The Colgate men’s ice hockey team kicks off the 2017 ECAC Hockey tournament this weekend as the 10th seeded Raiders travel to the No. 7 seed Princeton Tigers for a best-of- three games first round series at Hobey Baker Rink Friday through Sunday.
Princeton is in the midst of its best season since 2010-11 season and first season at .500 in the Ron Fogarty-era. The Tigers swept their final weekend to move up to the No. 7 seed in the tournament, routing Brown 7-2 and topping Yale, 4-1. The Tigers have been streaky throughout the season, opening with seven-game winless streak before winning seven of eight from Nov. 25 through Dec. 16. Following that stretch, Princeton lost four straight before a six-game unbeaten streak from Jan. 14 to Feb. 11. Princeton has three players tied for the team lead with 31 points, with Ryan Kuffner leading the way at 16 goals and 31 points. Jackson Cressey leads the team with 25 assists and 31 points while Max Veronneau is fourth on the team with 10 goals and second with 21 assists. Five players, including defenseman Josh Teves, have recorded more than 20 points this season and eight have double-digit points. Colton Phinney has had a solid season for the Tigers, going 12-13-3 with a 3.16 GAA and .907 save percentage.
The Raiders hold the edge in the all-time series against the Tigers with a record of 55- 46-7 in their 108 meetings since the 1935- 36 season. Colgate is unbeaten in eight consecutive games against Princeton, with their 2-2 tie on Jan. 14 snapping the Raiders’ seven-game winning streak against the Tigers. Colgate and Princeton have met four other times in the ECAC Hockey playoffs, with the Raiders posting a 1-3 record. The Raiders won the first ever playoff meeting in 1990-91, 5-2, in the ECAC Hockey preliminary round before falling the next season in the same round, 5-4, in double overtime. The two teams didn’t meet in the playoffs again until the ECAC Hockey Final Five in Lake Placid in 1998-99, with Princeton coming away on top, 3-2. The last time these two teams met in the playoffs was the ECAC Hockey Semifinals in 2007-08 with Princeton winning, 3-0.
Last Time Out
Colgate wrapped up the regular season with a weekend series against nationally ranked No. 7/8 Union and Rensselaer, falling 4-3 in overtime against the Dutchmen before falling 3-2 against the Engineers. The Raiders held early third period leads in each game but could not hang on to pick up the wins.
A Grand Program
The Colgate men’s ice hockey program is
looking to make a bit of history this weekend as they are in search of the 1,000th win in program history. Over 87 seasons of Colgate hockey, the Raiders have currently won 999 games with their eight wins this season. Head coach Don Vaughan has been behind the bench for 39 percent of the wins in Colgate men’s ice hockey history with his 389 wins over 24 seasons. The Raiders would be the eighth ECAC Hockey program to achieve the feat. Overall, Colgate is 999-948-132 in 2,079 games played.
Anthony Sanniti had a weekend to remember for the Raiders this past weekend as he scored the first goal of his career against nationally ranked Union. Sanniti, who has transitioned from defense to forward in the past couple of months, also recorded an assist against Rensselaer the following night for a two- point weekend. His first career goal was his first points since picking up an assist against Brown on Dec. 29, 2015.
Pots and Pans
Mike Panowyk led the Raiders in points over the past weekend with three, netting a goal and picking up a pair of assists. Panowyk opened the weekend with two assists against the Dutchmen, his fifth multi-assist game and seventh multi-point game of his career. Panowyk followed that up with a great goal against Rensselaer that initially gave the Raiders a 1-0 lead. He now has back-to-back 10-point seasons with three goals and seven assists in 2016-17.
Brush it Home
Tim Harrison continued his impressive season with his 11th goal of the season coming against Union Friday night. Harrison has scored a point in three consecutive games after picking up an assist against Rensselaer on Saturday, the longest active streak on the team. His 11 goals extend his career-high total and Harrison is just one point away from 50 in his career.
Jake Kulevich picked up a pair of assists against the Dutchmen on Saturday to give him 20 points this season, becoming the first Colgate defenseman since Spiro Goulakos in 2013-14 to record 20 points in a single season. Kulevich’s two-assist game was the sixth multi-assist game of his career and eighth multi-point game. Kulevich is also the first Raider defenseman to lead the team in points since at least the 1999-2000 season. In addition to his solid offensive weekend, Kulevich blocked a team-high six shots to bring his season total to 58 this season, the most blocked shots by an ECAC Hockey defenseman with at least 20 points.
• The Colgate men's ice hockey program is looking for the 1,000th win in program history, coming into the weekend with 999 over 87 years of Colgate hockey.
• Jake Kulevich became the first defenseman since Spiro Goulakos in 2013-14 to record 20 points in a single season with two points Friday night.
• Tim Harrison tallied his team-leading 11th goal of the season, giving Colgate se- nior goal-scoring leaders in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2010-11 and 2011-12.
• In the month of February, Colton Point was one of the top goaltenders in ECAC Hockey as he finished second with a .933 save percentage and 1.92 GA.
• Charlie Finn has enjoyed a great history against Princeton, posting a 7-0-1 record in eight starts with a 1.61 GAA and .947 save percentage.
• Anthony Sanniti scored his first career goal against nationally ranked Union Friday night.
• Brett Corkey finished the regular season with the most blocked shots in ECAC Hockey and the third most in the nation with 84.
• Colgate is one of five teams in ECAC Hockey with two players with 15 or more points.