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Emma Pais lifts #4 Colgate over #2 Ohio State

Credit: Scott Kinville

The #4 Colgate Raiders got a late goal from rookie Emma Pais to defeat #2 Ohio State in their regular season opener.

Colgate Raiders rookie Emma Pais had a debut for the ages on Friday night.

With the score tied at two in the game’s closing minute, Raiders captain Danielle Serdachny forced a loose puck at the Ohio State blue line. Pais would be the beneficiary as she scooped the puck up and raced in on Buckeyes goaltender Amanda Thiele. The Colgate rookie then slid the biscuit between Thiele’s pads and into the back of the net with 39.8 seconds remaining in the third period to give her team a 3-2 lead bringing a raucous home crowd to its feet. The home team would hang on the rest of the way for the win.

“I’m thrilled the Colgate community could witness this game tonight”, Raiders Head Coach Greg Fargo said about the victory. “There was a ton of talent on the ice, and it was fun to see our team compete as they did in front of such a great home crowd”.

Read our Colgate Raiders Women’s Hockey 2023-24 season preview here: The Colgate Raiders Women’s Hockey 2023-24 season preview.

Neither team registered a shot through the first six minutes of the game. That would change, however, when Colgate was awarded a power play at the 6:30 mark. Dara Grieg sent a pass from below the goal line to Elyssa Biederman who redirected the puck into the Ohio State net twenty-six seconds into the advantage. Former Buckeye Sydney Morrow drew the second assist.

Elyssa Biederman celebrates her first-period goal during Friday night’s game. Photo credit: Scott Kinville.

Two and a half minutes later, Colgate would flex its muscles once again on the power play. Serdachny carried the puck around the back of the Buckeye cage and sent a cross-ice pass to Kalty Kaltouková – who finished the play with a one-timer goal from the right side of the crease.

Colgate would get four power plays in the first period (the last one carried over to the second period). The Raiders would not convert again with the advantage but nonetheless took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission. Ohio State was clearly having trouble with Colgate’s team speed.

That would change in the second period. After killing off the carryover penalty from the first period, the Buckeyes would take the play to the Raiders. They outshot Colgate 14-10 and got a goal from Sloane Matthews on a two-on-one to cut the lead in half. They nearly tied the game in the closing minute of the period, but Colgate goaltender Kayle Osborne made two big saves to preserve her team’s lead after forty minutes of play.

Ohio State would continue to press in the third period, outshooting Colgate by a two-to-one margin. They tied the game with 10:25 left when Hannah Bilka put a rebound off her own shot past Osborne. The Buckeyes killed their momentum by taking a too many players on the ice penalty with 3:35 remaining. The Buckeyes killed that penalty, then got a two-on-none opportunity they did not convert. It would prove costly as Pais scored the eventual game-winning goal thirty seconds later. It was her first goal as a Colgate Raider.

“When you play a team like Ohio State to start the season, we knew it would be a great test. I’m really proud of how this team has shown up every day so far”, Fargo said about his team’s effort. “This team has been really focused and connected. I felt we were as ready as we could be tonight and our next challenge is to get ready for another one tomorrow. Our focus is on getting better tomorrow and there are plenty of ways we can keep making strides.”

The Colgate bench boss also noted the importance of the home crowd’s support to the win.

“I just can’t say enough about the crowd tonight, we’re really appreciative of the community’s support. It gave our team a boost in crucial moments and it made for a really fun environment. I hope we can bring some more excitement to the Class of 1965 Arena tomorrow and the rest of this season.”

The teams meet again on Saturday afternoon with a start time of 3 p.m. For more information about Colgate Raiders hockey, visit https://colgateraiders.com.

Notes: Ohio State outshot Colgate 32-25…Colgate was 2/5 on the power play, while Ohio State was 0/2…Emma Pais led Colgate in shots with 5, while Hannah Bilka led Ohio State with 6…Neena Brick led Colgate in faceoff wins with 10 (10 for 15), while Jenna Buglioni led Ohio State with 14 (14 for 29).

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