A Colgate men’s hockey team with high expectations fell short in its annual trip to the North Country to open the ECAC Hockey season. The Raiders tied against the Clarkson Golden Knights on Friday night 4-4 and proceeded to fall to the St. Lawrence Saints the following evening by a score of 4-1. First-year forward Chris Wagner scored his first intercollegiate goal on Friday, while senior assistant captain François Brisebois got his first tally of the season as the lone goal in
“It’s always nice to get the first one,” Brisebois said. “I try not to worry too much about production because I know it will come. Playing with [Brian] Day and [Austin] Smith has allowed me to get so many chances every game that it was simply a matter of time. They have great vision and abilities that make my game easier.”
The start to Friday’s contest could not have been any worse. Just 18 seconds into the first period, Clarkson got on the board taking a 1-0 lead. The Golden Knights proceeded to control the play throughout the following ten minutes until Colgate got back in the game. At the 13:47 mark, sophomore forward Billy Rivellini put ‘Gate on the scoreboard with his second goal of the season, assisted by
first-year forward Mike McCann and sophomore forward Christian Long. A little over three minutes later, Colgate took its first lead of the game when junior forward Austin Smith put the biscuit in the basket, with helpers going to McCann and Long.
The Raiders added to their lead early in the second stanza. At 1:15, sophomore defenseman Thomas Larkin took a shot from the top of the right circle that bounced off Clarkson goaltender Paul Karpowich and into the net. Senior captain Brian Day and Smith were credited with helpers. At 16:07, the Golden Knights cut the Raiders’ lead to one, scoring their first power play goal of the game and year. 53 seconds later, however, Wagner helped Colgate retake the two-goal lead with a breakaway goal, and the period ended 4-2 in the Raiders’ favor. From then on, play went downhill.
At the 8:13 mark of the final frame, Clarkson scored its second goal on the man-advantage to make it a one-goal contest. Two minutes later, the Golden Knights struck again on the power play to knot the game at 4-4 with what would prove to be the last tally of the match. Colgate was able to hold Clarkson off throughout the last ten minutes and the overtime period, extending its undefeated streak against the school from Potsdam, NY to seven games despite relinquishing a third period lead.
“It was an issue of discipline because of how productive their power play was,” Brisebois said. “I also think that we should have limited their odd-man rushes.”
The following evening, Colgate traveled to Appleton Arena at St. Lawrence University, a rink that has consistently given the Raiders trouble over the last decade. The Saints got on the board early in the game, scoring on the man-advantage at 7:42. From then on, the rest of the period saw a back-and-forth game, with both teams getting good scoring opportunities. With less than two minutes to go in the frame, Brisebois gave Colgate hope by netting the equalizer on a breakaway assisted by Larkin, leaving the game tied after the first 20 minutes of play.
The game did not remain equal for long, however, as 6:25 into the second stanza St. Lawrence retook the lead. Despite holding the advantage in shots on goal, the Raiders were unable to take advantage of their scoring opportunities and went into the second intermission trailing by one goal.
Any hopes of a Colgate comeback were dashed at the 9:34 mark of the final frame when the Saints scored their third of the evening to take a two-goal lead that they would never relinquish.
The Raiders kept trying to get back in the game, but their efforts were frustrated every time. With 26 seconds left on the clock, St. Lawrence added an
empty-net goal to make the final score 4-1.
With the loss, Colgate fell to 0-1-1 in ECAC Hockey, 2-3-1 overall and dropped its seventh consecutive game to the Saints.
“It’s still early in the year and we have to get tougher,” Brisebois said. “I think we lost too many battles and they capitalized on
‘Gate will return to the friendly confines of Starr Rink this upcoming weekend as it welcomes the Princeton Tigers on Friday and the Quinnipiac Bobcats on Saturday for
Silver Puck weekend.
“These two teams usually have a good mixture of skill set and speed,” Brisebois said. “We know we have the same assets but I think playing physical will be crucial to our success this weekend. Silver Puck is always a great weekend and I think the fans are going to feed our relentless intensity.”
Last season the Raiders swept the series against the Tigers winning 5-4 at home and 3-1 on the road. On the other hand, the Bobcats got the better of Colgate defeating it 4-3 at Starr Rink and 2-0 in Hamden, CT. ‘Gate has dropped three straight contests
Friday’s game is slated for a 7 p.m. start, while Saturday’s will begin at 4 p.m.