Raiders Score 10 in Season Opener

Raiders Score 10 in Season Opener

HAMILTON – The Colgate men’s hockey team couldn’t have wanted a better start to the 2012-13 season as the Raiders cruised to a 10-2 win over Niagara on Tuesday night with three players scoring two goals apiece.

Colgate (1-0-0) got two goals from Robbie Bourdon, Billy Rivellini and Kurtis Bartliff. Bourdon added two assists to lead the team with a career-high four points. Rookies Darcy Murphy, Tylor Spink and Kyle Baun all scored, while Mike McCann added his first of the season. Eric Mihalik was solid in net with 18 saves to earn his first win of the season.

The Purple Eagles (0-1-1) were led by Giancarlo Iuorio and Michael Benedict as the two had Niagara’s two scores. Colby Drost took the loss with 15 saves in 23 minutes of action, while Cody Campbell made 10 stops in 37 minutes.

“Obviously tonight everything went right for us, but I think we also executed really well,” said head coach Don Vaughan. “We did a great job defensively and that was what I was most proud of, even though we put up that many goals, most of them were the result of breaking out of the defensive end.”

It didn’t take long for the Raiders to get on the board in 2012. It actually took 1:06 into the game for Murphy to score his first collegiate goal to make it 1-0. John Lidgett circled the puck around the net and Joe Wilson collected it in the corner. He fired a pass to the middle that Murphy ripped home. Niagara answered midway through the period with Iuorio evening the game at 1-1. Ryan Rashid slid a pass from the corner to Iuorio in the slot and he found an opening over Mihalik’s shoulder to tie the game.

The Raiders regained the lead with 29 seconds left in the period with Bartliff tallying his first of the year. Jeremy Price spotted Mike Borkowski up ice with a pass and the rookie led Bartliff into the slot. The senior collected the puck and chipped a backhand through Drost for the 2-1 lead.

They continued the onslot with three goals in the first five minutes of the second period to increase the lead to 5-1. Tylor Spink got it started with his first collegiate goal coming 1:56 into the frame. He got a pass from his brother Tyson Spink in the slot and he fired a wrister under the bar to make it 3-1 Raiders.

Rivellini then tallied the first of two in the period. He redirected a slapper from Goulakos at the point. The goal was reviewed for a high stick, but was upheld for the 4-1 lead and it came 23 seconds after Tylor Spink’s tally. Bourdon added to the advantage with a power play goal at the 16:14 mark of the second. It was Goulakos and Kevin Lough on the assists as they worked the puck around and found Bourdon for the shot.

The Raiders took a 6-1 lead with Rivellini scoring again at the 9:09 mark with the assist to Mike McCann. The goal came off of a faceoff as McCann won the draw back to Rivellini and he slipped the puck past Campbell, who came in to relieve Drost after the fifth Colgate goal.

The third period was more of the same for the Raiders as they tallied four goals in the frame. Bourdon tallied his second of the game, while McCann followed with his first of the season to make it 8-1. Baun pushed the lead up to 9-1 with his first collegiate score after a great passing display from the Spink twins.

Bartliff finished off the scoring for the Raiders at 10-1 with his second of the game. Bourdon flicked the puck up in the air from the bench and it landed right at Bartliff’s skates in the offensive zone and he beat Campbell 1-on-1 for the score. The Purple Eagles got one back on a power play to close out the scoring at 10-2 with Benedict scoring with 2:27 left in the game.

Colgate’s rookies finished with three goals and five helpers for eight points and Vaughan appreciated their effort tonight.

“Our rookies are a headed group,” said Vaughan. “They work hard and compete and if you give them time and space they make plays.”

Colgate outshot the visitors, 35-20, and each team scored on the power play. The Raiders were 1-for-3 on the man advantage, while Niagara finished with one goal on four chances.

Colgate will have its hands full this weekend as the Raiders travel to No. 8 Miami for a two-game set, beginning on Friday night at 7:35 p.m.

NOTES: The first two Colgate goals came in the first and last two minutes of the period after scoring 28 last season in the first and last two minutes …  the last time Colgate scored 10 goals in a game was back in 1998 against Merrimack in a 10-7 win … Rivellini tallied two goals for the first time in his career … both Bourdon and Bartliff tied career highs with two goals, while Bourdon set a career-high with four points … it is believed to be that Colgate’s goal 1:06 into the season is the fastest in the history of the program.