With Don Vaughan’s recent decision to accept the interim Athletic Director’s position, longtime assistant Stan Moore has been elevated to interim head coach. Moore, a very capable replacement, will have his work cut out for him if he plans on improving on last season’s 17-win campaign.
The Raiders overcame a sluggish start to post a 6-3-1 mark leading into the postseason. Their late-season run also included overtime wins against Cornell and Dartmouth, before falling to the Big Green in the ECAC quarterfinals.
A balanced team, the Raiders return some offensive weapons up front and on the blueline. Colgate averaged only 2.4 goals per game last season and has lost Scooter Smith (24 goals, 41 points) and P.J. Yedon (26 points) from an anemic offense. That doesn’t bode well.
Junior Adam Mitchell, who was second on the Raiders in goals (14) and points (27) a year ago, will team up with senior Kyle Doyle (team-high 19 assists) to provide consistent scoring for Colgate. Hulking recruits Liam Huculak (6-5, 195) and Dustin Gililanders (6-2, 215) will be looked upon to make a quick transition to the college game.
From the backline, senior Rob Brown (16 points) and junior Joey Mormina (13 points) should anchor a power play unit that was a woeful 11th in the league in 2002-03, converting only 14 percent of man-advantages. Rookies Alex Greig (6-4, 215) and the quick Mike Campaner will be given the opportunity to contribute right away, as well.
The tandem of senior David Cann and junior Steve Silverthorn, who finished with identical 2.90 goals against averages and .900 save percentages, should provide steady, but far from spectacular, netminding. The play between the pipes isn’t the Raiders’ strength, but it isn’t a weakness either.
In addition to finding additional scoring, Colgate is also going to need to play a tighter defensive system right from the first faceoff. Too often last season, the Raiders fell behind early, as evidenced by the fact that they allowed 45 first-period goals and another 42 in middle stanzas.