Time and again Union College women’s hockey has shown it can hang on the ice with almost any team in the country.
Beating them is another matter.
Another close game, another loss. It’s a maddening pattern for a team that holds the ongoing NCAA record for most consecutive games without a win — 45 and counting after Saturday’s 1-0 loss to No. 10 Colgate at Messa Rink in the Ninth Annual Pink at the Rink Game.
“It was a great battle,” said Kathryn Tomaselli, a senior Union forward. “We were right there at the end.”
The loss marked the 14th time Union has been shut out this season.
This year’s Pink at the Rink Game — an annual event to raise awareness and funds in the fight against cancer — was dedicated to Kristen’s Kause, in support of Union Hockey fan Kristen Shinebarger in her ongoing recovery from Ewing’s Sarcoma. The Dutchwomen donned pink jerseys, socks, skate laces and stick tape for the game. A few Colgate players showed allegiance by using pink stick tape. Fans dressed in pink; facilities director Adam Brinker, operating the Zamboni Saturday, wore a pink shirt and tie. The team will be selling pink related items throughout the following week on the Union College campus.
It’s a unique look, a sharp look. And once again there were times Union (0-13-3,
0-22-6) looked sharp enough to break through and even the game against Colgate, despite being heavily outshot. Having Melissa Black in goal always gives the Dutchwomen a chance, even if that chance has yet to be realized in a W.
Despite the extended drought, Union has come close to victory on numerous occasions. The team has registered 11 ties during the streak over two seasons, and only five of their 22 losses this season have been by more than three goals.
On Saturday, Colgate (8-3-5, 16-5-7) controlled possession early on in the game, registering 12 shots on net to Union’s seven in the first period. Union killed off a pair of penalties through the first 30 minutes, but the third time paid off for the Raiders.
With Tomaselli serving a two-minute minor for slashing, Colgate’s Breanne Bennett-Wilson capitalized, scoring from in front of the crease off a face-off, with the assist going to Jessie Eldridge.
Black, the busy, talented and unrewarded freshman, stopped Colgate’s 39 other shots, and in the process recorded her 900th save of the season — extending her NCAA Division I lead in that category. Black did her best to keep her team in the game, making highlight save after highlight save. In other words, just another Black game.
The freshman remains winless in her collegiate career, but you can’t fault her: With the Colgate loss, her save percentage improved to .935 — ninth in the nation. None of the eight goalies in front of her are within 200 saves of Black’s total.
The Dutchwomen got their first power-play opportunity midway through the second period, but failed to register a shot on net. They did not record a shot on goal through the first 12 minutes of play in the second period, and were outshot 16-3 in the period.
Nine of Union’s 19 shots in the game came in the third. In the final two minutes, with Black pulled, Union even controlled play.
The Dutchwomen could not bury the puck.
“Twenty shots in a night isn’t bad, but we know we need to put a couple of those in,” Tomaselli said. “It’s about being gritty and finding the back of the net.”
Senior forward Jessica Kaminsky had a breakaway opportunity midway through the third period, but was denied by Colgate goalie Ashlynne Rando, who registered a
19-save shutout in the win.
“We’re all positive, we know we’re a family,” Kaminsky said. “We win together, we lose together, we tie together. We know we have to keep our spirits up together.”
Head coach Claudia Asano Barcomb wasn’t pleased that with her team’s effort throughout the game: “We have to make sure we play 60 minutes,” Kaminsky acknowledged that the streak is “in our heads” after the game.
“They work really hard,” Barcomb said. “We need to remain confident in ourselves.”
Colgate 0 1 0 — 1
Union 0 0 0 — 0
First Period — None. Penalties — Tomaselli, Uni (slashing), 14:38; Smith, Uni (checking), 18:31.
Second Period — 1, Colgate, Wilson-Bennett 12 (Eldridge), 13:28 (pp). Penalties — Haus, Col (tripping), 9:16; Smith, Uni (hooking), 13:22.
Third Period — None. Penalties — Tomaselli, Uni (tripping), 2:00.
Shots on Goal — Colgate 12-16-12 — 40. Union 7-3-9 — 19.
Power-play opportunities — Colgate 1 of 4; Union 0 of 1.
Goalies — Colgate, Rando 6-4-4 (19 shots-19 saves). Union, Black 0-18-6 (40-39).
A — 422. T — 1:55.
Referees — Jeremy Lemoine, Paul Crosta. Linesmen — Dmitry Antipin, Matt Luther.
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Categories: College Sports, Sports