Capital District Teams Sweep Men’s Hockey



Last weekend the men’s hockey team had its worst weekend of the season so far, as ‘Gate was unable to earn a single point. The Raiders fell 3-2 in OT last Friday night in a tough battle to Rensselaer and lost 6-3 last Saturday to Union College.

On Friday, January 16, the Raiders traveled to Troy, New York to face the Rensselaer Engineers for the first time since January 2008.

In the first period of the game, both teams came out hesitant, attempting to get a feel of their opponent’s strengths and weakness.

After a relatively slow start however, both teams began to take more chances, which made for an entertaining period of back-and-forth hockey. It was not until the end of the first period that the home team drew first blood at the 17:28 mark, when the Raiders, after a turnover near the neutral zone, gave up a breakaway against which goalie Charles Long stood no chance. Colgate knotted the game at one with a little under a minute left to play, at the 19:06 mark when junior forward Jason Williams scored on a power play, assisted by senior defenseman Jason Fredricks and junior forward David McIntyre.

The second period was similar to the first. Both teams came out inspired and determined to play great hockey and battle hard to earn two points. The Raiders kept crashing the Rensselaer net, and the Engineers returned the favor. It would be the Engineers, however, who would regain the lead at the 12:11 mark to make the score 2-1. After two periods, the Rensselaer Engineers held the advantage in shots 16-13.

The boys from Hamilton came into the third period with a newfound determination not to come out empty-handed from the Houston Field House. They thoroughly dominated the period, creating several scoring opportunities, but were turned down by the strong R.P.I. goalie Mathias Lange. The Raiders scored the last goal of regulation at the 8:47 mark of the third period when McIntyre scored his tenth of the season, assisted by senior captain Nick St. Pierre. The game went into overtime, and forty-two seconds into the extra frame, Rensselaer scored on a power play to win the game. Senior defenseman Joe Debello analyzed the team’s performance against on Friday.

“I thought that in the RPI game we had our chances but their goaltender came up with some big saves at some big moments to keep them in the game,” Debello said. “I also thought that the power play had a good weekend and generated a lot of scoring chances, but it was just a case of not finishing the scoring chances and their goaltender’s play had a lot to do with that.”

The following night Colgate traveled to Union’s Messa Rink, an arena known for their rowdy student section. The outlook seemed bleak for the Raiders from the beginning as the Dutchmen got on the board quickly, at the 2:03 mark of the first period. The remainder of the period saw both teams play hard, but the hosts had a slight advantage in shots. McIntyre gave hope to the Raider Nation at the 15:17 mark of the period when he momentarily knotted the game at one, assisted by senior defenseman David Sloane and senior forward Pietro Bogdanich. Not even a minute later, Union reclaimed the lead at the 16:15 mark to put the score at 2-1.

In the second period the Dutchmen once again came out aggressively, scoring their third goal of the game at the 3:56 mark. Down 3-1, the Raiders picked up their game. Their efforts paid off when Williams scored his second power play goal of the weekend, assisted by sophomore forward Fran?cois Brisebois and McIntyre at the 17:06 mark.

Colgate once again came out strong at the beginning of the third, thriving from the momentum taken at the end of the second. At the 5:02 mark of the game, McIntyre scored his third goal of the weekend and twelfth of the season to momentarily knot the game at three. The hosts would regain the lead for good, however, at the 8:44 mark when the Dutchmen added three more goals, including an empty-netter to take the game from the Raiders by a score of 6-3.

“It is always tough to play a game somewhat short-handed [they only dressed five defensemen], but injuries are a part of the game and every team has to deal with them,” Debello said. “I think it would be easy for us to use that as an excuse, but the five of us cannot. We are in good enough shape at this time of the year where it should not affect us, and the letdown in the third was not a result of fatigue, but more of a mental lapse.”

The senior also provided a preview and information on their two rivals of the weekend. The Raiders host the Brown Bears and the Yale Bulldogs this weekend. The puck will drop against Brown on Friday at 7 p.m., and they will host Yale Saturday night at the same time.

“Brown is in a similar situation and is going to come into this weekend’s game with just as much need of a victory,” Debello said. “Yale has been playing very well lately and we are going to have to jump on them early. If we play our game for an entire 60 minutes this weekend I think that we will like the outcomes against these two teams.”

“This weekend that will definitely be a focus for us as a defensive unit and the team in its entirety. We need to put together a focused effort for a full 60 minutes against these two teams, who are typically both very good skating teams who can quickly capitalize on mental lapses on our part.”