SCHENECTADY, NY – Sophomore forward Wayne Simpson scored twice, and senior forward Adam Presizniuk had three assists to lead No. 4/4 Union to a 4-1 win over Colgate in front of 2,262 fans at Messa Rink.. With the win, the Dutchmen took a 1-0 lead in their best-of-three ECAC Quarterfinal series against the Raiders.
With Union holding a 2-1 lead entering the third period, freshman forward Matt Hatch scored to give the Dutchmen some key breathing room early on in the frame. Junior forward Kelly Zajac fired an initial shot wide of the net, but Hatch found the puck behind the goal and beat Mihalik on a wrap-around at 3:02 to give Union a two-goal cushion.
Simpson scored his second of the night at 19:21, Union’s second power play goal of the contest, to seal the victory.
Union got off to a good start in the opening period, outshooting Colgate 22-4, and outscoring the Raiders 2-0 to head into the locker room with an early two-goal lead.
Senior forward Andrew Buote scored his second goal of the season to give Union an early advantage at 3:46 of the first period. Fellow senior Justin Pallos set up the play with an initial shot from the side boards. His shot attempt deflected to Buote in the high slot, who beat Mihalik between the pads for a 1-0 Union lead.
The Dutchmen converted on their first power play opportunity of the night, on a two man advantage. With Colgate freshman Austin Smith in the penalty box for holding, Colgate was called for a too many men on the ice penalty after a bad line change, giving Union a two-man power play for 14 seconds.
On the first faceoff opportunity of the two man advantage, junior Kelly Zajac won the draw back to senior forward Adam Presizniuk, who fed a cross ice pass to sophomore forward Wayne Simpson. Simpson fired a one-timer past Mihalik to put Union up 2-0 at 15:12.
The Raiders cut Union’s lead to one just over halfway through the second period. Senior forward Austin Mayer tipped the puck ahead to freshman forward Chris Wagner, who fired a slapshot over the glove of sophomore goaltender Keith Kinkaid at 13:09.
Colgate’s best chance to even the game came with just under two minutes left in the second period, but Kinkaid and Hatch came up with two stops on the goal mouth to maintain the lead for Union. Wagner’s initial backhander was stopped by Kinkaid, but with the sophomore goaltender out of position, Hatch was there to man the open net, stopping Robbie Bourdon’s rebound with his skate.
For the game, Union outshot Colgate 42-20, as Kinkaid made 18 saves for his 25th win of the season. Mihalik stopped 38 shots in the loss and fell to 6-13-2 on the year.
Union will return to Messa Rink tomorrow night to face Colgate in Game 2 at 7:00 p.m.