The St. Lawrence University women's hockey team snapped a five-game losing skid in impressive fashion on Friday afternoon, as the Saints shutout Colgate University in Hamilton, NY by the score of 3-0 in the 2013-14 ECAC Hockey opener. Junior goaltender Carmen MacDonald, who missed the previous five contests due to injury, returned in style with a 23-save performance to earn her 10th career shutout.
St. Lawrence (2-5-0, 1-0-0) picked up goals in the game by senior captain Mel Desrochers, junior Kayla Raniwsky and first-year student Alex Moore, as the team outshot the Raiders (2-5-0, 0-1-0) by a 32-23 margin.
"We played a solid game and moved the puck the best we have all year," said St. Lawrence head coach Chris Wells. "We had some very good chances that didn't go in, but we are all happy to start league play with a win."
The Saints took the lead a mere 1:33 into the opening stanza, as Desrochers scored her third goal of the year. After taking a pass from fellow captain Dayle Wilkinson, Desrochers skated into the offensive zone and fired a slap shot from outside the right circle that beat Colgate goalie Ashlynne Rando stick-side for the 1-0 cushion. Sophomore Abbey McRae also earned an assist on what proved to be the game-winning tally.
Raniwsky would make it 2-0 midway through the first, as she took a pass from senior captain Rylee Smith at the blue line and moved in on Rando. Her backhanded shot snuck past Rando's blocker for her second goal of the year at 9:39, with Smith and junior Jessica Hon assisting. The goal would chase Rando from the game, as she was replaced by Susan Allen.
It appeared the game was going to head to the third period with the visitors still up 2-0, but a late power play tally by Moore would add another insurance goal on to make it 3-0 at 18:20. Though Allen was able to make the initial save on a blast from Wilkinson, the puck squirted free into the crease where Moore was waiting to bang it into the net for her first collegiate goal. Smith also assisted on the game's final goal.
After being outshot 9-3 in the second period, Colgate ramped up its offensive efforts in the third with 11 shots, including several bids from point-blank range. However, MacDonald was up to the task, making several dazzling stops to keep the shutout intact and preserve her team's 3-0 win.
Allen finished with 24 saves in the game for the Raiders, while Rando suffered the loss after making five stops in 9:39 of action. St. Lawrence was 1-for-4 on the power play while Colgate was 0-for-4.
St. Lawrence will be in action again tomorrow, Saturday, October 26 when it takes on nationally-ranked No. 3 Cornell University in Ithaca, NY. The puck will drop on the Saints and Big Red at 3:00pm.