Colgate Knocks Off No. 7/8 Yale

Photo courtesy of: Bob Cornell
Photo courtesy of: Bob Cornell
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HAMILTON – The Colgate men’s hockey team went behind early against No. 7/8 Yale, but responded with four unanswered goals, including three in the third to defeat the Bulldogs, 4-1, on Saturday night.

The Raiders (13-9-2, 5-6-1 ECAC) once again got excellent goaltending from rookie Spencer Finney as he made a career-high 35 saves with 14 of them coming in the third period. Finney had help from his classmates as three of the four goals scored were from the stick of a rookie skater. Kevin Lough led the way with the gamewinner for his first collegiate goal.

Yale (12-5-3, 8-4-1 ECAC) came to Starr Rink after beating Cornell in overtime last night and started off well with Kenny Agostino scoring six minutes into the game, but that was it for the Bulldogs. Jeff Malcolm took the loss, making 28 saves.

“We showed great poise against a great team,” head coach Don Vaughan said. “We thought they would come hard in transition and we handled it very well tonight. We had some individuals step up tonight and in a game like this, your great players need to make plays. We had a excellent effort up and down the lineup and I thought we played are most complete game of the year so far.”

Yale took the early 1-0 lead at the 14-minute mark of the first period with Kenny Agostino scoring his 11th of the season. Agostino rushed up ice with Andrew Miller and Nicholas Weberg. Miller and Weberg connected on a pass and then Miller dropped the puck for Agostino and he rang a wrist shot off the right post and in. The Raiders got one chance on the power play, but couldn’t capitalize and Yale did the same on two extra man advantages.

Even with the early goal for the Bulldogs, Vaughan liked the calmness of his netminder.

“Nothing seems to rattle him,” said Vaughan. “He has great confidence and he is able to forgot about plays quickly and that’s what good goalies have to do.“

The Raiders were able to even the score with 4:12 left in the second period with Tylor Spink scoring on the power play. Spiro Goulakos fired a shot from the point that Malcolm stopped, but he left a juicy rebound. Kyle Baun swooped in and chipped a shot on net that Malcolm pushed aside. However, he failed to cover the puck again and Tylor Spink collected the puck and skating around a defenseman to stuff the puck home on an open net. The goal was Tylor’s second of the weekend and gave Colgate a power play goal in 10-straight games.

The third period was the most productive one for the Raiders in tonight’s game with three goals on 11 shots. Lough got it started with his first collegiate goal with a sniper shot from the left circle to give Colgate the lead for good at 2-1 with 15:36 left in the period. Joe Wilson and Robbie Bourdon provided hard work behind the net and were rewarded with assists.

“Lough made an unbelievable play on his goal,” said Vaughan. “I thought Tylor and Tyson had great poise on their goals. That’s what great players do. They make plays in critical situations.”

John Lidgett increased the lead to 3-1 with 11:37 remaining with his fourth of the season. Lidgett won the faceoff in the offensive and the puck came to Mike Borkowski and he was able to find some space. He got the puck back to Lidgett, who fired it home for the two-goal advantage.

Colgate sealed the victory with another power play goal with 57 seconds left. This time it was Tyson Spink with his sixth of the year and fourth on the man advantage. Goulakos was given his second helper of the night and Tylor Spink made it a multi-point game with the secondary assist.

Vaughan liked the effort of his players in the third period, which broke open the game and led to the win.

“Lough’s goal really ignited our bench and a couple of power plays helped out as well,” said Vaughan. “I thought our guys just kept coming at them and we were still rolling back our third guy to stop the odd-man rush. A lot of great individual all-around efforts tonight and I’m proud of our guys.

Colgate earned the weekend sweep with two goals on the power in four chances. The penalty kill came to play again tonight, holding Yale to no goals on four opportunities. The Raiders did not allow a power play goal on 11 chances by its opponents this weekend. Yale did win the shot advantage by a slim 36-32 margin.

Colgate will be back on the road next weekend with the Raiders traveling to Clarkson and St. Lawrence.

NOTES: The Spink’s have now scored in nine of their last 10 games … together they have nine power play goals … they scored in the same game for the third time … the top power play unit has 16 power play goals of the 24 total scored by Colgate … Tylor Spink takes over the team lead in power play goals with five … Finney has seven wins in his last nine games and reached 30 saves for the fifth time this year … Colgate has won five-straight at home and the Raiders are 10-3-0 in home ice and 5-2-0 in conference at Starr Rink.