A pair of third period goals helped the St. Lawrence women's hockey team to a 3-1 victory against Colgate on Saturday afternoon. It is the Saints first conference victory since November 23.
"That was a very gutsy win for us," said St. Lawrence Head Coach Chris Wells. "Colgate had very good jump and didn't allow us to play our game for much of the afternoon. We had a fortunate bounce on our winning goal, and at this time of the year points are so important."
Now 7-14-3 overall and 6-5-3 in league play, the Saints gave up a power-play goal to the Raiders' Cat Quirion to fall into a 1-0 hole midway through the first. However, just two minutes later junior forward Margo Lund pulled the Saints even with her first goal of the season.
"Jessica Hon carried the puck in on the rush and made a great pass across the slot," Lund said. "I tapped it in off the far post."
In the second period, with the Saints on the penalty kill, first-year defenseman Kirsten Padalis helped keep the game at 1-1 when she laid out in front of the Carmen MacDonald to block a shot by Melissa Kueber. The Raiders had a flurry of chances late in the power-play that left MacDonald out of position when a rebound kicked to Kueber on the lower right circle. Padalis was able to slide across the crease and deflect the shot wide.
The teams were still knotted at one heading into the third period and Colgate controlled the play from the opening draw to start the third frame. Coach Wells called a timeout just 2:08 in to regroup and get the Saints back on track, and it paid off. St. Lawrence came out of the timeout hungry for the puck and started generating offensive zone time, but wouldn't solve Colgate goaltender Ashlynne Rando until the closing minutes.
With 3:01 to play, senior tri-captain Rylee Smith gave the Saints their first lead of the game off a feed from first-year Brooke Webster.
"I was able to get the puck wide and cut to the middle," Webster said. "I was able to get a good shot off and Rylee was there to finish it."
Smith added: "It was a loose puck and I went after it hard and was able to chip it through her legs."
One minute and 26 seconds later, sophomore Kailee Heidersbach added an empty net goal to help ice the victory for the Saints.
"These were two gigantic points," Wells said. "We will take some good confidence from the weekend and travel to Albany next weekend for two more important league games."
MacDonald finished with 20 saves for St. Lawrence, while Rando made 28 stops for the Raiders.
With the win, the Saints moved into fifth place in the ECAC Hockey standings. The team will hit the road next week for games against RPI and Union.