Women’s hockey finds success while men’s team struggles

The men’s and women’s hockey teams kicked off their season this weekend with mixed results. Both teams played a game on Fri. and another on Sat.; the women were at home, while the men were on the road. Coming into the season, both teams have high hopes. The men have high hopes starting the season, being title contenders every year and turning over many returning players. The women, too, have seen success in the past and should be getting even better with an experienced, young team.

Let’s take the bad news first: The men dropped both games on the road to Williams and Middlebury. Colby led William’s Ephs 1-0 at the end of the first period and seemed to be in control of the game. The goal came from Brendan Murphy `21, able to crash the net after a shot from teammate Jake Rasch `21. The Williams goalie boasted 20 saves on the day, giving Colby trouble between the pipes. Colby fell apart in the second period, giving up three goals in only six minutes, ending the period at 3-1. Colby could never find their footing after that, letting up another goal before the final buzzer. Despite the onslaught from Williams, Colby’s goalie Andrew Tucci `20 saved an impressive 33 out 37 shots faced.

The next day, the Mules drove up to Middlebury, Vermont to take on the Panthers. Colby led in shots 11-4 at the end of the first period, but failed to mark the scoresheet. Middlebury bounced back hard, scoring two goals in the second period by taking advantage of a power play and netting another five minutes later. When the Mules let up a goal, they seem to give more than one. The final period was marked by another Middlebury goal, but not much change from Colby. Tucci had another 22 saves, but Colby went 0-6 on the power play. For the second day in a row, Colby failed to convert a power play opportunity and was left with a long bus ride back. 

The women got off to a perfect 2-0 start with a home sweep over Williams. Colby’s first game on Friday was a thriller, coming down to the last 26 seconds, when Lexi Cafiero `22 scored the game winner to complete a wild comeback. The defending NESCAC Champions held the game together until the final period, keeping a 1-0 lead most of the game. First-year Cindy Giandomenico `23 made her debut one to remember with a break-away goal to start Colby’s comeback, while Cafiero sent the home crowd into a frenzy.

Saturday was marked with another wild Colby victory. Again, the Ephs took the lead first, despite the Mules outshooting Williams in the first period. Colby came out of the intermission hot, as Tess Dupre `20 and Moira Mullaney `20 delivered Colby the lead at 2:31 in the second. Williams bounced back before the period could end, scoring two more to take the lead, yet Colby’s McKinley Karpa `22 tied it back up with 11 seconds left. Dupre was able to score again in the third period, and the Mules finished out the game to complete the sweep. 

Next week both teams will take on Bowdoin in what should be another classic rivalry matchup. The women will be traveling south on Friday Nov. 22, but coming back to Waterville Saturday for another go at the Polar Bears at 3:00 p.m., while the men have the 7:00 p.m. slot.