With two Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) matchups over the weekend, the Colgate Raiders’ hopes for improving their conference schedule were first spoiled by the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Engineers and then again by the No.18 ranked Union College Dutchmen.
On February 1, the Raiders played the then 7-17-1 Engineers away in Troy, New York. Starting the game off strong, the Raiders scored in the sixth minute of the first period. Sophomore defenseman Trevor Cosgrove scored during a power play, assisted by junior forward Bobby McMann and sophomore defenseman Nick Austin. The Engineers, however, responded less than two minutes later, tying the game up at 1-1. The Engineers scored again during the 16th minute during a power play to take a 2-1 lead. After a high-scoring first period, the Raiders and Engineers failed to score any goals during the second period. With a tenuous lead heading into the third period, the Engineers were able to ice the game with another power play goal at the 10:32 mark. With an upsetting 3-1 loss at the hands of the Engineers, the Raiders attempted to bounce back against the ranked Dutchmen on February 2.
“It was a very disappointing night. Our energy was in and out and losing [McMann] early didn’t help, but others need to rise up. We just didn’t get enough of that tonight. We need more guys to make plays. There were no surprises, and RPI played the game we thought they would. At the end of the night, it came down to special teams like it often does. They scored two power-play goals and we scored one. We will need to be a lot better tomorrow night,” Head Coach Don Vaughan said.
Visiting the No.18 Dutchmen in Schenectady, New York, the Raiders were hoping to get their conference record back on track. The Raiders faced defensive pressure from the get-go and failed to capitalize on their first scoring opportunity of the game. The Dutchmen then turned around and scored off an even strength play at the 6:10 mark in the first quarter. The Dutchmen then scored two more goals in the second period, one off an even-strength play in the 10:55 minute mark and a power-play goal in the 18:32 minute mark. The Dutchmen then added three goals in the third period to win the game 6-0, including two power play goals.
“We have got to find a way to right our ship and stay together as a group. When you have a tough loss like tonight you don’t want negativity creeping into the locker room. We’ve got to find a way to keep it positive, find a silver lining and keep working. We have a good group and need to keep plugging away,” Vaughan said.
With a home game against the St. Lawrence Saints coming up at the Class of 1965 Arena on February 8, the Raiders hope that a home crowd is all that is needed to right the season. The Raiders are currently in 10th in the ECAC standings and sit eight points outside of bye-position. If the Raiders finish lower than fifth place, it will be the fourth straight year that the team will miss a bye in the conference playoffs. The Raiders have not won the league’s regular season title since the 2005-06 season.
Contact Ignacio Villar at [email protected]