Men’s Hockey Shuts Out Sacred Heart, 5-0

In front of an almost sold-out crowd, the Colgate men’s hockey team put forth an impres­sive offensive and defensive display to defeat the visiting Sacred Heart Pioneers, 5-0. Junior de­fenseman Corbin McPherson had a career-high in points and goals, scoring twice, including the game-winner, and adding an assist to com­plete a three-point night. Sophomore forward Robbie Bourdon scored for the second straight game and also had a career high in points by adding two helpers for three total points.

Sophomore forward Billy Rivellini also ob­tained his first intercollegiate goal late in the third period. And that single success was all that ‘Gate would need, as junior goaltender Alex Evin posted his first career clean sheet in a 21-save effort. The Raiders are tied for fifth in the country with a goals-against-average of two per game.

“I’d attribute the team’s early defensive suc­cess to our experienced defensemen,” McPher­son said. “All seven of us have at least a year or two under our belts and having that experience has helped us right out of the gate this year.”

The game did not start off as easy as it would seem. While Colgate thoroughly outshot Sa­cred Heart in the first period, it had the misfor­tune of running into a goaltender at the top of his game. The first tally would not come until the 16:26 mark, when McPherson scored his first goal of the season, assisted by Bourdon and sophomore defenseman Jeremy Price on the power play, which allowed for the floodgates to open temporarily.

A little less than two minutes later, the Raid­ers struck again. Junior forward Nick Prockow scored his first of the season, assisted by fellow linemates juniors Matt Firman and Austin May­er. With 37 seconds left in the period, McPher­son added his second tally of the evening assisted by Bourdon.

The second stanza saw Colgate continue to control the action on both ends of the ice, outshooting Sacred Heart 15-8 throughout the period, but were unable to put the biscuit past Lagatto. The Raider offense poured shot after shot on the Pioneer netminder and forced him to make some incredible saves to maintain the game within reach at 3-0. On the other end, Evin made some fantastic saves of his own, but not as often, given that ‘Gate’s defense was there to back him up throughout the entire game.

The initial minutes of the final frame con­tinued the trend. Colgate kept up its offensive onslaught, but it failed to produce the desired results. The defense kept the puck from enter­ing its zone throughout most of the period and only allowed five shots during the frame.

Patience, however, would eventually reward the Raiders. ‘Gate was granted a two-man ad­vantage for the first time this year at 15:36 and 26 seconds later made Sacred Heart pay when Bourdon scored his second power play goal of the season at the 16:02 mark, assisted by Price and McPherson. A little over two minutes later, at 18:24, Rivellini put the final touch to the vic­tory, by scoring off assists from first-year forward Mike McCann and sophomore defenseman Nathan Sinz.

With the victory, the Raiders upped their re­cord to 2-2 on the season. The 55 shots-on-goal total is the highest Colgate has put on any team since 2003.

“The team has just been working on getting pucks through to the net,” McPherson said. “By getting into the high traffic areas in front of the net, we are able to get rebound chances and better opportunities to score.”

This upcoming weekend the Raiders will open up ECAC Hockey play with the annual trip to the North Country, where they will take on two well-known rivals in Clarkson and St. Lawrence.

“In order for us to be successful this weekend against Clarkson and St. Lawrence, we’ll need to have a very good week in practice,” McPher­son said. “As long as everyone is focused and committed to working really hard in prepara­tion for the weekend we should have no prob­lem being successful.”

Friday’s game against Clarkson and Satur­day’s contest against St. Lawrence are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.