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#4 Colgate defeats #6 Cornell, advances to ECAC Championship

Credit: Scott Kinville

Dara Greig’s four points lead the Colgate Raiders in the Championship Game of the ECAC Tournament.

The #4 Colgate Raiders Women’s Hockey Team (30-6-1 overall, 19-4-0 ECAC) hosted the #6 Cornell Big Red 24-7-1 overall, 17-6-0 ECAC) on Friday afternoon for the first of two ECAC Tournament Semifinals games at the Class of 1965 Arena. The Raiders started their march to a fourth straight ECAC Championship by disposing of the Brown University Bears last weekend in the quarterfinals. Cornell went through #9 Quinnipiac to advance to the semifinals.

Colgate Raiders Women’s Hockey advances to ECAC Semifinals

After defeating Cornell in both of the regular season matchups, Colgate made it a three-game sweep defeating the Big Red 5-1 to advance to the ECAC Championship game. They will play either Clarkson or St. Lawrence on Saturday at 5:00 pm at the Class of 1965 Arena.

Editor’s note: Clarkson defeated St. Lawrence 3-1 in the second semifinal game at the Class of 1965 Arena on Friday. Colgate and Clarkson will square off at 5:00 pm on Saturday for the ECAC Tournament Championship. It is a rematch of last season’s tournament final, which the Raiders won 8-2.

“I give our group a lot of credit,” Raiders head coach Greg Fargo said after the game. “We stuck to the game plan and ultimately we were able to find a way to kind of break it open in the third.”

Colgate’s Kaitlyn O’Donohoe takes control of the puck during Friday afternoon’s game. Photo credit: Scott Kinville.

The Raiders dominated zone time and possession for the first two periods, outshooting the Big Red 29-12 through 40 minutes. They also scored the only goal on a power play goal by Danielle Serdachny. The Patty Kazmier Award finalist fired a shot from the left circle through a crowd and past goaltender Annelies Bergmann and in. The goal extended Serdachny’s point-scoring streak to four games.

Other than the Serdachny goal, Bergmann was outstanding for Cornell. She stopped several high-quality chances from the Raiders to keep her team in the game.

“She’s been tremendous for us,” Cornell head coach Doug Derraugh said of Bergmann’s play. “The first month or so has been an adjustment, but since then she’s been great.”

Her teammates rewarded her with a game-tying goal at 6:03 into the third period. Claudia Yu skated the puck out of the right corner and put a backhand shot on Colgate netminder Kayle Osborne. Osborne made the first save, but Grace Dwyer was right there to put the rebound in.

That would be it for Cornell, as the Raiders responded with four unanswered goals. Dara Greig got the first of her four third-period points with 9:41 left when after she was robbed by Bergmann from the left circle, she floated her rebound into the open Cornell net. Two and half minutes later, she stuck on the power play, backhanding a rebound off a Kaitlyn O’Donohoe shot into the back of the net.

“Kind of one of those nights where it seems like you’re in the right spot at the right time, and I’m just proud of our group,” Greig said of her big day.

Sydney Morrow (#32) drives down the boards against Sarah MacEachern (#13) during Friday afternoon’s game. Photo credit: Scott Kinville.

The Raiders put the game away with four minutes remaining when Allyson Simpson tipped a shot by Greig from the left circle to make it 4-1. Emma Pais provided the exclamation point with 2:09 remaining when she roofed a power play from the top of the Big Red crease.

“I just think we have a lot of belief in our group,” team captain Danielle Serdachny said. “We’re pretty connected off the ice and we have a lot of fun with each other away from the rink. So I think that kind of helps us on the ice, translates to some team first play and playing for each other which is pretty special.”

“We’re right where we want to be right now,” Serdachny said of her team being in position to win a fourth consecutive ECAC championship. “That’d be pretty cool to make history and do something that hasn’t been done in a while. It’s kind of just a step in the journey where we have bigger goals in mind too.”

“I think with every passing year there’s a growth and maturity to to a group, especially when you have so many players returning from last year’s roster,” Fargo reflected. “I just think when you get to this time of year, it’s playoff time or it’s NCAA Tournament time, that experience is extremely valuable. There’s a calming presence in the room that resonates through the locker room and with the rest of our group.”

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