Men’s Hockey Unbeaten Streak Ends with Weekend Split

Men's Hockey Unbeaten Streak Ends with Weekend Split

Jaime Heilbron

This past weekend the Colgate men’s hockey team made a slight move up the ECAC Hockey standings as the team earned a split at home against North Country foes Clarkson and St. Lawrence. The Raiders beat down the Golden Knights 6-1 Friday night and dropped a heartbreaking game to the Saints the following evening, 3-2 in overtime. Junior assistant captain Brian Day continued his torrid scoring pace obtaining four points off three goals and an assist throughout the weekend. Senior co-captain David McIntyre had a multi-point night on Friday increasing his total career points against Clarkson to 13, and first-year forward Robbie Bourdon added another multi-point night to his achievements off a goal and an assist. Sophomore forward Austin Smith recorded his first two career points against St. Lawrence on Saturday night off two assists and sophomore forward Matt Firman had a goal and an assist on

the weekend.

“I have worked on getting in better position when I don’t have the puck and getting in good scoring areas,” Day said. “If you watch the top goal scorers they always seem to be in the right spot at the right time. Also, I have also tried to generate more shots and throw everything at the net. You can’t score if you don’t shoot.”

On Friday night, Colgate came out determined to end a three-game winless streak at home against the Golden Knights. The Raiders came out strong taking over puck possession and cycling around the opposing end after killing a five-on-three Golden Knight power play in the first couple of minutes of the game. Therefore, it came as no surprise when Day opened the scoring halfway through the period at the 10:48 mark with his fourteenth goal of the season off an assist by Firman. Less than two minutes later Bourdon increased the Raider lead to 2-0 assisted by sophomore defenseman

Kevin McNamara.

In the second session of the game, Colgate continued its onslaught. Early in the period, at the 2:49 mark, Day scored his second goal of the game on the power play, set up by first-year defenseman Jeremy Price and McIntyre. Later in the period, junior forward François Brisebois scored his tenth of the season on a breakaway once again set up by McIntyre. 42 seconds later senior forward Sean Carty scored his second career goal, first at Starr Rink, off an assist by sophomore forward Nick Prockow to give the Raiders a commanding 5-0 lead heading into the second intermission.

In the final frame of the game, Colgate lowered the intensity level a notch and concentrated on dictating the play throughout the twenty minutes without endangering its lead. Sophomore goaltender Alex Evin’s shutout bid ended halfway through the period, at the 9:08 mark when Clarkson scored on the power play. Their goal seemed to give the Golden Knights a new breath of air as they began taking the game to the Raiders, but it was to no avail as Evin stopped every other shot he faced, finishing the game with 20 saves. Colgate gave Clarkson the coup de grace at the 16:43 mark of the session when first-year defenseman Thomas Larkin scored his third of the year off assists by Bourdon and Brisebois.

“The Clarkson match-up has always been a big rivalry for us and we know we always have to bring our best game,” Day said. “I think that after you beat teams a few times you get a quiet confidence as if you know there is no way you are going to lose. We know it and I think Clarkson knows it as well.”

The following evening the Raiders took part in one of the best hockey games of the year against the St. Lawrence Saints. The first period of the game was purely defensive as neither team was able to get on the scoreboard due to impeccable goaltending by

both squads.

In the second period, it was Colgate who seized the momentum. The Raiders completely outplayed, outhustled and blatantly dominated the Saints throughout the session. The first goal of the contest came at the 10:31 mark of the period when Firman scored his fifth goal of the year assisted by Day and Smith. It would be the only goal of the second twenty minutes as Colgate took a 1-0 lead going into the second intermission.

Early in the third frame, St. Lawrence got on the board off a power play goal. Exactly 39 seconds later, however, the boys from Hamilton answered right back when Day scored his third of the weekend assisted by first-year defenseman Nathan Sinz and Smith. It was the most tightly contested and entertaining period of the game as it featured back and forth offense from both teams. The game was not meant to end in 60 minutes, since the Saints knotted the game at two with 12 minutes left to be played in the period. There would be no more goals in the period and the duel went to the extra session. Each team had several grade-A opportunities to earn the win, but it was St. Lawrence who scored after the puck went in off the skate of Saints forward Mike McKenzie.

“I think we played a solid game and it could have gone either way,” Day said. “A bounce off a skate is a tough way to lose a game, but not an excuse. There are always things we can improve on and do better and we will focus on that this week as we get ready for Quinnipiac and Princeton.”

This upcoming weekend the Raiders will travel to New Jersey and Connecticut to face the Princeton Tigers and the Quinnipiac Bobcats. Friday’s game is slated for a 7 p.m. start at Princeton. Saturday’s game, which well be transmitted on national television through CBS College Sports, is set to begin at 8 p.m.

“Everyone in our locker room knows that we are still in a great spot in the league and we have to put the last game behind us,” Day said. “It is all about Princeton on Friday night and that is our focus. As long as we bring our energy and are willing to outwork them, I think we will like the results.”

Colgate currently holds a 10-10-5 overall record, 7-5-1 in ECAC play. The Raiders are in a tie for fifth place, five points away from first and three from second.