Men’s hockey had another up and down weekend this past Friday and Saturday, beating Princeton University, but losing to Quinnipiac.
The Raiders versed the Tigers for the second time this season this past Friday in Starr Rink and won 2-0. Having beaten them earlier this season 5-1, this 2-0 win seemed appropriate. The Tigers have had quite a rough season this year, and the Raiders won with relative ease. The Raiders were not only the faster team, but they were also the more physical team that dominated in both the defensive and offensive zones. Senior Joe Wilson scored the Raiders first goal seconds into the second period, gaining the lead for Colgate. Junior forward Darcy Murphy secured the victory for the Raiders by scoring an empty-netter with seconds left in the third. The Raiders also outshot the Tigers 36-19 and had more face-off wins compared to the Tigers.
“I liked our speed and zone time against Princeton. We won the territorial battle and we were able to generate chances off of that. I thought we could’ve tightened up a little more defensively at the end against Princeton,” Junior forward Mike Borkowski said.
Although the Raiders dominated the Tigers all three periods, easing up in the defensive zone even if the win seems secure is a risky move. This win was much needed for the Raiders after their tough Cornell weekend.
The first period of the Quinnipiac game was extremely exciting, seeing three goals. Junior
forward Tylor Spink tallied a goal for the Raiders 12 seconds into gameplay. Unfortunately, the Raiders were not able to hold onto their lead and soon fell behind, as Quinnipiac scored two goals in succession to end the first. The second period was even tougher for the Raiders, as they fell behind another two goals, the score now 4-1 heading into the third. Senior forward John Lidgett was able to notch a goal midway through the third period to put the Raiders just two goals behind. Unfortunately, the Raiders were just not able to find the back of the net despite their many more shots (33 vs. 20) on net. Face-offs were very close, 29-28, Colgate.
Despite the quick progression of the first period, Borkowski said that it was “far from
our best.” Junior defenseman Kevin Lough also commented on the game.
“I don’t feel the score was a good indication of the game as we were the dominant team in the final two periods,” he said.
Getting down early appears to be a common theme in many of the Raiders’ games, and it is often hard to come back late against these quality opponents. Borkowski was overall pleased with the team’s performance Saturday.
“All in all I liked our effort against them and if we play that way while tightening up a little defensively I like our chances against any team in the country,” he said.
The Raiders have demonstrated thus far this season that they are very capable of competing against the top teams in the country, but just need to work on putting all the pieces together – both defensively and offensively – before they are going to be able to demonstrate their true level of play.
“We know how good we can be, we simply need to bring it for the full 60 minutes each night,” Junior defenseman Kevin Lough said.
With post-season play just around the corner, these last few games are going to be critical for their mentality going into the ECAC tournament. Specifically, the Raiders take on Harvard next weekend in Cambridge, MA.
After losing a tough game to them a week or two prior, the Raiders are chomping at the bit to get on the ice and show the Crimson that they can compete. “I think we go into Harvard knowing that if we compete the way we did in the 2nd and 3rd against Quinnipiac, we’ll like our chances,” Borkowski said.
The Raiders saddle up for two away games this weekend, Friday night at Dartmouth and Saturday night at Harvard. They return the following weekend for Union and Rensselaer. “Every game counts from here on in,” Borkowski said in
reference to the remainder of the season.
His sentiment was echoed by Lough who said, “Every game from here on out is a playoff game, and every point is crucial.”
The Raiders are now 15-10-3 overall and
seventh in the ECAC hockey standings.