Team Colorado 19U forward Sydnie Crockett waited for the CCM NIT girls’ hockey tournament in Minnesota for a year. Nearly 12 months earlier to the day, Crockett and Team Colorado played the Milwaukee Jr. Admirals in the event. Crockett took a hit from behind, resulting in a separated shoulder and a concussion.
The injuries kept her out for about two months last season, her first year with Team Colorado. She was in a sling for five weeks, rehabbed and also had to get clearance to play following the concussion.
Friday night, Crockett and her Colorado teammates faced the Madison Capitols at Fogerty Ice Arena in Blaine, Minnesota, the very same place where Crockett took her hit last year. Crockett responded by scoring Colorado’s lone goal as the teams skated to a 1-1 tie.
It was a great feeling for Crockett to score a goal in that same arena, she said.
“It was exhilarating,” Crockett said. “To at least get a goal to tie the 14th-ranked team, did a little something. I just wish we could have gotten one more.”
Team Colorado wasn’t able to take a lead, but it fended off a late attack from Madison in the closing minutes. Team Colorado had to kill a pair of penalties in the final five minutes as well, putting them in their own zone rather than at the other end trying to get the go-ahead goal.
Bohn said he was proud of his team for killing those late penalties and not letting Madison get another goal.
Goaltender Vanessa Ruban stopped Madison with 34 saves. The only tally she allowed came 1 minute, 35 seconds into the second period, when Samantha Bandholz beat her high on the blocker side. Ruban said her adrenaline was pumping near the end making saves, but she knew she had to do it for her team so they could get the puck out of the zone.
“It’s a good thing we didn’t let any of those in at the end,” Ruban said. “A tie is always better than a loss. It always gets us a point. Of course we wanted that win, but unfortunately, we couldn’t get it.”
Crockett’s goal made sure her team finished 1-for-4 on the power play.
Bohn called Crockett a “hard-nosed player” who will find the back of the net if opponents give her time and space. There were some concerns about her coming back to this arena, Bohn said. Crockett and assistant coach Kyle Meehan had a good meeting before the game, though, Crockett said.
“From a mental standpoint, we spent a lot of time psychologically getting her confident to come in here,” Bohn said. “But she’s come in, and as we saw tonight, she played really hard and was composed, poised on the puck and right now, leading our team in scoring.”
Sydney Luttrell (6) was called for tripping on this play late in the third period. Team Colorado killed off two penalties in the last five minutes of the game to hang on to a 1-1 tie. Photo by Cheryl A. Myers, SportsEngine
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