Finney Stops 26 in Goaltending Duel at RPI

Photo courtesy of: Bob Cornell
Photo courtesy of: Bob Cornell
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TROY, N.Y. – In a rookie goaltenders duel at Houston Field House, the 20th-ranked Colgate men's hockey team dropped a tough 2-1 decision to Rensselaer on Friday night in ECAC Hockey action.

Colgate (11-8-2, 3-5-1 ECAC) played only its third game since Dec. 8 and got its lone goal from Tylor Spink, which was a power play goal. Tyson Spink and Jeremy Price set up the goal with some nice passing. With the goal, the Spink twins extended their point streak to seven games, which is the longest of the year for the Raiders.

Between the pipes Rensselaer's Jason Kasdorf took home the win with 32 stops. Finney competed save-for-save with Kasdorf and made 26 saves. Finney had to make big saves throughout the game, including five or six highlight saves in the first two periods to keep the Raiders in the game.

“Both goalies were phenomenal tonight,” head coach Don Vaughan said. “Spencer kept us in it early with a couple of big saves. A few the coaching staff and I looked at eachother on the bench and went 'wow' great saves, and there were a couple of pipes on each end as well.”

Rensselaer (7-10-5, 2-6-1 ECAC) saw Johnny Rogic and Matt Tinordi score both its goals. Tinordi scored the gamewinner with under eight minutes left in the game.

The first period was a fast-paced one with neither team finding the scoreboard and for the Raiders, Finney was the story with nine stops. He made three quality stops during a scrum in front when it looked like Rensselaer was destined to score. He made a couple of pad saves on transition plays for the Engineers as well.

Darcy Murphy had the best look for the Raiders as he ended up in front of the net after an offensive zone cycle. He got the puck at the top of the crease and got Kasdorf on the ice and tried chipping a backhand over the left pad, but it went over the crossbar. Colgate had the advantage in shots on goal at 13-9.

The Engineers broke the scoreless tie late in the second period with Rogic scoring off a Colgate defender in front of the net. Rogice drove to the net from the right side and flipped the puck across the crease and it hit a Raider defender and past Finney. The crazy bounce was unlucky for the rookie netminder, who had stopped 21-straight shots by the Engineers. He stopped 12 shots in the period, including a big glove stop and one on a deflection.

The best chance for the Raiders in the second frame was from Kyle Baun. The rookie forward fired a shot from the right circle and it rang off the post. Colgate did get a chance on the power play after the Engineers scored the first goal, but didn't get any scoring opportunities.

The Raiders were able to tie the score on its fourth power play chance of the night with Tylor Spink scoring his seventh of the season and third on the power play. Price did a nice job opening up space and found Tyson Spink at the right post. He then went back across the crease to his brother and he tucked it home to tie the game at 1-1.

Rensselaer took the lead for good with less than eight minutes left in the game with Tinordi firing a textbook wrister from the left side that went top corner for the gamewinner.

Colgate had a pair of chances down the stretch with Robbie Bourdon and Murphy ringing shots off the post and the Raiders pulled the goalie with just under a minute left and Price got the lone shot on the net but Kasdorf made his 32nd save.

“I thought it was an evenly matched game tonight,” Vaughan said. “I told our guys that it's hard to win in this league and you have to play every shift like it's your last. Rensselaer had a game plan tonight and they executed it well.”

Colgate will not have to travel far tomorrow as the Raiders head to Union to face the 17th-ranked Dutchmen at 7 p.m. at Messa Rink. Union lost tonight, 3-2, against Cornell.

NOTES: The first period was the first scoreless one for the Raiders in the last seven frames … Colgate went into the second period at a 0-0 score for only the second time this season …  the Raiders played their fourth one-goal game of the season and are now 2-2 in those games … the lost stops Colgate's five-game winning streak … the rookies have scored goals in 13-of-21 games this season … Finney had his four-game winning streak snapped.