TROY, N.Y. (3/6/11) – Robbie Bourdon scored with 9:54 left in the second overtime to lift the Colgate men’s hockey team to a 2-1 win over Rensselaer on Sunday night to take the series and advance to the ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals.
The Raiders (9-25-3) got goals from Bourdon and Austin Mayer and rookie Eric Mihalik outdueled RPI’s Allen York in net to earn the win with a career-high 40 stops.
The Engineers (20-12-5) saw Tyler Helfrich score their lone goal with assists to Mike Bergin and Jeff Foss. York stood tall in net in the final 50 minutes with 27 of his 37 stops.
Colgate took a 1-0 lead with its first shorthanded goal of the season and on its first shot of the game with 6:52 left in the opening period. Mayer was credited with the score for his fourth of the year.
Austin Smith broke up a Rensselaer attack at the red line and shoveled the puck to Mayer. He then charged into the zone and fired a wrister into the right corner of the net for the goal.
Kurtis Bartliff had a couple of great chances with 10 seconds left in the first period. Francois Brisebois intercepted a clearing pass by RPI in the offensive zone and the got the puck to Smith at the low point. He found Bartliff charging the net in the slot and the sophomore put a couple of shots on York, but was turned away both times.
Rensselaer evened the score at 1-1 with 1:12 left in the second period on a goal by Helfrich. During a scrum in front Helfrich chipped a backhander through traffic from the slot and the puck avoided Mihalik’s left pad for the goal. Mike Bergin and Jeff Foss were given assists on the play.
Third period was scoreless, but was the most exciting of the three periods of regulation. Colgate had an 11-8 advantage in shots, however, Rensselaer had attempted 21 total shots and had 10 blocked by the Colgate defense. Mihalik stopped a few quality scoring chances for the Engineers, including a couple in the final minutes when RPI ramped up their pressure.
Colgate had a couple of chances to put the puck in the net, but the Raiders were turned away by York. One shot came from the neutral zone that an Engineer skater tipped in front of the netminder and York was thrown off by the redirected puck. He went down late to make the save and RPI was fortunate that he reacted so well.
Brisebois had Colgate’s best chance of overtime up to that point on a 3-on-2 advantage as he beat York on a wrister, but the puck rang off the post with 14:20 left. The Raiders had another great opportunity as Brian Day broke in alone on a breakaway and shot high into the chest of York with 8:20 left. Wagner had another chance after beating a RPI defender under the seven-minute mark, but York turned him as well.
Colgate won the shot battle in the first overtime by another 11-8 margin.
In the second overtime, Mayer made two plays in the offensive zone around the 13-minute mark, but couldn’t hit the net. The first shot hit the crossbar and then seconds later York made a wild glove save on Mayer to keep the game tied.
Finally, for the Raiders with 9:54 left in the second overtime, the puck didn’t hit a post. Bourdon shot the puck from the half boards that went through two sets of players from each team and hit under the cross bar to lift the water bottle and send Colgate to the ECAC Hockey Quarterfinals as they travel to Union next weekend for another best-of-three series.
NOTES: Colgate scored its first shorthanded goal in 162 man-down situations … Colgate scored the first goal for the second-straight night in the series … first shorthanded goal in the playoffs since 2005 when the Raiders scored two in the NCAA Tournament against Colorado College … Smith’s assist was his 101st career point … Mayer’s shorthanded goal was the second of his career … Mihalik is the first rookie goaltender since 1994-95 to win a playoff series … Dan Brenzavich was the last and it came against Vermont, who featured Tim Thomas and Martin St. Louis … Colgate last won a double overtime game in the playoffs two years ago against Clarkson with David McIntyre scoring the gamewinner.