Men’s Hockey Begins League Play With Loss Then Win

The Raiders began ECAC League play with two difficult match ups this weekend. After losing to nationally-ranked Quinnipiac on Friday night, the Raiders came back Saturday and picked up a key victory against Princeton.The Raiders held strong against a top-ranked Bobcats team for the first two periods but could not hold Quinnipiac any longer and allowed four third period goals, picking up the loss 7-2. Sophomore Spencer Finney got the start in goal and recorded 32 saves before first-year Charlie Finn replaced him for the third period.

The Raiders found the net early in the game with first-year Emilio Audi scoring his first collegiate goal. First-year Jake Kulevich moved the puck up ice to junior forward Daniel Gentzler who passed the puck over to Audi on the far right post. With an early lead, the Raiders looked to stay out of the penalty box but could not as they picked up two penalties midway through the frame and gave the Bobcats a five-on-three opportunity. However, the Raiders strong penalty kill continued and the Bobcats could not get on the board. After a strong first period, the Raiders held a 1-0 lead.

The Bobcats, however, took advantage of their special teams in the second period and grabbed the lead. After scoring short-handed to tie up the game at the 8:39 mark, the Bobcats added a second goal just seven minutes later on the power play to grab their first lead of the game. Heading into the third period down 2-1, the Raiders knew they would need to come out strong. But despite all efforts, the Raiders gave up a quick goal to the Bobcats just 17 seconds into the period and immediately faced a 3-1 hole. Sophomore Darcy Murphy took advantage of the puck, however, and scored on the breakaway shortly after to cut the lead down to 3-2.

Just two minutes into the period, the Raiders were right back where they started down just one goal. Unfortunately, the Bobcats rattled off four straight goals in the next five minutes of the frame and took total control of the game. The Raiders could not recover from the Bobcats onslaught and did not score the rest of the game, resulting in a 7-2 loss. Attempting to recover from a tough third period, the Raiders came back out Saturday afternoon and took on the Princeton Tigers. After a scoreless two periods for both teams, the Raiders came out firing in the third period with three goals and took home a 3-1 victory. Finn got the start in net for the Raiders and made 27 big saves against the Tigers with 21 coming in the final two frames. With penalties littering the first two frames, neither the Tigers nor the Raiders were able to get anything going on the power play or during even strength.

Finally, in the third period, which went by without any penalties taken by either team the Raiders struck first. After sophomore Mike Borkowski won the face-off, sophomore defenseman Kevin Lough took the puck around the net and found Murphy in front who scored to put the Raiders  in front. Junior captain Spiro Goulakos got involved in the scoring under a minute later off a feed from Kulevich and sophomore Tylor Spink. Goulakos’ first goal of the season gave the Raiders a 2-0 lead.The Tigers came back midway through the period scoring at the 8:58 mark to cut the Raiders lead in half. With even play on both sides of the ice, the game looked to go either way until Spink scored off a bad Tigers turnover. On a failed clearing attempt, Spink took the puck from the helpless defender and and shot the goal into the net off the right post.The Raiders came away with a big 3-1 victory against the Tigers and look to carry the momentum of their first league victory into their road trip this weekend. The Raiders will face Union on Friday and Rensselaer on Saturday.”We are preparing to win both games,” Goulakos said of this upcoming weekend. “We have two real good tests and if we can put together a full 60 minutes in each game, there is no reason we can’t finish the weekend with four points.”           

Contact Spencer Serling at [email protected].