HAMILTON, N.Y. — The Rensselaer Engineers held off a late onslaught by the Colgate Raiders to open the ECAC season with a 2-1 win at Starr Rink.
The Engineers held a one-goal lead headed into the third period, and Kevin Kurk made 12 saves in the last 20 minutes to help seal the victory.
“That was your typical ECAC road win,” said Engineer head coach Dan Fridgen. “It wasn’t pretty, it was ugly, but when you’re on the road they’re not supposed to be pretty. You just have to concentrate on doing the little things and fortunately tonight they almost got a couple of bounces and some almost got by us but they turned up the pressure as much as we thought they would and we were able to sustain that pressure.”
An early power play for the Engineers gave them the lead. As Marc Cavosie drew two Raiders towards him, he dished the puck to Matt Murley. Murley stepped in and took a quick slapshot that eluded the glove of Jason Lefevre for the 1-0 lead.
“Coach has been on me all week to start shooting more, so I got it, took a step and found the top of the net,” said Murley.
The Raiders got that goal back early in the second period. Kyle Doyle skated across the crease in front of Kurk and left the puck where Etienne Morin picked it up to deposit it into the net, just 49 seconds into the second period.
The Engineers regained the lead when Hamish Cunning kept the puck in at the blue line and the puck found its way to Murley. Murley then found Nolan Graham alone in front and Graham one-timed it underneath Lefevre.
The Engineers had 18 shots on goal as Kurk made a total of 28 saves in the game.
“I thought we did a better job tonight, but I thought we were still puck watching a little too much,” said Fridgen. “But I thought we handled it real well, we did a good job blocking some shots, and Kurk did a good job between the pipes.”
“I just wanted to keep my guys in there,” said Kurk. “I knew if I gave them a chance then they would get something going.”
“At one point they were coming at us very, very hard, and we just had to weather the storm,” said Fridgen. “They were behind by a goal — you had to expect that.”
Murley’s goal was the only power-play goal of the evening. The Engineers went 1-6 on the power play, while Colgate went 0-5.
“I thought we played hard tonight,” said Colgate head coach Don Vaughan. “But we knew coming in that goal-scoring might be a bit of a problem. We moved the puck well on the power play, but we didn’t get one in. That might have been the difference in the game: they got one and we didn’t.”
Colgate (1-5-0, 0-1-0 ECAC) will host Union at 5:00 p.m. Saturday, while the Engineers (2-3-0, 1-0-0 ECAC) will travel to Cornell.
“It’s great to get the first win in the league,” said Murley. “Now we’re headed into Cornell, which is a tough place to play, but it’s really a great start to the league because we showed we can win a close game and a low-scoring game.”