The Raiders wrapped up their regular season this past weekend with two home games. After a tough 2-1 loss to the Harvard Crimson, the Raiders responded with a big 2-1 victory on Senior Night over the Dartmouth Big Green.
Going into the final weekend knowing they had already secured a first-round bye helped the Raiders calm some of the nerves that come with the end of the season. Colgate, however, knew that at least one win would secure a second place finish in the ECAC. The Raiders, unfortunately, could not pick up a victory in their first attempt.
Behind sophomore forward Darcy Murphy’s 15th goal of the season, the Raiders jumped to an early lead in the first period. Murphy’s goal came on the power play and was assisted by junior forward Joe Wilson and sophomore defenseman Ryan Johnston. With just two minutes remaining in the period, however, the Crimson tied back up the game.
In what ended up being a scoreless second period, the Raiders saw all 10 shots in the period turned away, while first-year Charlie Finn continued his strong play in net for the Raiders. Finn finished with 22 saves on the night. Finn, however, couldn’t hold off the Crimson attack all game, as the Crimson struck for the go-ahead goal with early in the third period.
From there, they held off a potent Raiders attack and stopped all nine shots in the period. The Raiders also couldn’t convert on their fifth power play attempt of the night. After scoring on their first, the Crimson adjusted and held the Raiders for the remainder of the game.
After a tough loss the previous night, they took the ice the very next day. Honoring senior forward Mike McCann and senior goalie Eric Mihalik, the Raiders ended their seniors’ regular season on a positive note with a 2-1 victory. Mihalik drew the start in net, his first in a month, and made 34 saves.
Mihalik’s play in net was not met with any offensive help in the first two periods, as the team’s entered the third in a scoreless battle. The Raiders had five man-up opportunities in the first period, and the Big Green had three, but neither could get anything going. It wasn’t until two minutes into the third period that sophomore Tylor Spink put the Raiders on the board, just squeezing the puck past the Big Green goalie off passes from fellow line mates sophomore forwards Tyson Spink and Kyle Baun. Tylor’s 14th goal of the season put the Raiders in the lead, and Wilson added another for the Raiders with six minutes remaining to extend the lead. The Crimson responded 20 seconds later to draw the deficit back to one, but the Raiders defense would prove to be too much.
The final whistle blew and with the Raiders victory, they clinched second place in the conference. They have earned a first-round bye but will return to action at Starr Rink the following weekend, March 14-16, and will await the winner. With a Colgate victory in the best-of-three series, they will travel to Lake Placid, N.Y for the semifinals of the ECAC tournament.
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