DENVER (11/8/11) – The University of Colorado women’s ice hockey team defeated the Colorado State Ram’s 3-1 at the Pepsi Center Saturday evening.
The win improves the Buffaloes record to 2-6-1 on the season.
The Ram’s drew first blood, scoring with 12:21 left in the first period. The Buffs’ offense fired shot after shot trying to get an equalizer, but Colorado State’s sophomore goalie Amanda Vandenberg was brick wall, stopping Colorado’s first 11 shots. The first period concluded with the Buffs’ down 1-0.
Despite being behind, the Buffs’ were able to keep their composure in the second period. Just three minutes in, freshmen Emera Danos scored a goal off a beautiful assist from senior Lizzy Stoll. Play went back and forth the rest of the period, with both teams narrowly missing goals. With three minutes left in the second period, Stoll was able to find the back of the net thanks to an assist by CU sophomore Sara Lopez and senior Elizabeth Helmer. The buzzer sounded with Colorado leading 2-1.
The third period was dominated by the Buffaloes’ defense. CU’s asphyxiating defense allowed just three shots on goal in the final period. With 7:22 remaining in third, Colorado senior Amanda Wilson scored a highlight-reel backhanded flip goal to put the Buffs’ up 3-1. Wilson’s goal turned out to be a dagger for Colorado State, who wouldn’t score the rest of the game.
“She played awesome today,” said head coach Kristen Van Slyke on Stoll’s performance. “She’s a senior captain so I expect her to play great every game but today she really came to play.”
Stoll had an amazing game, but Colorado’s defense won them the game.
“I think our defense did a great job of causing turnovers in the neutral zone,” said Van Slyke. “I think they’ve learned a lot from our past couple weekends and have been able to come out and do great things on the ice.”
Stoll continued on the theme of defense, “Most of our defenders are actually freshmen, they’ve been working really hard to step up and being stronger and I think they showed that tonight.”
While defense may have won the Buffs’ the game, there’s no arguing that the most exciting play of the game was Wilson’s backhand flip goal.
“I was screaming at my defender who actually received the puck to just shoot it,” said Wilson on her goal. “I saw the rebound of her shot come toward me and I knew I had to get the shot up so I just dug in and threw it top shelf with my backhand.”
Perhaps most impressive from CU’s 3-1 victory was the team’s composure. The team never seemed flustered, despite being down most of the first period.
“We’re really mentally strong,” said Danos. “We have the ability to not get down on ourselves and not shut down when things get hard and we showed that by coming back each period.”
Colorado will head to Bensenville, Ill. Nov. 11 to take on the Michigan State Spartans.
The women’s team is one of 21 schools (and one of two in the western United States) that plays at the Women’s ACHA Division I level. CU’s women’s team also plays games in the WACH (Women’s Association of Colorado Hockey). For more information on CU women’s club hockey visit their website at http://www.coloradowomenshockey.com