Splitsville in Hockeytown

Barry Rothbard

Gymnasts would be impressed with their splits; the men’s hockey team again split their two games last weekend, this time falling in overtime to Rensselear 3-2 and taking down Union 3-1. In the first game against RPI on February 9, the Raiders came out of the gates on fire, as junior Tyler Burton finished off a rebound from Marc Fulton’s shot to give the Raiders a lead just 8:27 into the first period. Less than three minutes later, first-year David McIntyre added another goal, deflecting a shot from sophomore Mark Anderson. But the Raiders could not sustain their hot start this time. With barely a minute left in the first period, the tide began to turn in RPI’s favor, as Kirk Macdonald beat junior goalie Mark Dekanich to cut Colgate’s lead in half. Then, 8:03 into the second period, RPI knotted the score with a power play goal by Matt Angers-Goulet, who beat Dekanich backdoor. The teams fought hard for the next period and a half but neither found the net, leading the teams into overtime. Caught in a line change 1:40 into the period, Angers-Goulet found himself all alone on a breakaway and he flicked the puck over Dekanich’s shoulder for the game-winner. Dekanich finished with 20 saves, while RPI’s goalie Mathias Lange stopped 25 of Colgate’s attempts.

Junior Jesse Winchester offered his critique of the game. “Coming down the stretch, it is important that we can rely on each other in the third period and stop making mistakes in order to become a championship team. We need to make the big plays at the big times, as our coaches preach,” he said.

The next day at Union, however, was a different story. Dekanich bounced back and refused to let the Raiders lose. Led by his 35 saves, 14 of which came in the final period, the Raiders handled Union and avoided taking a third straight loss in the ECAC. Sophomore defenseman Nick St. Pierre kicked off the scoring for the Raiders on the power play, as he deflected a Fulton shot 1:41 into the second period. At the 7:09 mark in the same period, Winchester scored a power play goal to stretch the lead to 2-0, as Burton found him in front of the net. With just 38 seconds left in the period, Union scratched their way onto the board with a tally for senior Sean Streich, but the Raiders wouldn’t give up this lead. Sophomore Jason Fredricks iced the victory for the Raiders with an empty-net goal in the closing minute.

The Raiders close their regular season with two home games against Princeton and Quinnipiac, hoping to finish the season strong. McIntyre commented on the opportunity quickly flashing before the Raiders eyes.

“The team is gradually getting better and going into this weekend before playoffs we need to peak at the right time to make the NCAA tourney by winning the ECAC tournament,” he said.