St. Lawrence Sweeps Men’s Hockey

What was once a promising and exciting Colgate men’s hockey season ended in heart-breaking fashion as No. 5 St. Lawrence defeated the No. 4 Raiders two games to zero in the best-of-three ECAC Quarterfinal round at Starr Rink on Friday, March 12 and Saturday, March 13.

The Saints took the first game 2-1 before mounting a come-from-behind 4-3 win the following night.

Colgate could not solve the Saints all season. St. Lawrence defeated Colgate twice in the regular season as well, and outscored the Raiders 11-2 in the third period and overtime sessions over the course of all four games.

St. Lawrence forward Mike McKenzie scored two goals, including the winner in game one. Teammate Aaron Bogosian scored game one’s first goal and contributed an assist in game two. First-year forward Jeremy Price scored a pair of goals in game two for the Raiders, and junior forward Brian Day notched a goal and assist on the weekend. Senior forward David McIntyre dished a pair of assists in game two.

Bogosian scored the series’ first goal on Friday night at 17:07 of the first period off assists from defensemen Peter Child and George Hughes, but this goal was a one-man effort. The forward decked a Colgate defender, and after getting a clear lane on net, went five-hole to give the Saints an early lead.

The Raiders peppered the net with shots all game, including sophomore forward Austin Smith, who had five on the night. Smith’s efforts were finally rewarded when he deflected a shot from Day for a goal, tying the game at one late in the second period.

With just over five minute left in the third period St. Lawrence went on the power play and won a faceoff in the Colgate zone. After cycling the puck around the perimeter, the puck found its way around sophomore goalie Alex Evin’s crease after a slapshot from the faceoff circle. Evin saved that shot, and made two more miraculous saves on rebound attempts, but McKenzie then batted the puck out of the air and into the goal for the game-winner at 15:21 of the third period.

Colgate had a power play with under a minute left but could not get a good scoring chance. The Raiders went 0-for-6 with the man advantage.

St. Lawrence goaltender Kain Tisi had 31 saves, while Evin had 29.

The following night, Colgate jumped out to 2-0 and 3-2 leads but could not hold on despite going a whopping 3-for-7 on the power play.

Price scored the game’s first two goals. The first was a slapshot at 16:08 of the first period that found its way through traffic with assists from McIntyre and junior defenseman Wade Poplawski. The second was simply a case of being at the right place at the right time, as Price rebounded a David McIntyre shot after skating in uncontested and putting the puck past Tisi at 2:30 of the second period.

McKenzie responded at 10:20 with another power play goal, rebounding a George Hughes slap shot from the point to bring St. Lawrence within 2-1. However, Colgate went into the second intermission with the one-goal lead.

St. Lawrence took the air out of Starr Rink’s balloon in the third period after an aggressive forecheck led to a goal from Nick Pitsikoulis. Bogosian caused the play by creating a turnover behind the net, collecting the puck, and finding Pitsikoulis up top. Pitsikoulis then got the puck just inside the far post to knot the game at two at 1:21.

After St. Lawrence took a tripping penalty midway through the third period, the Raiders took advantage after Day scored his team-leading 21st goal of the year off a deflection, giving the home side a 3-2 lead at 10:56.

Less than four minutes later, another aggressive forecheck led to a St. Lawrence goal. After a failed clear, Mark Armstrong collected the puck and sent it a backhanded pass to Jacob Drewiske, who fired a wrist shot past Evin’s glove for the game-tying goal at 14:23.

The series winner occurred after St. Lawrence defenseman Matt Raley took a long pass from Kyle Flanagan and fired a slap shot from inside the blue line with just 1:07 left in the game.

Colgate outshot St. Lawrence 36-29 on the night, including 13-4 in the first period.

The Raiders have much to look forward to next season, as Evin and the entire defensive core return. Eight of the top ten scorers will be back at Colgate as well, alongside a class of 2014 that includes the all-time Eastern Junior Hockey League single-season scoring leader Chris Wagner and 2009 NHL Draft pick Anthony Hamburg. Redshirt sophomore defenseman Kevin McNamara’s brother Jack will skate for ‘Gate, and two goalies—Max Fenkell and Eric Mihalik—will look to challenge for playing time.

Around the league, many top ECAC teams lose loads of talent. Cornell loses noted Colgate killers Colin Greening and Ben Scrivens to graduation, alongside leading scorer Blake Gallagher. Yale can no longer rely on ECAC first-teamer Sean Backman or Mark Arcobello, Union loses three of their top five scorers and St. Lawrence loses their top two scorers, top two goalies and best defenseman in Derek Keller. Quinnipiac takes the biggest hit, as their top four scorers are moving on.

The loss of the class of 2010 cannot be understated, though. Senior David McIntyre, a 2008-09 first-team All-American, will be sorely missed. He scored 56 goals and 75 assists during his collegiate career, and now moves on to the Lowell Devils of the American Hockey League, a minor league affiliate of the NHL’s New Jersey Devils, on an amateur tryout agreement. Last year McIntyre scored 21 goals and 22 assists en route to being named one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker award as the nation’s finest collegiate men’s hockey player. Perhaps his finest moment occurred when he scored the game-winner in double overtime against Clarkson–then seeded first in the ECAC and ranked seventh in the nation–in game three of the ECAC Quarterfinals. That goal sent Colgate, an eighth seed, to the ECAC Semifinals. McIntyre scored four goals and added an assist during the series.

Colgate will also need to replace the intensity and defensive pressure brought to the team from seniors Ethan Cox, Jason Williams, Sean Carty and Adam Corrin. Cox and Williams were linemates for much of their career, and combined to create a formidable and scrappy checking unit that hustled every night on the ice. Corrin and Carty spent much of their time on the fourth line and provided steady play, especially near the end of the season. Goaltender Charles Long, who split time with Evin throughout the last two seasons, will also be missed. The lefty possessed a solid glove, which came in handy during a 1-0 shutout of Dartmouth in February 2009.

The Raiders open the 2010-11 season at the inaugural Cape Cod Hockey Classic against Army on Saturday, October 9 in Hyannis, Mass.