Smyth and Burton Lead Men’s Hockey to Victories

The Colgate men’s ice hockey team had a spectacular weekend in league contests, ending the weekend with a larger first-place lead in the ECACHL than when it began the weekend.

In Friday night’s matchup, Colgate senior captain Jon Smyth scored 1:36 into overtime to give the Raiders a 2-1 victory over Yale at Starr Rink. The win marked Colgate’s second consecutive overtime victory. In the extra period, the reunited line of Smyth and sophomores Tyler Burton and Jesse Winchester crashed the net and bombarded Yale goalie Alec Richards until Smyth finally put home his eighth goal of the season.

The Raiders initially took the lead in the second period off of a goal by senior assistant captain Kyle Wilson. Wilson attempted to pass the puck in front to a teammate, but the puck deflected off a Yale defender’s skate and the Yale goaltender’s stick and in between his legs. It was Wilson’s 17th goal of the season. Sophomore goaltender Mark Dekanich finished the game with 25 saves.

On Saturday, Colgate extended its lead in the standings with a 5-2 victory over Brown. Colgate jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the first period by scoring an even-strength, power-play and short-handed goal by sophomore Ben Camper, Burton and Wilson, respectively. Later, Burton notched his second goal of the game and 19th of the season, leading the ECACHL. First-year Peter Bogdanich’s third goal of the year gave the Raiders a 5-

1 lead midway through the third period.

Sophomore goaltender Justin Kowalkowski got the start between the pipes on Saturday.

“Mark told me before the game that he was not feeling 100 percent,” said Head Coach Don Vaughan. “I have complete confidence in Justin and he put out a great effort. Though we have a home-and-home series next weekend was not a factor.”

Kowalkoski made 18 saves in his third start of the season as he improved to 2-2-0 overall in his career. Vaughan was generally upbeat when asked to assess his team’s play over the weekend.

“I thought we played hard at times and we found a way to score,” he said. “We generated enough shots and enough quality shots; however, we didn’t clear the puck out of our zone clean enough and we spent more time in our zone than I liked.”

The coach cited strong leadership as key to the weekend’s victories, not only on the scoreboard, but also in terms of the “calming effect” that kept the team composed and focused.

“I don’t look at the standings, and I try to tell the players not to either,” Vaughan closed, “Standings tell you where you’ve been, not where you’re going.”

Colgate is riding a five-game winning streak heading into this weekend’s action and lead the ECACHL race by three points over this weekend’s opponent, the Cornell Big Red. The last time these two teams met, Colgate sustained a heart-breaking loss at Starr Rink, 1-0, in the final minute of play in the game, and then traveled to Ithaca the next day and battled to a 2-2 tie in a game in which the Raiders never had the lead. Colgate looks to extend its winning streak, while fortifying its position at the top of the league standings.