In their opening weekend, 'gate traveled out to Minneapolis to play the Gophers. Neither game turned out well for the Raiders, with Minnesota shutting them out both nights by scores of 7-0 and 11-0. Still in out-of-conference play, Colgate hosted 4 games against Hockey East opponents. The first weekend was against Northeastern and UNH. Colgate dropped both of those games as well, scoring their first goal of the season against a UNH team that has garnered some key wins this season, making them appear better than their 4-7-1 record. The Wildcats beat and tied Boston University, who split with the Big Red earlier this season, as well as split with Boston College. The next weekend marked the first win and first weekend sweep for the Raiders, defeating UConn 5-3 and 4-1.
Colgate began ECAC play the following week, playing teams that Cornell had tight games against, Yale and Brown, and lost both match-ups. Though still winless in the ECAC, Colgate got a tie out of Princeton after losing to Quinnipiac the night before. On the Big Red's off week, the Raiders faced new D-I team, RIT, and pulled off a win in a close game.
The key to beating this Colgate team will come in two different packages. The first is special teams. Colgate has scored almost half of its goals while on the power play. (7 PPG, 2 SHG, 17 total goals). The Big Red will need to be especially vigilant while on the penalty kill, or more optimistically, avoid penalties. The second is goaltending and scoring. Obviously, to win, the Big Red will need to outscore the Raiders. But the Big Red's go-to goaltender, Lauren Slebodnick, is likely not going to play this weekend due to her injury in the Princeton game. (Hopefully she heals as quickly and painlessly as possible.) So goaltending will be a question for Cornell. Both freshman Stefannie Moak and sophomore Katelyn Pippy have stepped up for the Big Red in key moments this season, Moak in the Princeton game and Pippy in the Quinnipiac game. But who will start for the Big Re remains a mystery. Either way, Cornell will have an excellent choice of goaltenders to start. Colgate's two netminders, also a freshmen/sophomore tandem, have played in the same number of games this season, garnering a very similar save percentage (.892 and .890). The key will be finding the weaknesses of the goaltender in use (likely one on Friday, one on Saturday), and using the trademark Lady Rouge offensive prowess in order to best the Raiders.
Cornell also gets back Brianne Jenner who was off competing in the 4 Nations Cup in Switzerland, helping Team Canada win a silver medal. The Big Red should be clicking for both their games this weekend and will hopefully come out of the weekend stronger than ever.