The Colgate men’s ice hockey team had a double header this weekend against the University of New Hampshire, battling against them on Friday and Saturday night. While both matchups were hard-fought, the Raiders were unsuccessful in each campaign, while UNH emerged with two victories. After Friday night’s game, junior defensemen Willie Brooks commented on the team’s play.
“Tomorrow night, we need to get back to our style of hockey, playing fast and dictating the play. We got away from our systems last night which caused a lot of the trouble we got into,” Brooks said.
The Raiders fell short in both games, but showed improvement on Saturday night with 5-3 loss against the Wildcats, who are ranked No. 20 nationally. The game was extremely back-and-forth, which made it a thrilling experience for the fans and a heartbreaker after the final whistle.
One superstar of the evening was Colgate senior goaltender Zac Hamilton, who made 30 critical saves for the Raiders, which helped to keep them in the game. He made half of these saves in the first period, keeping the Raiders only one goal behind until the Wildcats took a 2-0 lead.
On the offensive end, senior forward Mike Panowyk, junior forward Adam Dauda, and first-year defender Nick Austin all scored for the Raiders. Panowyk scored his power play goal in the second period off a rebound. However, New Hampshire answered back when senior forward Jason Salvaggio buried a goal just 58 seconds later to secure a two-goal lead. But this didn’t stop the Raiders. 10 minutes later, Dauda scored for Colgate off assists from sophomore forward Ben Sharf and first-year forward Paul McAvoy. Yet again, the Wildcats responded and scored another goal to keep their two-goal lead.
This back-and-forth continued into the third period as Colgate scored another goal to return to the one goal difference, but the Wildcats quickly scored again keeping a strong lead. The Raiders worked to get past the two-goal deficit, but in the last seconds of the game, New Hampshire scored on an empty net to end the game 5-3. Despite the disappointing outcome, the team had positive thoughts about its performance.
“I really like the team dynamic this year, we play a much better team game in which everyone is crucial to our success. We have had goals from a lot of different players included some first years. For the most part I’d say the first year guys are really settling well and they are taking their big roles on the team with a lot of confidence which is great to see. This weekend is a really good test for us to really show what we are made of against a very talented UNH team. That being said just like any big win, sometimes a loss can be used as a stepping stone to more success down the road,” sophomore forward Jared Cockrell said.
“We responded really well Saturday night after losing Friday night. I felt we dictated the play and should have been rewarded more than we were. It’s tough losing a game when you feel you were the better team that night,” Sharf said.
The Raiders are back to work preparing for their next competition. They are focused on fixing their mistakes from this weekend and improving their play for the games to come. They are on the road next Saturday, October 21, to play the Canisius College Golden Griffins in Buffalo, N.Y. at 7:35 p.m.
Contact Kate Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org.