The Colgate men’s hockey team improved its record to 2-1-1 with last weekend’s 6-1 win over the Army Black Knights, bouncing back from a tough weekend at Lake Superior State University and also ending a three-game road trip on a positive note. It was the second time this year the Raider offense has scored six goals in a game, and that total was more than enough for sophomore goaltender Mark Dekanich.
Colgate stormed out of the gates with a purpose and played its style of hockey. Sophomore Jesse Winchester initiated the scoring midway through the first period, notching his third goal of the season. Junior Mike Campaner followed several minutes later, scoring a short-handed goal thanks to a heads-up play by senior assistant captain Kyle Wilson and Dekanich.
Dekanich fed a pass to Wilson just before Wilson hit the Army blue line, and then Wilson proceeded to shake his defender and pass the puck cross-ice to the trailing defenseman, Campaner, who put it home for his first tally of the season.
Wilson was truly the star of the game for Colgate, as he “hit for the cycle”: tallying an even strength goal late in the first period and adding a short-handed and power-play goal in the second period to complete the hat trick. This marked his fourth multiple-goal game of his career, and his first hat trick, which doubled his season goal total thus far. Going back to last season, Wilson also extended his scoring streak to six games – a career long. With the offensive outburst, he is currently atop the ECACHL rankings in goals with six, ranks second in points with nine and is tied for first with three power-play goals.
“He’s playing very well right now – he’s been the best player on the team up to this point in the season,” head coach Don Vaughan said about his assistant captain. “Last year was very frustrating for him, sitting out a lot of the year with an ankle injury. I know he wanted to finish off his college career on a positive note. I’m pleased with his play, but more so with his attitude and the leadership role he has taken.”
The Raider offensive barrage made quick work of Army starting goaltender Brad Roberts, as Army head coach Brian Riley pulled Roberts near the halfway point of the second period. Roberts finished with four saves on 10 shots, while his replacement, A.J. Drago, stopped all 15 shots he faced over the final 29:20. Meanwhile Dekanich, between the pipes for Colgate for the fourth consecutive game, made 21 saves on the evening.
“Our game plan was to match their work ethic – when playing the academies you know that the team may not have your skill level, but they won’t quit, regardless of the score,” Vaughan said after the game. “In my opinion, it wasn’t a 6-1 score. We had to work extremely hard, and the biggest difference between last weekend and this weekend was that we capitalized on our chances.”
The Raiders return to Starr Rink for a game against Bentley College tomorrow evening, hoping to spark a winning streak before ECACHL play next weekend. Vaughan stated that the Bentley game is “going to be a dog fight,” and that his Raiders know that there will be no easy games for the remainder of the long season. And if you want to see the Raiders before another three-game road trip, then take your parents and family to see the men’s hockey team this weekend.