WATERVILLE — The Colby College women’s hockey team has flown out of the starting gates this season, posting five wins in five games to begin the winter. It’s the team’s best start since the 2001-2002 season, the first year of the New England Small College Athletic Conference, when the Mules went 5-0-0 to begin the campaign and won nine of their first 10 games.

The reward for the hot start? A long holiday weekend.

After securing a non-conference win over the University of Southern Maine last Tuesday, Colby had the Thanksgiving weekend off. The team itself enjoyed three days away from the ice before reconvening Sunday evening to begin preparations for another non-league weekend this week featuring home games Friday and Saturday against St. Michael’s (2-9-0). The Purple Knights have lost seven straight.

“I’m a big believer in family, and (the break) allowed kids who had to get on a plane to go home for Thanksgiving the chance to do that,” Colby coach Holley Tyng said. “The start of the season can be pretty intense, obviously. We were starting to get a little banged up, so it’s a chance to hit the reset button and focus on these next two games before we go into exams.”

Colby has won its last two games by shutout, 2-0 over rival Bowdoin and 5-0 over USM. Across all five games this season, the Mules have allowed only five goals.

“We’re pretty deep on the back end, and our D-zone play has been outstanding,” Tyng said. “We’ve got veteran goaltending, as well. We really haven’t spent a lot of time defending in our own zone.”

Only once this season has the opposition scored a five-on-five, even-strength goal against Colby. That goal came from rival Bowdoin in a 2-1 Colby win.

Where the Mules would like to get better is at the other end of the rink.

The team is averaging 3.0 goals per game, but Tyng believes there’s more there. In addition to proven veterans like the top line of Tess Dupre, Lexi Cafiero and McKinley Karpa, who played together a season ago and have combined for 15 of the Mules’ 36 points this season, there are plenty of others growing into their roles. Freshman Cindy Giandomenico leads the team with three goals.

“We need to work on our puck possession a little bit, and we need to work on finishing our chances,” said Tyng, now in her fourth year at Colby. “We need to start seeing the net and cashing in on some more of the chances we’re getting.”

Following the the pair of games against St. Michael’s, Colby is off until Jan. 5 when it hosts Plymouth State. The Mules don’t play another NESCAC game until Jan. 10 at Wesleyan.

For the record, the 2001-2002 Colby team was unbeaten in 12 of its first 13 games that season before eventually losing to Bowdoin in the NESCAC semifinals. Two years earlier, Colby began the year with a six-game unbeaten run (5-0-1).

 

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The University of Maine at Farmington men’s basketball team cleaned up the weekly honors in the North Atlantic Conference.

After scoring 35 points in a 102-55 win over St. Joseph’s College last Tuesday, sophomore Terion Moss was named the NAC player of the week. Moss did all of his damage in 25 minutes of work on 78.9 percent shooting from the floor. The Portland native also dished out four assists and had three steals in the win.

Cumberland’s Drew Storey was named the NAC rookie of the week for his efforts in the same game, scoring six points, including a perfect shooting night with one 3-pointer.

The Beavers are 3-2 and host UMaine-Machias at 7:30 Wednesday night.

 

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Four of the top six leading scorers for the UMF women’s basketball team hail from central Maine.

The team’s leading scorer is former Messalonskee High School standout McKenna Brodeur of Oakland. Brodeur, a junior, is one of just two Beavers averaging over 10 points per game at 12.6 to lead the team.

Monmouth Academy graduate Tia Day is fourth on the team in scoring (7.8 ppg), and Fairfield’s Molly Folsom is fifth (7.3). Makayla Wilson (4.8), who went to Messalonskee, is sixth.

UMF is 2-3 overall and hosts UMaine-Machias at 5:30 p.m., Wednesday.

 

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Colby men’s hockey freshman Carter Breitenfeldt scored the first three goals of his career Sunday in the Mules’ 6-3 win over Albertus Magnus in the Colby/Bowdoin Face-Off Classic. … Thomas College’s Jacob Godfrey had a career-high 29 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Terriers’ men’s basketball team to an 81-75 victory over Dean College last week. The Terriers travel across Waterville to Colby for a game Tuesday night.

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