HAMILTON – Jessie Eldridge (Barrie, Ontario) scored the game-winning goal with 0.1 seconds left in overtime to lift the No. 5/5 Colgate women’s ice hockey team past the Mercyhurst Lakers, 4-3, at Class of 1965 Arena Friday night.
Eldridge’s overtime winner is her first career overtime game-winner as the Raiders extend their winning streak to five games to open up the 2017-18 season.
First-year Malia Schneider (Millarville, Ontario) collected the puck in the Raiders defensive zone with just over six seconds left in overtime and shifted the puck to Eldridge at the red line with three seconds left. Eldridge skated with speed and fired her shot from the inside right faceoff circle as time expired. After a lengthy review, the goal stood as the game-winner.
The Raiders and Lakers battled back and forth all game long before Eldridge’s buzzer beater in overtime.
Mercyhurst took an early lead in the first period to give Colgate its first deficit of the season on Vilma Tansk31714anen’s unassisted goal 5:22 into the game. Prior to Tanskanen’s goal, the Raiders had not trailed for the first 245:22 to open up the season.
The Lakers’ lead was not long-lived as Megan Sullivan (Toronto, Ontario) even up the score at a goal apiece. Kaila Pinkney (Denfield, Ontario) started the play behind the Raiders goal and worked the puck up to Sullivan who found Shelby Perry (Elginburg, Ontario) with the pass. Perry hit Sullivan with the puck again where she managed to backhand the puck past Mercyhurst goaltender Kennedy Blair for the goal.
Lauren Wildfang (Waterdown, Ontario) got the Raiders on top early in the second period with her first goal of the season. After taking a pass from Breanne Wilson-Bennett (Markham, Ontario), Wildfang work the puck to Coralie Larose (Embrun, Ontario) on the right boards. Larose passed it back to Wildfang skating down the center of the ice but the puck slid forward where Blair had trouble covering the puck. Wildfang chased down the puck and circled the goal to put home the wraparound attempt.
After Mercyhurst tied the game about four-and-a-half minutes later, Eldridge netted her first goal of the game to reclaim the Raiders lead. Eldridge stole the puck from a Mercyhurst defender along the left boards in the neutral zone. She passed the puck off the boards in the neutral zone and went around the opposite side of her defender to regain control the puck before blazing toward the goal.
Mercyhurst tied the game four minutes later to make it 3-3 with just 1:17 left in the second period as Jennifer MacAskill put home a feed from Alexa Vasko after a Raider turnover behind their own goal.
Neither team could break through in the third period as Liz Auby (Stoughton, Wisconsin) made 10 of 30 saves but Eldridge came through with less than a second left in overtime for the victory.
Colgate 4, Mercyhurst 3 (OT)
The Raiders extend their winning streak to five games to improve to 5-0-0 to open the season for the second straight season while the Lakers fall to 1-5-1.
KEY RAIDER INFO
-Eldridge tallied her first career overtime game-winning goal and the latest overtime game-winner in program history
-The Raiders last overtime game-winner came at St. Lawrence on Jan. 20 and Colgate has at least overtime victory every season since 2006-07.
-Eldridge’s two-goal performance was her second two-goal game of the season and fifth of her career along with her 23rd multi-point game
-Eldridge is tied for second in the nation with six goals and is the only Raider with points in all five games
-Perry extended her point streak to four games as she picked up her sixth assist of the season to tie Clarkson’s Loren Gabel for the most in the league
-Schneider also extended her point streak to four games as the Raiders first-year picked up an assist on Eldridge’s buzzer-beater
-Sullivan buried second goal of the season and team-leading 38th of her career in the 1st period Friday night
-Wildfang picked up her first goal of the season and 13th of her career in her 100th game, becoming the ninth different Raider with a goal this season
-First-year Coralie Larose tallied an assist for her first career point
-Pinkney picked up her second helper of the season for the Raiders
-Wilson-Bennett recorded her second assist of the season for the Raiders to give her points in back-to-back games
-Auby tied her career-high with 30 saves Friday night, with 13 coming in the first period alone. She extends her career unbeaten streak to eight games (7-0-1)
FACTS AND FIGURES
-The Raiders outshot the Lakers 40-33 in the game and held the shots advantage in all three periods plus overtime
-Neither team scored on the power play as Colgate went 0 for 4 and Mercyhurst went 0 for 3
-The Raiders also had the advantage on faceoffs Friday night, winning 33 of the 57 faceoffs, led by Wilson-Bennett with a game-high 12.
FROM THE SOURCE
Head Coach Greg Fargo
“It was such an uplifting moment, we’re in our own zone with less about 10 seconds to go and defending before Malia made a great play to get the puck to Jessie. I looked up with five seconds on the clock and by the time she was able to get the puck down the ice and in the net, it was electric and that’s how Jessie played all night.”
“Jessie came up big for us when we needed it. We actually talked about it before overtime, we needed somebody to step up and make a play and you never know when that’s going to happen. She was certainly the one that stepped up and made the big play tonight.”
“Obviously we’re pleased to leave here with the win but I can’t say that the other team deserved to lose tonight. There was a good amount of time that they were the better team on the ice and our locker room knows that. We didn’t get the start of the game to be what we needed it to be, and in those scenarios we need our guys that have been here for a few years to be the ones leading the way.”
“With this team, there hasn’t been a second of doubt. They know when they play the right way that good things can happen. When we did the right things tonight, we were on the right side of things but when we got away from that the puck bounced the other way. It’s great to squeak out of there with the win but we know we’ve got to be better tomorrow and moving forward.”
Forward Jessie Eldridge
“I kind of lost track of everything that was going on. I know when we got on the ice there was less than a minute left. From there, I got a really good pass from Schneider but had no concept of time. I could hear everyone yelling but I had no idea what they were yelling so I’m kind of glad it worked out in the end.”
“It was definitely a sigh of relief, a lot of bounces didn’t go our way tonight. Mercyhurst played a really good game so we’re kind of lucky to get that one at the end.”
“The first four games of the season we had a lot of bounces go our way and a lot of goals. Tonight was a challenge and at some points we weren’t ready to step up to that challenge but it showed the fight that our team has that when we really want to get what we want we’ll go out and get it.”
Colgate and Mercyhurst conclude their series Saturday afternoon at Class of 1965 Arena with puck drop set for 3 p.m.