The student news site of Hamline University.

The Oracle

The student news site of Hamline University.

The Oracle

The student news site of Hamline University.

The Oracle

Women’s Hockey off to blazing hot streak

Oracle Stock
A Hamline skater moves the puck through the neutral zone.

  This article was previously published in print on Dec. 05, 2023.  

Following their two game road sweep of Concordia Moorhead, the Hamline University Women’s hockey team has made it known they are a force to be reckoned with this season.

The Hamline Women’s team is off to a hot start to their 2023-2024 campaign. Sitting at a record of 7–2, the Pipers have made their presence known in the college hockey scene. The Pipers currently rank 15 nationally according to US College Hockey Hockey Online (USCHO). 

The strong national presence has been fueled by an ability to score goals which puts them second in the MIAC in goals per game, averaging 3.8 goals per game. 

Story continues below advertisement

It is not only the offense that has been doing its part. The defense of the women’s team currently ranks third in the MIAC, allowing only two goals per game behind two nationally ranked MIAC opponents in Saint Mary’s (5) and Gustavus (3). 

At the head of the Pipers’ success has been head coach Whitney Colbert. Colbert, a third year head coach, entered the season with a 25–26–1 record along with being 19–14–1 in conference games throughout the past two seasons. 

This comes off of a 15 win 2022-2023 campaign that saw the Pipers finish runner-up in the MIAC championship. Colbert previously served as an assistant women’s hockey coach at Connecticut College for two seasons, followed by a three year stint as an assistant coach for Division 1 Union College. 

One of the most important parts of a coach is their ability to have positive relationships with their players and Coach Colbert is no different. Fifth-year defensemen Elizabeth Valley noted that she and Colbert “have a very good relationship.” 

“I think she leads our team very well and the team has bought into our set systems. We just trust her and the rest of the coaching staff to lead us in the right direction and to continue to push us every day to get better on the ice,” Valley said.

Colbert has done an excellent job keeping the program in the upper echelon of the MIAC conference, a place the Pipers have been accustomed to in the last decade. 

“[Colbert] has done a wonderful job stepping into a big pair of shoes and I think her abilities will continue to grow along with our team,” Senior forward Sydney Lemke said. “I think she has done so with grace.” 

The success of the Piper’s season is due in large part to big names like Lemke. Lemke is off to a blazing hot start, leading the team with 7 goals already surpassing her career best. 

The sharpshooter from Monticello, MN has an impressive .276 shot percentage which is second in the MIAC (min. one shot per game played) behind fellow Piper Annika Lindgren (.300) 

The Piper bench stands on their toes and ready for upcoming line changes at TRIA Rink. (Oracle Stock)

“Personally I have been happy with my performance,” Lemke said.  “I have been playing with much more poise and confidence which has led to success thus far in the season.” Lemke’s Goals for herself are to play confidently and physically. 

“I also set a goal to take more shots each game and beat my previous season’s points.” Lemke said.

On the defensive side of the rink, Valley has been a point merchant while notching 7 assists as well as 2 goals on the season. 

The former MIAC Rookie of the Year ended the 2022-2023 campaign by earning an All-MIAC Honorable Mention award. Building off her success of the previous year, Valley set her sights on improving off the ice. 

“​​The personal goals I set for myself this year were to be the best leader I can be for our team on and off the ice, while also improving my skills,” Valley said. 

The second year captain sets the standard for Hamline hockey through her actions rather than her words. 

“I see myself as more of a leader you look up to on the ice by my actions than a vocal leader,” Valley said. “I work hard every day and try to set the best example I can for the underclassmen so they know what our expectations are for this year and the years to come for the Hamline program. My teammates and I have respect for each other that goes both ways so I think they have responded well.”

The leadership on the hockey squad has been a huge part of the growth and success of the Hamline program. Players and coaches alike feel a bond between one another and it is shown through the results on the ice. 

This group has “very strong leadership within our program from not just our captains but also our other seniors, fifth years and juniors,” Colbert said. “This allowed us to pick up where we left off last season and continue to build at a higher rate.” 

Her key to leading the room is by having “a positive and uplifting attitude regardless of the scoreboard, both on the bench and in the locker room, in order to ensure everyone the confidence to continue to fight and persevere whether we’re up or down,” Lemke said.

The hot start to the season has gotten the Pipers to set their minds on bigger and better things. Lemke has set her mind on a home playoff game as well as remaining nationally ranked throughout the season while Valley has her sights set on winning the MIAC.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All The Oracle Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *