Raiders Roll UVM, Remain Undefeated

Mont Pooley

The University of Vermont Catamounts likely won’t be competing for the National Championship come May. That much is certain after Saturday’s lopsided 13-3 contest at Andy Kerr Stadium. The Raiders were dominant in all facets of the game, utilizing near perfect face-off play and outstanding goaltending to keep the non-conference Catamounts off the board and out of the offensive zone for much of the game.

The Raiders rushed out to a five-goal lead in the first quarter, receiving tallies from five different players and assists from two more. Highlights from this early surge included the second career goal for sophomore attackman Kevin Adams and a man-up rocket from proven scorer senior Brendon McCann.

 Vermont managed to sneak a shot past first-year keeper Brandon Burke part way through the second quarter, but Colgate responded with three goals in 60 seconds to end the half and effectively end the contest. Adams tallied his second of the game after a crafty Cam Williams’ dodge to the heart of the Vermont defense. Under a minute later, lefty junior attackman Ryan Walsh extended his nation-leading streak of consecutive games with at least one goal to 33. “I just found out about [the streak] the other day actually,” Walsh said. “I’m not sure if I like it because of the added pressure, but I haven’t thought about it up to this point and probably won’t

moving forward.”

On the ensuing face-off, junior Alex Kinnealey scored Colgate’s eighth goal, cleanly winning the draw and driving to the front of UVM’s net untouched. Kinnealey is enjoying a hot start to the 2014 campaign. After holding his own at the face-off ‘X’ against Bryant’s talented Kevin Massa, the brutish midfielder turned in another impressive performance, winning 13 of 15 draws to go along with his first career tally. “I guess I thought I would score eventually, just not that way,” Kinnealey said. “A goal’s a goal, though, and I was able to score because guys like Walsh and McCann occupied their defensemen. They’re more of a threat than I am.”

Colgate boasted a strong defense for a second straight week, allowing just three goals on thirty shots and handily winning the groundball war. The Raiders have allowed just seven goals in two games, the lowest two-game goal total allowed by a Colgate defense since Holy Cross and Binghamton combined to score six goals against the Raiders in 2002. Instrumental in the unit’s success this season has been goaltender Brandon Burke. The first-year standout matched his Week one total of nine saves and has now stopped 75 percent of opponents’ shots this year. Burke’s impressive play earned him Patriot League Rookie of the Week honors.”We do our best to protect Brandon out there,” senior captain Kevin Boyle said. “But he’s bailed us out a few times with some really athletic saves.”

Boyle displayed some athleticism of his own on Saturday, scoring with a long-pole for the second straight game. If the Raiders are to keep up their winning ways, Boyle must continue to contribute on both ends of the field, locking down opposing midfielders and creating scoring chances in transition.

Looking ahead, the Raiders will travel to Easton, Pa. on Saturday to take on Lafayette in their first Patriot League game of the season. Colgate has bested the Leopards in each of their last eight matchups dating back to 2006, but the Raiders have only started a season with three wins once in the past decade, a feat accomplished in 2013.

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