Men’s Hockey Takes Second at Governor’s Cup

Jaime Heilbron

The Colgate men’s hockey team advanced to the finals of the Governor’s Cup for the third consecutive year after defeating the Robert Morris Colonials, 5-2 in the opening round. However, the Raiders fell to Union College, 4-2 in the title game. The men’s hockey team is now 3-1 as it prepares to begin ECAC play.

“I think that there is no limit to how well we can do. This is a very unselfish team that relies on everyone to show up and give their best effort every night,” sophomore forward Fran?cois Brisebois said. “There is no doubt in our minds that we are more than capable of making it to the NCAA Tournament and making a name for ourselves once we are there. Our team is built on character and pride and we plan on making sure that we always work harder than our opponents.”

Colgate came out hungry in the first period in the opener against Robert Morris, firing on all cylinders. The Raiders were controlling the puck and kept most of the play in the Colonials’ end of the ice. The Raiders’ efforts first came to fruition at the 4:18 mark of the period, when senior Assistant Captain Tom Riley scored his first goal of the season on a power play, assisted by senior Captain Nick St. Pierre. Three minutes later at the 7:31 mark, the boys from Hamilton added to their lead when sophomore forward Brian Day scored his first goal of the night, assisted by junior forward David McIntyre. Day would score the game-winning goal and his second score of the night a minute and a half later on a power play. Both first-year forward Austin Smith and sophomore defenseman Wade Poplawski were given assists. At the 17:15 mark of the period, Day would complete his first career hat trick by posting his first-ever shorthanded goal. He became the first Raider to post a hat trick in three different ways since forward Kyle Wilson did so back in 2005 versus Army. Colgate went into intermission with a 4-0 advantage, despite being outshot 10-9 in the first period.

Although Day’s natural hat trick gave the Raiders great momentum, Robert Morris came out bent on taking that away from the Raiders in the second period. The Colonials quickly got on the board at the 5:10 mark, and 53 seconds later added another goal to cut the Colgate lead to 4-2.

Just when it seemed that Robert Morris had turned the game around, Brisebois scored his second goal of the season at the 7:06 mark, assisted by junior forward Jason Williams and first-year forward Nicholas Prockow. For Prockow, the assist was his first collegiate point.

“Their two quick goals really put us on our heels. They were starting to outwork us, and even if they weren’t as skilled as us, we couldn’t take the lead for granted,” Brisebois said. “I thought our line put forth a lot of hard work and as starters for the game; we wanted to start every period the right way. A two-goal lead is probably the most dangerous lead in ice hockey and the fifth goal was crucial since it brought positive vibes for the team.”

“Everyone has been working hard on handling the puck and producing a high-energy penalty kill,” senior defenseman Jason Fredricks said. “We have to keep working hard on it.”

The following evening, Colgate faced the Union Flying Dutchmen in the championship game. The Raiders had a strong first period and outshot Union, 8-4. Therefore, it came as little surprise when McIntyre scored the first goal of the game at the 12:28 mark on a five-on-three power play, assisted by Riley and Brisebois.

The Dutchmen took the initiative in the second period and scored two quick goals just 46 seconds apart to take a 2-1 lead. It was the first time Colgate had trailed all season. The never-say-die Colgate squad still managed to tie the score, as Brisebois netted his second goal of the weekend, assisted by St. Pierre and Riley.

The third period was the most evenly played out of the three. Unfortunately, Colgate was not able to capitalize on its opportunities. With six minutes left in regulation, the Dutchmen got a breakaway that resulted in the game-winning goal. Union added an empty net goal with eight seconds left in the period to make the final score 4-2.

Although the Union game was a tough loss, “I think we have to make sure that we bury on our chances, since we had a couple of good ones, and we have to make sure not to have defensive lapses that allow them to score easy goals,” Fredricks said.

Brisebois agreed with Fredricks’ assessment.

“I think we came out very well and the first period was very evenly matched, but I thought we had the edge. We came into the second with the lead, but we couldn’t take it for granted. They scored two quick goals, and were ahead, but we scored one to tie it. We lacked a bit of discipline, which gave them momentum, and Union went on to score the game-winning goal due to a miscommunication.”

Despite the loss, The Colgate penalty kill once again proved itself as one of the Raiders’ greatest strengths throughout the weekend, as it allowed no goals. The unit is 21 for 22 in the four games that have been played this season.

Day and St. Pierre were selected for the all-tournament team.

The Raiders will face the University of Ottawa in an exhibition match on Saturday in their final preparation before they begin the ECACHL campaign.