SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – A pair of Union goals 20 seconds apart were costly for the Colgate men's hockey program as it dropped a 4-1 decision on Friday night. The No. 10 seeded Raiders now face a must-win situation against the No. 7 seed Union in the ECAC Tournament best-of-three First Round series.
Union jumped ahead on the scoreboard for an early 1-0 lead as the Dutchmen capitalized on the first power play opportunity of the game by crashing the crease with a 2-on-1. Colgate's offense then ignited midway through the period as it attempted to respond to the home team's lead. It was in the final minutes of regulation when Adam Dauda tied it up with a quick backhand at the edge of the crease for a square game heading into the locker rooms.
Colgate's offensive momentum carried over into the second period as it posted a quality power play early in the session but it remained a tie game. Minutes later, a pair of gritty goals by Union 20 seconds apart proved detrimental as the Raiders quickly faced a two-goal deficit heading into the final period of play.
Scoring chances continued to be steady through the third period on either end of the sheet with the Raiders overtaking the shots on goal by a 25-24 advantage before opting for the extra attacker with 1:54 remaining in regulation. Colgate continued to pepper the Dutchmen netminder with consistent shots, although with 33.6 on the clock Union solidified its 4-1 victory with an empty net goal.
COLGATE SCORING PLAY
• Period 1 | 16:32 – A feed across the Colgate blue line by Ken Citron found Paul Meyer. The defenseman skated the puck to center ice before sending it off to Adam Dauda at the point. Dauda's dodge of the defensemen freed up space for a quick shot at the crease before he picked his own rebound on the backhand for a 1-1 game.
• By scoring Colgate's lone goal senior Adam Dauda earned his fifth on the year. The tally marks his third goal in the last six games and second against Union this season.
• Junior defenseman Paul Meyer begins his third two-game point streak in his career by earning an apple on Dauda's goal. The blueliner now holds a career-best eight points on the season behind one goal and seven assists. A well-rounded performance, Meyer also marked three shots on goal, two blocked shots and a plus-1 rating on the ice.
• Recording his second point in the last five games was senior captain Ken Citron behind the second assist on Colgate's goal.
• By registering five of Colgate's 15 blocked shots on the night sophomore Nick Austin posted a career-high. The performance surpasses his previous career-best of three blocked shots tallied at Dartmouth (Dec. 1, 2018).
• Freshman goaltender Mitch Benson marked a game-high of 13 saves in the third period on his way to an eventual 28 on the night with three goals against.
• Leading the team in chances at the net was sophomore Trevor Cosgrove with five of Colgate's 26 shots on goal.
THE BOTTOM LINE
• Union 4, Colgate 1
• Colgate holds a 10-22-3 record, and a 7-12-3 mark in ECAC Hockey action.
• Union is 18-11-6 overall on the season, and is 10-10-2 in ECAC play this year.
COACH VAUGHAN'S TAKE
"For tomorrow's game we need to score some goals. It's been an issue all year long. We're a team that doesn't put up a lot of numbers so we need to keep things close. The two quick ones [by Union] in the second were tough. We turned the puck over in our own end and it ended up in the back of our net both times.
"I was pleased with our effort after they went up 3-1. I thought we did a lot of the things we wanted to do and we hounded pucks more in the offensive zone than we have in a long time.
"We have to keep the game close and find a way to keep our feet moving. It'd be nice to have a couple power plays and you do that by keeping your feet moving, which I thought we did better on tonight.
"We have to take it one shift at a time and win it 30 seconds at a time. We can't get ahead of ourselves and just need to get back to work. We'll build on our good things from tonight and try to limit our mistakes tomorrow."
Colgate continues the ECAC Tournament First Round tomorrow as it battles to keep the season alive. The Raiders must force a third game with a win in the best-of-three series at Union to keep playing on Sunday.