch out goaltenders. Fine was replaced by Katie Fenton ’19.

Colby kept Middlebury to the outside for the next several minutes. About halfway through the second period Colby gained some momentum with its first power-play of the game. The momentum was short lived as Middlebury scored a short handed goal, making the game 5-0.

From here, things got worse as Middlebury popped in two more goals within 15-seconds of each other in the final few minutes of the second period.

In the third period, Colby was able to score its first goal of the game three and half minutes into the period. The goal came from Forward Katie McLaughlin ’17 with two assists from Eleanor Knutzen ’17 and Anna Rudinski ’19. Middlebury ended up answering that goal with a final goal of their own about 10 minutes later. However, Colby outshot the Panthers 7-6 during the third period and played strong offensively.

Despite the score the Mules played strong defensively in some respects as the team had a total of 10 players blocking shots for the Mules, an impressive stat in all regards.

Though the team did not come away with a win over the weekend, the players had reason to celebrate this past Tuesday. As The Echo went to press, Women’s Hockey came away with its first win of the season in a 3-1 Valentine’s Day victory over the University of Southern Maine. The team will hope to carry this momentum into its final game of the season, Saturday at 4 P.M. against the 8-14-2 Becker College.

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