Goulakos Hat Trick Pushes Raiders Past Big Red

Spencer Serling

The Raiders had this past weekend’s game circled on their calendar all season long.

“The most important thing was to win the game especially against Cornell.  It’s always a bonus when we are able to beat our rival and in our own building in front of our fans,” said senior forward Mike McCann. All that made this weekend’s 6-1 thrashing of No. 9 Cornell Big Red that much sweeter.

The Raiders and Big Red came into their annual rivalry game knowing the huge implications that the game had. Fighting for positioning in the ECAC standings, a win would mean that the Raiders would climb back into the top three and position

themselves nicely for the home stretch.

The Raiders jumped out to a hot start with McCann getting the Raiders on the board in front of a sold-out crowd at Starr Rink. McCann fired a shot from the right circle that got past Big Red senior goalie Andy Iles off a pass from first-year forward Derek Freeman.The Raiders were on the board halfway through the first period and grabbed the necessary early lead.

Just four minutes later on the power play, the Raiders capitalized again. Sophomore defenseman Ryan Johnston shot the puck from the blue line and sophomore forward Darcy Murphy was in perfect position in front of the net to deflect the puck past Iles. Leading 2-0, the Raiders carried their lead into the first intermission with strong defensive play and a couple big stops from first-year goalie Charlie Finn.

The second period came and went for the Raiders with little action until the later part of the period. After a few power plays for each side, Johnston laid out a Cornell player at the blue line. After the referees met, they handed out a five minute major penalty for contact to the head and disqualified Johnston for the

remainder of the match.

The Raiders successfully killed off the penalty and headed into the third period with the same 2-0 advantage. As the third period began, the Raiders defense held strong as they did for a majority of the game. After two roughing penalties on each side, the teams readied to skate 4-on-4. Immediately off the face-off, the Big Red made the most of their chance, firing a slapshot past Finn to cut the Raiders lead to 2-1.

Shortly after, however, the Big Red began to break down on their fundamentals. After picking up a spraying the goalie penalty, the Raiders made them pay. Throwing out the team’s top power play line, sophomore forwards Kyle Baun and Tylor Spink found junior defenseman Spiro Goulakos who put the puck past Iles, extending the lead to 3-1.

After McCann scored his second of the game off an assist from Goulakos, the Big Red were forced to call a timeout and regroup. Their efforts, however, were futile as senior captain John McCarron came out on the ensuing face-off and punched a Raiders forward. McCarron was given a five minute major penalty for cross checking and a disqualification from the game.

The Raiders made the Big Red pay just 14 seconds later, as Goulakos blasted a shot past Iles from the point off an assist from sophomore forward Mike Borkowski. With a 5-1 lead, the Big Red pulled Iles, who had a tough night allowing five goals on just 22 shots.

Goulakos finished off his big night, scoring his third goal of the night.

Receiving a pass from Murphy, Goulakos fired a shot just past the Big Red goalie to give the Raiders a 6-1 lead.

The remaining 10 minutes of the game were physical as another Big Red player was given a game misconduct for his actions post whistle. The Raiders, however, ended up with a big statement victory over their rivals in a game they desperately needed.

“It was a huge win, especially coming off a rough weekend where we got swept it was important for us to rebound the way we did,” said Goulakos of the win. “Have to give credit to the great fan support, it was a big boost coming out and having that kind of energy in the building.”

The Raiders jumped back into the third position in the ECAC with their big victory over the Big Red. They hope to keep the momentum going this weekend as they battle with Rensselaer Friday February 14 at 7 p.m. and No. 3 Union Saturday February 15 at 7 p.m. with both games at Starr Rink.

Contact Spencer Serling at [email protected].