HAMILTON, N.Y. — In a game of firsts, the Colgate Raiders won their first game of the season by handing the Iona Gaels their first loss.
At 5:36 in the third period, Rob Brown scored Colgate’s first goal in nine periods. Brown cruised in on a two on one break and ripped a slapshot past Gael goalie Scott Galenza. The goal tied the game at one and was the first of four unanswered for the Raiders.
Said Raider head coach Don Vaughan, “I thought we played back on our heels for the better part of the first half of the game. I was very pleased with the third period. I thought we outworked them, and that was the difference.”
The Raiders now stand at 1-4-0 while the Gaels fall to 3-1-1.
Iona seemed to be controlling the Raiders through two periods as the Gaels dug pucks out of corners and found themselves with odd man breaks. The Gaels first goal came as a result of this hard work along the boards. Rob Kellogg blocked a clearing attempt which led to a pileup along the boards. Nathan Lutz was able to free the puck to Brent Williams between the rings. With the puck on its edge, Williams was only able to chip a shot towards the net. The knuckling puck floated over Colgate goaltender Jason Lefevre’s head and dropped into the goal, giving Iona a 1-0 lead.
Despite dominating play, however, the Gaels could not take advantage of early chances.
“If we had a chance to rewind the game a little bit, we would have liked to finish a couple of our opportunities in the middle of the game,” said Iona coach Frank Bretti. “We may have run out of gas in the end, but that’s just the way it’s going to be sometimes.”
Indeed, energy level played a key role in this game. Iona traveled to Colgate after defeating Army the previous night. Colgate, meanwhile, stood idle on Friday, having had a full week of rest prior to Saturday night’s game.
It was clear that Colgate’s added energy would carry the day, as the Raiders began to control the game and convert on scoring opportunities. The game-winning goal was scored on a beautiful redirection of a pass by Kyle Doyle. Doyle snuck in behind the defense and was wide open in front of the net to direct Adam Mitchell’s pass past Galenza.
Said Bretti, “We had some problems with some of their guys sneaking in behind us. Maybe we could have been a little bit more responsible with our head on our swivel.”
Scooter Smith and Paul Kelley finished the scoring for Colgate for a 4-1 victory.
Said Vaughan, “We talked a lot about work ethic. You’ve got to make sacrifices. Tough to me is standing around in front of the net, taking a hit to keep the play alive, getting into the corners, making a play in your own end when you know you’re gassed and your muscles are aching and you’ve got a cramp in your stomach. When you see guys doing that, it’s contagious. We knew if we did that, then the rest of it would come.”
The win was also a milestone for Vaughan, giving him his 150th career victory. “A lot of good players have helped along the way. A lot of gray hairs too,” Vaughan quipped.
Iona will head back to conference competition as it faces Holy Cross next week. Colgate will get its first taste of conference play, facing off against Rensselaer this coming Friday.