With two final Eastern College Athletic Conference matchups over the weekend, the Colgate Raiders hopes for building momentum before the ECAC Tournament were first spoiled by the No. 13-ranked Clarkson Golden Knights and then again by the St. Lawrence Saints.
On March 1, the Raiders played the then 21-10-1 Golden Knights in Cheel Arena in Potsdam, New York. The first period ended with both teams scoreless, though Raiders outpaced the Golden Knights 10-5 in terms of shots. The Raiders, broke the deadlock in minute 6:58 of the second period through a goal from first-year forward Jeff Stewart, assisted by sophomore forward Josh McKechney. McKechney passed the puck from behind the Golden Knights’ goal, with Stewart then spinning and shooting for his fourth goal of the season. The Golden Knights, however, came back in the third period, scoring three goals all within the 6:30 mark. The Raiders refused to give up, with junior forward Tyler Penner notching his fourth goal of the season behind assists from first-year forward Griffin Lunn and sophomore Tyler Jeanson. Despite shooting ten times in the period, the Raiders failed to score another goal and complete the comeback.
“I was really happy with our effort and thought we executed an excellent road game. We had a great plan in place and the guys were playing to the system for 50:00,” Head Coach Don Vaughan said.
On Saturday, March 2, the Raiders hoped to recover against the 4-27-2 Saints, who were riding a three-game losing streak and had not won a game since February 1. The Saints came out firing, gaining a 1-0 lead by the minute 1:29 mark in the first period. The Saints quickly built up the lead to 3-0 by the 12:41 mark of the first period. The Raiders attempted to mount a comeback in the second period, scoring off a power play at the 5:18 mark. Junior forward Bobby McMann scored off assists by junior defenseman Paul Meyer and sophomore defenseman Nick Quillan. Meyer faked a shot from the point, then passed it to the right faceoff circle to McMann who scored his team-leading eigth goal of the season. The Saints, however, then scored on a power play of their own to kill the Raiders hopes of a comeback at the 8:29 mark of the second period. The Saints scored their fifth goal of the night at the 10:14 mark of the third period. The Raiders scored once more to make the final score 5-2. Junior defenseman Jacob Panetta was assisted by McMann for his third goal of the season.
With the two losses, the Raiders ended up as the tenth seed in the ECAC Hockey Tournament. The ECAC Tournament will have the Raiders face the seventh seeded Union Dutchmen in a best-of-three series taking place in the Messa Rink in Schenectady, New York on March 8, March 9 and, if necessary, March 10.
Contact Ignacio Villar at email@example.com.