BIG RAPIDS, Mich. – Despite a first career goal by Matt Verboon to open the scoring, the Colgate men’s hockey program was unable to hold off Ferris State on Thursday evening. The Bulldogs responded with three straight goals for a 3-1 final in nonconference action.
Colgate had an early man advantage as Ferris State was called for high-sticking minutes into the game, and although the Raiders spent quality minutes in the Bulldog zone, it wouldn’t be until the teams returned to 5-on-5 action when the effort would pay off.
Shortly after Ferris State returned to full strength, Colgate was able to convert behind Matt Verboon’s first of the season. The Raiders had a steady presence in the Bulldog zone throughout the period, but the teams would head to the locker room in a 1-1 stalemate after Ferris State tied the game with a deflection on a shot in the slot with the man advantage.
The second period featured long stretches of action, including a 4:50 stint without a whistle. As the clock nearly the midway point of regulation, Colgate had a chance as Jared Cockrell took a wide-angle shot. Colgate’s top 2:00 with the man advantage came shortly thereafter with three looks at the night. Josh McKechney’s shot was tipped mere inches outside the left post before John Snodgrass’ shot trickled through the paint before a Bulldog swooped in to recover it. As time with the power play ticked down, Bobby McMann entered the zone for a dinger off the crossbar before the conclusion but the second period would remain as a scoreless session with a 1-1 score.
The Raiders were granted another early power play opportunity when they returned for the third period, but were still unable to break the tie. Shortly after gaining its fifth skater back, Ferris State picked a turnover in the neutral zone and gained a 2-1 lead with a top shelf tally. Although the Raiders had a slew of offensive opportunities in the third period, they were forced to pull their netminder with under a minute remaining. The Bulldogs would recover the puck in along the boards in the neutral zone and score on the empty net with seconds remaining to solidify the 3-1 final.
COLGATE SCORING PLAY
• Period 1 | 06:44 – In a tie up along the boards, the puck was popped out to the hashmarks and a ready Verboon. The rookie went bar down for a 1-0 lead.
• With his first period goal, rookie Matt Verboon scored his first career goal. The native of Geneva, Switzerland, is the first of the freshman class to land on the scoresheet this season.
• The Raiders gained quicker possessions, winning 30 of 55 draws. Verboon had the most effective faceoff, winning four of his five attempts.
• Offensively Colgate had a good mix of players taking chances at the net, as freshman Arnaud Vachon, sophomore Jeff Stewart, and junior Trevor Cosgrove each tallied four shots on goal.
• For the second straight game this season Colgate outshot its opponent, this time by a 29-23 margin including a 12-8 edge in the opening period of play.
• Sophomore netminder Mitch Benson marked 20 saves on 22 shots faced.
• On the night, Colgate went 0-for-6 on the power play and went 1-for-2 on the penalty kill. Seven of the Raiders’ 29 shots on goal were generated with the man advantage.
• Four different Raiders earned blocked shots, including two apiece by freshman Liam Watson-Brawn and senior John Snodgrass.
THE BOTTOM LINE
• Ferris State 3, Colgate 1
• Colgate holds a 0-2-0 overall record.
• Ferris State starts the season 1-0-0.
COACH VAUGHAN’S TAKE
“It’s very frustrating, we worked hard again, and we generated a little more chaos at the net tonight with two posts. Our power play has to produce. We’re not in sync right now. It is early, but if you go 0-for-6 [on the power play] it’s the difference in the game, same as the other night. We’ve got to remedy it, and find a way whether it’s different personnel or structures. We had some good looks, but we need to find a way to score.
“There were a lot of positives but it’s disappointing that we can’t finish on more opportunities around the net. Verboon had a nice play on [our goal] and had some other good looks too. Our young guys right now are really playing well, so that’s a positive for sure. I could argue they’re some of our best players right now. We need everyone though, we can’t do it with just two or three guys.
“We’ve got to regroup, since it’s not going to get any easier. We’ve got one of the best teams in the country coming in Sunday, so we’ll have to get back home and get back to work on Saturday.”
Colgate returns home to host No. 6/10 Boston College on Sunday, Oct. 13 at Class of 1965 Arena. Puck drop is set for 4 p.m.
FOLLOW THE RAIDERS
For more information on the Colgate men's hockey program, follow the Raiders on Twitter @ColgateMIH and Instagram at colgate_mih.