Seesaw Battle Goes to Big Green

HANOVER, N.H. – The Colgate men’s hockey team put forth a great effort tonight at Thompson Arena, but in a game that featured three lead changes and four ties it was 17th-ranked Dartmouth coming away with a 5-4 win on Saturday night.

The Raiders (13-13-4, 5-10-3 ECAC) got goals from four different skaters. Darcy Murphy reached double digits with his 10th of the year, while Tylor Spink tied for the team lead with his 11th of the season. Spencer Finney did his part in net as he made 31 stops.

The Big Green (12-9-4, 8-7-3 ECAC) was led by Eric Neiley and Jesse Beamish, who each scored two goals with Neiley scoring the gamewinner late in the third. Dustin Walsh also scored for Dartmouth and Charles Grant made 29 saves to earn the victory.

The Big Green broke the ice with 9:22 remaining in the first with Beamish putting his team on top. Dustin Walsh got around a defender and crashed the net. Finney made the stop, but Beamish was there for the clean up in front of the cage and put it home.

The Raiders answered two minutes later with Mike McCann putting one past Grant on an odd-man rush with Sinz. The two broke into the Dartmouth zone and Nathan Sinz slipped a pass to McCann in front as he took a big hit. McCann was able to first a quick wrister into the net to tie it at 1-1 with 7:33 remaining in the first. Neiley regained the lead for the Big Green with 3:33 left with Mark Goggin adding the assist as Dartmouth took the 2-1 advantage into the locker room.

The second period for the Raiders was a dominant performance with a 13-7 shot advantage. It didn’t take long for Colgate to tie the game up in the second as Murphy tallied his 10th of the year just 1:08 into the frame. Kurtis Bartliff put the initial shot on net that was blocked, but Murphy was there for the score on the rebound. Kevin Lough was also given an assist on the play.

The back-and-forth battle continued as the Big Green regained the lead with Walsh scoring to make it 3-2 with just over 14 minutes left in the period. Geoff Ferguson was stopped by Finney, but the puck took an awkward bounce off Finney’s left pad and Walsh swooped in. He swatted at the biscuit like a baseball player and connected to put the Big Green back up.

Colgate turned on the pressure late in the period and controlled most of the play and it paid off with a 2-on-2 rush into the zone and Wilson scoring to tie it. Robbie Bourdon skated into the zone and dropped the puck to Wilson. He then drove to the net and fired a shot under the bar and over the glove of Grant to tie it again at 3-3 with 3:14 left in the period.

Tylor Spink gave Colgate its first lead of the game midway through the third period on a one-timer from the slot. It was great work down low that lead to the goal. Tylor Spink fired his first shot wide, but Borkowski was able to collect the puck and hit his linemate again for another one-timer that he put past Grant for the 4-3 lead.

Dartmouth fired back to tie it at 4-4 with Beamish adding his second of the night with 8:26 remaining with assist to Jack Barre. Finney was able to stone Barre twice, but a scrum ensued and Beamish was able to dig the puck out of the scrum and past Finney to tie the game.

With six minutes to go, the Raiders were called for interference in front of their own net, which allowed Dartmouth to go on only its second power play of the night. The Big Green were able to take advantage with Neiley firing a shot from the slot after a nice feed from Walsh to put the Big Green ahead for good at 5-4.

Colgate went 0-for-3 on the power play and the Big Green had the shot advantage by a 36-33 margin.

The Raiders will be back in action this coming weekend as Colgate welcomes Union and Rensselaer on Senior Weekend at Starr Rink. Also a reminder to fans that the jersey auction is still going on at auction.gocolgateraiders.com.

NOTES: Murphy joins Tylor Spink and Kyle Baun as double-digit goal scorers … Wilson scored his third goal in the last six games and has five points in his last six … first loss of the season when the Raiders score more than three goals … it was the opposite score in November at Starr Rink as Colgate won 5-4 … the teams combined for 18 goals in six periods … Dartmouth leads the all-time series at 45-42-5.