Raiders Prepared For Crucial Weekend

Raiders Prepared For Crucial Weekend

Barry Rothbard

While most of Colgate enjoyed a long break, the men’s hockey team was busy at work, playing a total of seven games and finishing with a record of 3-2-2. The highlight of this stretch of games was when they took home the championship in the Toyota UConn Classic by winning two games on Dec. 29 and 30.

Led by junior Tyler Burton and sophomore Nick St. Pierre, who each netted two goals, the Raiders overwhelmed Northeastern, 5-2 in their opening game. Burton also added an assist on senior Marc Fulton’s goal, and junior goalie Mark Dekanich finished with 35 saves. Then, in the Championship game versus host team Connecticut, St. Pierre, senior captain Liam Huculak and sophomore Tom Riley all scored goals to lead the Raiders in a 3-1 triumph. Dekanich finished that game with 27 saves. The win gave the Raiders, who were competing in their fourth tournament of the year, their first tournament win of the season. Thanks to his 62 saves over the weekend, Dekanich was named the tournament MVP and made the all-tournament team. Sophomore defensemen Jason Fredricks (three assists), St. Pierre, and Burton were also named to the team.

On Jan. 5, Colgate suffered a tough 3-2 loss to 19th ranked Niagara. Goals by Burton, the 50th of his career, and junior Jesse Winchester propelled the Raiders to an early 2-1 lead; however, penalties ultimately killed them, as Niagara won the game with two third period power play goals. Dekanich again performed solidly in goal with 30 saves. His strong play carried over to the team’s next game, as his 28 saves helped the Raiders tie ninth ranked Clarkson, 1-1 on Jan. 12. Clarkson’s lone goal came 17 seconds into the game when the puck caromed off the boards right to a Clarkson player, who placed the puck in the empty net. Colgate managed to score the equalizer with about five minutes left in the game as first-year Jason Williams finished off a cross from junior Dustin Gillanders.

Against St. Lawrence on Jan. 13, Colgate could not catch a break. St. Lawrence seemingly couldn’t miss and defeated the Raiders 5-0. However, the Raiders bounced back from the disappointing game and managed a 2-2 draw with Brown on Jan. 19. Dekanich regained his prior form in this game, stopping 37 of Brown’s shots. Winchester and junior Ben Camper netted the two goals for the Raiders.

Last Saturday, with most of the campus back to cheer them on, the Raiders trounced Yale, 4-1. Winchester netted the first goal, for which Fulton and Burton got assists. Then, first-year David McIntyre glided down the ice midway through the second period and chipped a pass to sophomore Peter Bogdanich, who finished off the breakaway. Burton’s goal shortly thereafter was the 100th point of his career. Sophomore Tom Riley got into the action with Colgate’s final goal of the game 3:57 into the final period. Additionally, Dekanich received the honor of being the ECACHL Co-Goaltender of the Week for his 20 save performance.

The Raiders look to carry the momentum from this win into the upcoming showdowns with Cornell at Starr Rink in Hamilton on Thursday and at Lynah Rink in Ithaca on Saturday.