Colgate Erases Third-Period Deficit to Force Game Three

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Photo by Trent Hermann

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – The Colgate men's hockey team stormed back from a two-goal deficit in the final period with four goals to defeat top-seeded Union, 4-2, to force a third game for the second-straight series. 

The decisive third game will take place tomorrow night at 7 p.m. at Messa Rink. Due to prior commitments, the final game will not be televised. Tonight's game was another sellout with a crowd of 2,218. 

Colgate (10-26-3) had four different goal scorers in the third period. Rookie Chris Wagner was a catalyst for the Raiders in the period with the game-tying goal on the power play and then assisted on the go-ahead goal. Robbie Bourdon contributed in the third with a goal and an assist as well. His goal proved to be the gamewinner and he assisted on Wagner's goal. Austin Mayer and Brian Day also added goals in the win. Mihalik kept the Raiders in the game with 27 saves overall, but was instrumental in keeping the nation's leading power play unit off the board. 

Union (27-8-4) got goals from Wayne Simpson and Mat Brodie, while goaltender Keith Kinkaid finished with 18 saves and had just 10 going into the third period. The win for the Raiders snapped Union's 12-game unbeaten streak and it was only the second time this season, Kinkaid lost at Messa Rink.

The Dutchmen took a 1-0 lead 5:21 into the game with Simpson scoring his third goal of the series. He led the charge into the offensive zone on a 3-on-2 and beat the Colgate defender with a couple of fakes. He became open in the slot and lifted a backhander over Mihalik's glove for the early lead. Shawn Stewart was given the helper on the game's first score. 

Colgate was outshot by an 8-4 margin in the first period. The Raiders had the only power play chance of the period and didn't register a shot on net. 

Colgate had its best chance with 13:40 left in the second period when Kevin McNamara stopped a clearing attempt by Kinkaid and found Kurtis Bartliff in the slot. The sophomore redirected the puck, but Kinkaid closed his pads in time to make his biggest save of the night up to that point. 

Under two minutes later, Brodie intercepted a Colgate clearing attempt and skated to the center of the ice at the blueline and fired a shot on net. Mihalik was in position, but the puck tipped off his glove and into the net as the Dutchmen took a 2-0 lead. 

The Raiders were able to get on the board with 14:12 left in the game as the hard work of Mayer and Matt Firman paid off. Firman collected a loose puck and tried a wrap around that was denied by Kinkaid. The Union netminder, however, gave up the rebound and Mayer fought through a couple of stick checks and popped the puck over the head of Kinkaid for the goal. It was Mayer's second point of the weekend as he had an assist in game one. 

Wagner tied the game with a power play goal coming with 8:54 remaining in the game. Day snapped a wrister from the half boards to catch a streaking Wagner in front of Kinkaid. The rookie tipped home his second goal of the series to tie the game at 2-2. It was on Colgate's third chance on the man advantage. 

Colgate took the lead three minutes later on another tip in at the side of the net on Kinkaid. Wagner was at it again as he caused a Union turnover at the half boards and fired a pass cross-ice to Bourdon, who tipped it past a sprawling Kinkaid to give Colgate its first lead at 3-2. 

With 2:28 left, Jooris tried to tie it as he broke into Union's offensive end with a Raider defender trailing along side him. He flipped a wrister on Mihalik, but the rookie was in position and made a huge glove save to keep the Raider up by a goal. 

Day sealed the deal with an empty netter with 38 seconds left. He deflected a cross-ice pass at the blue line and beat a Union defender to the puck and slipped it over the line to close the scoring at 4-2. 

Union outshot Colgate 29-22, but the Raiders held a 12-11 advantage in the third period. The Raiders went 1-for-4 on the power play.

NOTES: Colgate came from two goals down in the third period for the first time this season … first time since Jan. 16, 2010 at Clarkson that the Raiders scored four goals in a period … the senior class is now 5-1 in game two's in the ECAC Hockey playoffs … Wagner has five points in the playoffs to lead the team … Colgate's penalty kill only allowed three shots on net on two Union chances … Union scored first for the second-straight night … Colgate had four shots in the first period for the second night in a row, but Union had only eight compared to 22 in game one … tonight's game was Colgate's 15th against a ranked team as Union was No. 4 in both national polls this week … the Raiders are 5-9-1 in those games … Colgate is 7-4-1 since the 4-2 Clarkson win on Feb. 5.