This past weekend, Men’s Hockey began the ECAC portion of their schedule with two road games. After suffering a 5-0 defeat at the hands of the Quinnipiac Bobcats in Hamden, Conn., the Raiders picked up a statement 5-1 victory over the Princeton Tigers at Hobey Baker Rink the next night. The Raiders (7-3, 1-1) did, however, take a fall in the national rankings as they clocked in at No. 6 in the USCHO.com ranking as well as the USA TODAY/USA Hockey Magazine listing.
The Raiders opened up the weekend against Quinnipiac in high hopes of picking up their first ECAC victory of the season. The Raiders quickly found, however, that they would be in for a difficult matchup early on as the Bobcats got off to a hot start. The reigning ECAC Rookie of the Year in sophomore forward Sam Anas tallied two quick goals in the first five minutes of the contest to put Quinnipiac in the lead.
The Raiders did remain strong through the rest of the period to keep the contest within striking distance at 2-0. It wasn’t until midway through the second period that the Bobcats extended their lead off a series of passes in the Raiders defensive zone. Quinnipiac held a strong 15-3 shot advantage in the second period which helped keep Colgate off the board for the period.
As the final frame began, the Raiders saw all hopes at a comeback dashed in just a minute span where the Bobcats beat sophomore goalie Charlie Finn twice. After allowing five goals in the contest and making just 21 saves, Finn was pulled and first-year goalie Zac Hamilton finished the contest. The first-year made six saves in his collegiate debut.
Although the Raiders morale took a hit in the blowout, they came back the next night at Princeton with the energy to reverse the trend. The Raiders did exactly what they set out to do, scoring five times in a rout over the Tigers to give the team their first ECAC victory. Sophomore defenseman Jake Kulevich started the scoring early for the Raiders, receiving the face off and shooting past Princeton goalie Colton Phinney for his first collegiate goal. The tally, just five minutes into the first frame, gave the Raiders the early lead they desperately needed after a rough outing the
First-year forward Evan Peterson, who picked up the assist on the Kulevich goal, extended the Raiders lead later in the period on a shorthanded opportunity. Peterson’s third goal of the season came off assists from a pair of juniors in defenseman Kevin Lough and forward Darcy Murphy.
In the second period, junior Tyson Spink took control of the game and ensured the Raiders would not lose the lead they had established. Spink scored two goals in just three minutes about halfway through the period to extend the Raiders lead to 4-0. The first goal from Spink came on a power play opportunity and was assisted by a pair of forwards in junior Kyle Baun and sophomore Tim Harrison. First-year forward Mike Panowyk found Spink for his second goal which was a wrist shot that just beat the Tigers goalie.
Just over two minutes into the third period, the Raiders extended their lead even further when senior captain Spiro Goulakos scored his first goal of the season. Baun and senior forward John Lidgett assisted Goulakos’ slapper from the left side. The Raiders held their 5-0 lead and looked to give Finn the shutout but with just four seconds remaining in the contest, the Tigers snuck one past the sophomore goalie. The goal coming on the power play was not nearly enough, however, as the Raiders would leave with a big 5-1 victory.
Colgate returns to Starr Rink this coming weekend as they continue the ECAC portion of their schedule. On November 14, the Raiders will host the St. Lawrence Saints at 7:00 p.m. while the Clarkson Golden Knights come to town the next night for another 7:00 p.m. matchup.