Colgate Captures Fourth Straight Win

Photo courtesy of: Bob Cornell
Photo courtesy of: Bob Cornell
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HAMILTON – Led by Joe Wilson's two goals, the Colgate men's hockey team won its fourth-straight game with a 6-2 win over Sacred Heart on Friday night at Starr Rink.

The Raiders (10-7-2) saw Wilson get a pair of goals, while Nathan Sinz and Daniel Gentzler each scored their first collegiate goals in the win. Kyle Baun and Darcy Murphy continued to score for the Raiders as Baun added his eighth and Murphy tallied his seventh. Spencer Finney had a great game in net with 28 saves to earn his fourth-straight win. He made an incredible save on a breakaway late in the game as well.

During the four-game winning streak for Colgate, the Raiders have scored five or more goals in each game and have a total of 22 goals in the four wins.

The Pioneers (0-16-2) held their own in the first period and had a productive second, but couldn't solve Finney. Eric Delong and Ryan Stanimir came up with the two goals for the visitors and Andrew Bodnarchuk made 21 stops in defeat.

“I was pleased with a lot of our efforts in the offensive zone,” said head coach Don Vaughan. “We had a lot of puck possession throughout the game. I told our guys after the game that we needed to be better defensively and we made life a little bit hard on ourselves tonight. When you are up by three or four goals you want to make a team go 200 feet and there were too many times where we didn’t do that.“

The Pioneers were able to get on the board first with Delong scoring 6:32 into the game on a deflection in front of the net on the power play. Sacred Heart moved the puck around and Drew George took a shot from the left point that was redirected by George to the upper right hand corner of the net for the 1-0 lead.

Colgate answered with 10:11 remaining in the opening frame with Murphy scoring his seventh of the season and third power play goal of the year. Wilson moved the puck over to Robbie Bourdon and the senior blasted a shot that Murphy tipped home past Bodnarchuk to tie the game at 1-1.

The Raiders opened it up in the second period with three goals to make it 4-1 after 40 minutes.

Wilson got it started with the first of two for him in the period. The score came as a shorthanded goal. Mike Borkowski slipped a pass from center ice to a streaking Wilson at the offensive blueline. The sophomore deked the netminder and the puck trickled across the goal line for the 2-1 lead with the goal coming 3:18 into the frame.

He struck again just over three minutes later as Bourdon found Wilson at the far post. He chipped the puck off the post and then it deflected off the back of Bodnarchuk and across the line for the 3-1 advantage.

The final goal of the second came from Sinz as he scored his first career goal. It was Bourdon and Kurtis Bartliff with the assists with Bourdon sliding a cross-ice pass to Sinz, who fired a wrister from the left circle and under the arm of Bodnarchuk for the 4-1 lead with nine minutes left in the period.

Baun continued his hot play with his fourth goal in the last three games after a nice passing display with his linemates, Tyson Spink and Tylor Spink. The three broke over the blueline and connected on a couple of short passes that ended with Baun ringing a shot off the post and into the net for the 5-1 advantage.

The Pioneers got one back with Stanimir netting his second of the season with the assist to Chad Barthelmess to make it 5-2 with 11:51 remaining in the game, but that was as close as Sacred Heart would get.

Daniel Gentzler closed out the scoring with his first collegiate goal coming with 6:32 left in the third. Christian Long fired a shot from the left side of the ice and it deflected off the skate of Gentzler and into the net to end the scoring at 6-2 as Colgate made it four in a row.

The Pioneers had one bright spot and that was that they outshot the Raiders, 30-27, in the game. Each team scored on the power play as Sacred Heart went 1-for-4 and Colgate tallied one goal in five opportunities.

“We expected to be a little rusty and we were,” Vaughan mentioned. “We had to get the kinks out. The shorthanded goal by Wilson was a big goal. If they score on that power play, it changes the momentum and possibly the game.”

Vaughan also gave credit to his goaltender for being in the right spot and making some good saves

“Spencer made some hard stops look easy tonight,” Vaughan said. “Clearly the breakaway save he made with us up three goals was spectacular and if they get that one the momentum changes against us. He made the stops he needed to make for us to earn the win.”

The two teams will be back on the ice tomorrow night at 7 p.m. at Starr Rink.

NOTES: Colgate has scored a power play goal in five-straight games … Murphy is now tied for second on the team in power play goals with three … Baun scored his eighth of the season to lead the team … Finney has won four-straight games and is now 6-3-1 on the season … Colgate is now 9-0-0 when scoring four or more goals this season … the Raiders have won six of their last eight games and have a 6-1-1 record during the stretch.