Last weekend the Colgate men’s hockey team dropped two heart-wrenching decisions at home to Brown and Yale. The weekend began with a 4-1 loss to Brown. The next night, Colgate relinquished a 4-0 lead with 13 minutes left in the third period and lost to the Bulldogs 5-4.
Colgate hosted Brown in front of a packed student section last Friday night. The Raiders, 16-0-2 in their last 18 games against Brown at Starr Rink going into last Friday, welcomed in a Bear team that had only won one game all seaosn.
The first period of the game was evenly played, as both teams created their chances, though the Raiders seemed to get better opportunities. Both teams went into the dressing room after the first intermission scoreless. Brown held the advantage in shots 14-11.
The second period of the game opened up with the same intensity as the first one closed. The Bears quickly got on the board at the 1:05 mark on a power play goal. The Raiders knotted the game at one just eight seconds later off the opening faceoff, when senior assistant captain Tom Riley scored from the right circle off an assist from senior captain Nick St. Pierre. That would be Colgate’s lone goal of the night. The rest of the period both teams attempted to take the lead but were stopped countless of times by the pair of first-year goaltenders, Mike Clemente of Brown and Alex Evin of Colgate. The Bears went ahead for good at the 19:48 mark of the period, once again on the power play.
Colgate came out in the third period aggressively, applying pressure on the Brown net, desperate to get its first ECACHL win since November 7. They poured shot after shot on the net protected by Clemente, yet he stood tall and stopped everything that came his way. Brown scored its third goal of the night at the 13:58 mark of the period to put the game away. The Bears later added an empty-net goal to make the final score of the game 4-1.
Senior forward Peter Bogdanich commented on his team’s performance on Friday night.
“Friday night we just weren’t playing our game and that’s been our problem as of late,” Bogdanich said. “We have been getting away from our system maybe because we’re trying too hard to get out of this slump and we need to get away from doing that and get back to playing our system and playing as a team.”
Saturday night’s matchup saw two teams that could not be much more different. Yale was in third place in the league, while Colgate was in the cellar. The first period saw Colgate take the initiative, playing with a sense of fierce urgency. The Raiders fought hard every shift and went after every loose puck, and while they may not have outshot the Bulldogs throughout the period, they definitely outplayed them. Even though they played their strongest period in the last four games, the Colgate Raiders came out empty-handed and both teams went into the first intermission in a 0-0 tie.
Colgate once again came out hard in the following period, outskating the Bulldogs. However, they were unable to put many shots on net. The team’s efforts paid off at the 1:35 mark of the period, when first-year forward Nick Prockow scored his first career goal, assisted by linemate Fran?cois Brisebois. Once the Raiders scored, Yale began applying more pressure on the Raiders, but was unable to score. Colgate added to its lead later in the second, when junior forward David McIntyre scored his 13th goal of the season off a beautiful breakaway chance. The shorthanded goal was assisted by junior forward Jason Williams and senior defenseman Jason Fredricks. The teams went into the intermission with Colgate holding a 2-0 lead.
Colgate once again came out red-hot out of the gates. They scored their third goal of the game at the 1:19 mark when Nick St. Pierre scored his first of the season by sniping a shot from near the blue line. First-year forward Austin Smith and junior forward Ethan Cox were credited with the assists. Four minutes later, the Raiders scored once more off the stick of sophomore forward Brian Day, who was assisted by Riley.
Two minutes later, Yale scored an extra-attacker goal after a bold move by Head Coach Keith Allain, who pulled goalie Alec Richards with over twelve minutes left in the game. Richards then went back on the ice, and three minutes later, the Bulldogs scored once again to cut the Raider lead to two on a power play. The Bulldog onslaught continued as they scored two more times in the period to send the game to overtime. One minute into overtime they put the final nail on the coffin, scoring to put the Raiders away 5-4.
Bogdanich expressed his shock over the happenings in the third period of that game.
“I really cannot find the words to describe Saturday night’s game,” Bogdanich said. “We had the game in the bag and let it slip right out of our hands. We need to be better and we need to play a full 60 minutes. The game isn’t over until the final buzzer sounds and I think we learned that lesson the hard way on Saturday night.”
Bogdanich also commented on what Colgate will need to work on to be successful next weekend. “As a team we are going to need to work on our systems this week and get back to the way we were playing earlier on in the season,” Bogdanich said. “There’s really no magical remedy to get out of the slump we’re in right now. All we can do is work hard and play as a team for the full 60 minutes.”
This weekend the Colgate Raiders will travel to North Country to face Clarkson on Friday night at 7 p.m. and St. Lawrence the following night at the same time.