SCHENECTADY, N.Y. – The Colgate men’s hockey program’s season came to a close on Saturday night as Union earned a 4-0 victory in the First Round of the ECAC Tournament. The No. 7 seeded Dutchmen advance after winning the best-of-three series over No. 10 seed Colgate.
Colgate came out with a vengeance from the drop of the puck, crashing the Union zone early in the game. Although the Raiders were outshooting Union 8-5 midway through the opening stanza, the Dutchmen were first to get on the scoreboard for the second night in a row as it notched a glove side wrister for a 1-0 lead.
Entering the second period facing a one-goal deficit, the Raiders had a consistent presence in the Union zone but a shot by Nick Austin from the point is the closest Colgate would come to scoring through the second period.
The Raiders’ energy continued into the third stanza as they looked to narrow the one-goal game. A wraparound by Griffin Lunn at the crease got the puck in the paint, but the Raiders were denied yet again as the clock eclipsed the midway point of the final period.
A pair of third period goals by sealed Colgate’s fate as Union increased its lead to 2-0 with 10:38 remaining in regulation and again with 5:34 on the clock. The Raiders opted for an extra attacker for 2:35 nearing the end of the game but after the Dutchmen scored on the empty net, it finalized the 4-0 score ending Colgate’s season.
• Five different Raiders tallied three shots on goal a piece on the team’s way to 29 attempts at the net.
• Freshman goaltender Mitch Benson posted a game-high of 12 saves in the second period on his way to 27 on the night.
• By tallying three of Colgate’s 14 blocked shots, sophomore Tyler Jeanson was just one shy of his career-high of four set on Feb. 9 against Clarkson.
• With a perfect penalty kill, Colgate held its opponent scoreless on the power play for the 16th time this season.
• Junior defenseman Jacob Panetta joined the century club by playing in his 100th career game. He is one of seven players on the team to reach the status.
• Five seniors concluded their collegiate careers in Ken Citron, Willie Brooks, Adam Dauda, Rory McGuire and Hunter Racine.
THE BOTTOM LINE
• Union 4, Colgate 0
• Colgate earned a 10-23-3 record, and a 7-12-3 mark in ECAC Hockey action for the 2018-19 campaign.
• Union is 19-11-6 overall on the season, and went 10-10-2 in ECAC play.
COACH VAUGHAN’S TAKE
“Our compete was there, we just didn’t get any breaks either. It’s not an excuse but we worked hard, had opportunities around their net, and they just didn’t go in.
“It’s always disappointing when it ends and it’s tough. We have a great group of seniors who put their heart and soul into the program. It didn’t go the way we wanted this year but this group never quit working. They always came to the rink excited, they wanted to get better, and they wanted to learn. A big part of that is our senior class and how they kept it together.
“It didn’t go the way we wanted this season or how we wanted tonight to go, but it certainly wasn’t for lack of work by this group.”
SEASONAL STAT NUGGETS
• Colgate's 55 goals in the season's 36 games have come from 19 different scorers. The Raider stat sheet is speckled with 22 players who posted a point, including 18 of whom have multiple points.
• Four of Colgate’s 10 wins came against ranked opponents.
• In a 3-2 overtime win on Jan. 26, Colgate earned its first victory over Cornell since Feb. 8, 2014 while it also marked the Raiders first win in Ithaca since Jan. 27, 2012.
• In scoring the overtime winner at Quinnipiac and the go-ahead goal at Princeton, freshman Jeff Stewart earned his first career ECAC Hockey honor on Jan. 7 by garnering Rookie of the Week accolades.
• Mitch Benson earned his first career win in his first collegiate game against UNH by 18 saves on 19 shots faced. He then stopped 35 of 36 shots against the Wildcats on Oct. 13. The 53-save performance earned the netminder both ECAC Rookie and Goalie of the Week honors.
• With 33 starts, Benson made more starts than any other rookie in the country while making 14 30-plus save performances on the year.
• The 5-1 victory over Union (Feb. 22) marked Colgate's largest win margin of the year, doubling its previous best of two at Niagara (Dec. 8, 2018).
• The Senior Night win over Rensselaer (Feb. 23) marked Colgate's first overtime victory at home since facing Brown on Nov. 21, 2014.
• Colgate earned three weekend sweeps on the season over New Hampshire (Oct. 12-13), Quinnipiac-Princeton (Jan. 4-5), and Union-Rensselaer (Feb. 22-23).
• The Raiders were undefeated in their six overtime games, posting a record of 3-0-3 in the matchups.
• Also notable, Colgate went 5-0-1 when scoring three or more goals this season.
• Playing a clean game, the Raiders were not called for any penalties at Yale (Feb. 15). It marked the first time since at least the 1998-99 season that Colgate hasn't sacrificed any penalties to its opponent.
• With 962 games under at the helm of Colgate hockey, head coach Don Vaughan's 26th season is the third longest tenure in college hockey, behind Rick Gotkin (Mercyhurst, 31st season), and Bob Daniels (Ferris State, 27th season).
• With an assist on Dauda's goal against Union (Feb. 22), Mitch Benson became the first goalie to earn a point since Eric Mihalik at Ferris State on Jan. 7, 2012.
• Nick Austin led the team against Union (Feb. 22) with a season-best plus-4 rating on the ice. The plus-4 was a season-high for a single player on the Colgate roster this year.
FOLLOW THE RAIDERS
For more information on the Colgate men's hockey program, follow the Raiders on Twitter @ColgateMIH and Instagram at colgate_mih.