Colgate Stands Strong Against No. 5

Brooks Records Career-High 44 Saves in First Start of Season

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Brittney Brooks of Las Vegas made an impressive 44 saves for Colgate

By Kat Castner

HAMILTON – Despite dropping a 2-0 contest to the Clarkson Golden Knights, the Colgate women’s hockey team played a great defensive game against the No. 5 team in the nation.

“She was phenomenal,” Colgate head coach Greg Fargo said of his netminder’s performance on the day. “She kept us in the game by giving our team a chance to get a goal there in the first two periods to tie it up and that’s all you can ask of your goaltender every night. You just want to give your team a chance to win and for someone who hasn’t seen a whole lot of minutes in her time at Colgate she went in there without fear and competed super hard today. I’m really proud of Brittney.”

Colgate (2-6-0, 0-2-0 ECAC) saw Brittney Brooks made a career-high 44 saves in her first start of the year. Taylor Volpe and Stephanie Giannopoulos led the Raider attack tallying four and two shots throughout the game, respectively.

#5 Clarkson (6-2-1, 1-1-0 ECAC) received goals from Jamie Lee Rattray and Carly Mercer in the first and third period. Erica Howe registered 11 stops in her sixth victory of the season.

In the opening minutes of the game, the Golden Knights fired four shots on target, two of which came from the stick of Mercer, but each time Brooks was there to make the save.

Giannopoulos tallied the Raiders first real chance on net a few minutes later when she saw an opening on goal but Howe came up with the save to push the puck away from danger.

The Golden Knights broke through 8:11 into the period when Rattray intercepted the puck at center ice. She took on a Colgate defender before shooting low to the stick side, past Brooks for the game’s first goal.

Clarkson was on the power play for 1:15 to start the middle frame after the Raiders’ were called for slashing in the closing minute of the first period. Colgate held strong, however, killing off the man-up advantage.

The Raiders had a great look on net when Jocelyn Simpson skated down the right wing with the puck. The senior played it over to rookie Cat Quirion, who shot one-time on net but unfortunately Howe was there to make the stellar stop.

Colgate was called for tripping six minutes into the period and despite a great two great shots from Vanessa Gagnon, Brooks stayed solid in net deflecting any real chance on goal, as the Raiders were able to kill off the Golden Knights’ second extra skater opportunity.

Giannopoulos intercepted the puck a few minutes later and fired a shot on net but Erin Ambrose came sliding in to block the attempt, saving a potential Raider goal.

Colgate was called for two quick penalties, which gave Clarkson a 5-on-3 man-up opportunity with four minutes remaining in the period. The Raiders came up with a great defensive effort led by Nicole Gass and Brooks to kill off both penalties not concede another goal.

Early in the final frame, the Golden Knights extended their advantage to 2-0 after Mercer found the puck in a scramble in front of the net. Just inside the blue line Vanessa Plante fired a shot towards goal. Brooks made the initial stop but wasn’t able to find rebound as Mercer poked the puck in with her stick through traffic.

Colgate looked to break through when they were handed an extra skater opportunity after a Clarkson interference call with 8:42 remaining in the game. The Golden Knights held off any Raider attempt on net ultimately securing their win.

The Raiders take the ice next on Friday and Saturday when they faceoff with #8/9 Quinnipiac and Princeton. Colgate is in Hamden, Conn., on Friday for a 7 p.m. puck drop followed by a matchup with the Tigers on Saturday in Princeton, N.J., at 4 p.m.