Zalewski: Goal is to win national title

Annika Zalewski's collegiate hockey career is winding down.  The New Hartford native is in her final season of an illustrious four-year run at Colgate.

"This year has been a lot of fun," Zalewski said.  "We have fun every day at the rink, at practice and obviously we've been winning games."

The Raiders haven't just been winning, they've been shattering the record books with a school-record 27 wins, and counting.

"We're looking to win it all," she said.  "Our goal is to win a national championship, but right now we're just taking it day-by-day.  We want to win each day and each practice."

That mentality has helped spark a remarkable turnaround.  Colgate has gone from winning seven games in Zalewski's freshman season, to being ranked No. 3 in the country and becoming a national power.

"We've just been working everyday trying to change the culture," she said.  "We've had a common goal in mind since Day 1."

As the first 3-year captain in the school's history, Zalewski has been a first-hand witness.

"(Annika) helped tip the scale as far as where our culture was going," assistant coach Sophie Leclerc said.  "She paved the path for where it is now."

While Zalewski still has a lot more to accomplish at Colgate, she's eager for her next chapter after being drafted by the NWHL's Buffalo Beauts.

"Women's hockey has been growing pretty steadily, especially in the past few years," she said.  "I'm excited for the opportunity to join that upward trend and continue my playing career."

No matter where her hockey career takes her, Zalewski plans on embracing her roots every step of the way.

"My background is definitely something I'm very proud," she said.  "My time at Colgate has shaped me into the person and player that I am."

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